News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Indecision 2012: Here Are the RA Board Candidate Statements, In All Their Bullet Point Glory

The Reston Association has posted the official statements of the candidates for the RA Board of Directors on its fancy "web site." Grab your reading glasses because here they are, posted in their entirety and snark-free for your enjoyment civic knowledge.

Farrell.jpegFive people are running for two at-large seats on the board. In alphabetical order, first up is John Farrell, who provided this statement:

I fell in love with Reston when I was 13 & living in Bethesda. Gulf sponsored coverage of the Gemini V mission. In the middle of the civil rights struggle, a planned community bragged about the absence of racial covenants, in Virginia(!); about the availability of housing for all socio-economic levels and for all stages of a family's life.

Those ads set my life's course: to study urban government in college and zoning and planning in law school.

Since our 1984 return to Reston, my wife, Susie, and I have raised four kids who took lessons at RA pools, went to RA camps and played on RA ballfields,

I've been privileged to represent Reston clusters and to form large homeowners associations throughout Northern Virginia. I've also been National President of Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation and President of Fairfax Girls Softball.

It's time to give back to the place I love.

Two years of service on RA's Parks and Planning Advisory Committee have convinced me that the next 3 years pose significant challenges and opportunities for RA.

The recently completed reserve study shows that RA faces capital expenses of millions of dollars. That study did not include the costs to renovate the dozens of RA ballfields; many of which are 40+ years old and have never been regraded or resodded. All of RA's future capital needs must be scheduled and funded.

Thousands of additional people will be coming to Reston and RA's trail system is incomplete.

The coming population will want recreational facilities different from what we already have. Those facilities must be funded by the developers who will promote Reston and its amenities as part of their sales packages. They need to contribute to the renovation of existing facilities and the addition of needed new facilities.

Rostant.jpegDonna Miller Rostant's statement:
I love this community. I am a Director of the Reston Triathlon and Reston Runners Women's Distance Festival and have been actively involved In the Reston community as a volunteer in many organizations and events. I know what it takes to work together and lead a group to accomplish goals. I have experience as a member of an Architectural Review Committee of a homeowners association, and I am well aware of the emotions involved when a homeowner feels at odds with neighbors. I know what it takes to accomplish goals kindly, to speak forthrightly on difficult issues, and to find the right balance. As a practicing lawyer and former nurse, I know how to listen to and represent people who believe their voices are not heard. I will listen to you, I will advocate for you, and I will treat you respectfully. I ask for your vote.

Quality of life is most important to Reston residents. Our community enables us to work, play, live and grow thanks to a healthy balance between residential life and urban development. As we move forward with the opening of Metro in Reston, I will ensure Reston harvests the benefits of better public transportation connecting us to the broader metropolitan region while maintaining that balance to preserve our community's lifestyle as we endure the inevitable change. As a runner, swimmer and bicyclist, I am committed to good health. Maintaining the infrastructure of Reston's "play" areas is essential to our community members' health. I will work to ensure the Association provides adequate funding for our facilities so they remain safe, affordable, and attractive for all residents. Educational growth and development is also important, and I will advocate for even better educational and cultural opportunities for Reston. I will work to keep assessments affordable.

Sanio.jpegMichael R. Sanio's statement:

Reston Community Leadership:

Knowledge of the community having lived, worked and played in Reston since 2004 with my family - wife Grecia and boys Renzo, Aaron and Jason, active in soccer, swimming, tennis, church, school, Odyssey of the Mind
Knowledge of Reston Association through the Environmental Advisory Committee membership and presentation to the Reston Association Board of Directors about incorporating sustainability - economic, social and environmental - as an organizing principle in the 2011 - 16 RA Strategic Plan
Experience in non-profit management, over 25 years' professional leadership as a member, volunteer and staff
Professional Qualifications:

Director, Sustainability, American Society of Civil Engineers
Director, Sustainable Communities Award Foundation
Certified Association Executive
Educational Qualifications:

Master in Engineering, University of Texas (Austin)
Languages - English, German, French, Spanish

Preserve Reston's unique qualities expressed by Robert Simon's goals

Attractive, economically viable neighborhoods and village centers
Diverse housing ensuring affordability and accessibility
Recreational assets for all community members
Safe, well maintained pathway system
Enhanced and restored lakes, streams and natural areas
Promote sound stewardship of Reston Association's financial resources

Ensure financial stability providing long-term benefits, maintaining existing assets, plan for future
Develop, allocate financial resources, preserve and enhance Reston's physical infrastructure through partnerships and efficient use of assessments
Plan for a sustainable future as Reston continues to develop

Serve as a resource on the techniques and practices of sustainable development
Strengthen RA's role in development and re-development, ensure Metro expansion serves the diverse needs of Reston
Protect Reston's core values by promoting community, innovation, low impact development
Work to effectively manage all resources resulting in a sustainable community

Thompson.jpegEve Thompson's statement:

My name is Eve Thompson, I have lived in Reston for 25 years with my husband where we raised 5 daughters. I am a local real estate agent focused primarily in Reston. I live in Lake Anne and have served on the Lake Anne Condominium BOD for several terms. On that board I was and continue as the head of the Landscaping Committee. I served 2 years as the Merchants Committee Chairperson, and now lead the Marketing & Events efforts for the Committee. Additionally I run Saturday Craft Market at Lake Anne.

In my role with the Lake Anne Merchants we brought many improvements and activities to the Plaza that the community has enjoyed, including: the casual seating, umbrellas and music festivals. These improvements and activities served to bring greater awareness to the commercial business on Lake Anne. I also serve on the Reston Historic Trust BOD.


My goals and interests for Reston align well with the RA 2012 - 2016 Strategic Plan. Specifically I would hope to facilitate the actions necessary to reach the goals in the areas of sustainability and the maintenance of our community assets, including our open spaces.

I would like to see Reston become nationally recognized as a model of a sustainable community-- not only in the areas of environmental concern but also in the promotion and advocacy of small business growth and success. To the degree that RA can play a role, I would like to us focus on improving the vitality and use of the Village Centers, which I believe are a critical part of keeping Reston a unique place. Small locally owned businesses are an integral part of sustainability, but they are also a huge part of keeping our community interesting.

Vis.jpegTom Vis's statement:
• Fiscal management
Cluster Budget preparation nearly two decades.
Established Reserve for parking replacement (3 lots).
• Cluster management
Past Board of Directors
Maintenance Coordinator - landscaping, trees, large projects.
• Historical/cultural memory
Resident since 1979, homeowner since 1983.
• MBA degree; IT career
Sperry Corporation, National Academy of Sciences, AOL

• Pools and Pathways - My own most utilized aspects of Reston and therefore a key area of watchfulness.
• Budget and Dues - Vocal advocate of protecting existing assets. The two-year budget cycle obscures visibility of the long-range costs to maintain Pools, Pathways, Lakes and Dams. Current funding falls below known average required to fully support the next 10 years.
• Design Review Board/Covenants - Generally supportive. Have participated during inspections and viewed the worst cases of neglect. Have also witnessed anger of owners unfamiliar with the system.
• Indoor Tennis - Supportive of the concept but unwilling to take priority away from funds needed for repair and maintenance of existing assets (Pools, Pathways, Lakes and Dams).
Chew.jpegRichard Chew is running unopposed for the South Lakes seat. His statement:
I bring to this candidacy ...

Commitment to openness, truthfulness, accountability
Strong personal commitment to community service
Broad understanding of the Reston Association, Its members, processes and procedures, and organizational structure
Prior service as an At-Large Director on Reston Association Board of Directors
Prior service on Board Administration and Legal Committees and liaison to Design Review Board
Prior service on several RA advisory committees
Lessons learned as former President of an RA cluster
Demonstrated commitment to fiscal responsibility
Experience working with other clusters on matters related to governing documents, design guidelines and routine cluster management
Strong professional background managing projects, programs and operations
If elected, I would challenge the Board to be GREAT...

Governance. The Board must take governance to a higher level by being more professional In Its activities and more strategic in its thinking.
Respect. Directors need to be more respectful, courteous and collegial with each other. Constituent and special interests groups need to show respect for differing positions.
Engagement. We need more effectIve ways to engage Members - knowing what is important to Members requires closing the knowledge gap through better communications.

Advocacy. The Board must raise its voice louder and more effectively within the community on issues affecting the Association. The Board must take the lead in advocating policies and practices that protect and enhance the “Reston Way.”

Transparency. The Board must make sure Members have direct access to accurate and meaningful information needed to understand and monitor Association decisions.


  1. But do any of them have an interest in fixing the RELAC situation? The RA is uniquely positioned to straiten things out where the county and state are not.

    1. how is RA able to address this?

      the system is owned by a utiity that's regulated by the State Corporation Commission

  2. I will consider any candidate who is not obsessed with tennis.

  3. Why is Vigo the Carpathian running for the RA board?

    (If you get this reference, +5 Macaroni Grill points.)

  4. I see the similarity. Actually, I would have preferred Vigo’s photo.

    What you see is the official RA candidacy photo that was selected for me. Candidates were prohibited from using photos we preferred. Instead, RA took several shots of us and selected one without our input. After some candidates raised concern about the inability to use “other than RA previously selected photos”, we were allowed to select one from two RA had selected out of the many taken. Hard to imagine the other one was worse, but it was.

    I’ll take the +5 Macaroni Grill points please.

  5. JayKay,

    I'd vote for him -- something new anyway.

  6. 1. Merge RA and RCC into one

    1. RCC is part of Fairfax County government.

      RA is a private corporation.

      Only a city could take over the functions of both entities. And that ain't happening any time soon.

    2. Starting to think that township would have been a good idea.

  7. Hey, give Donna credit for having a sense of humor. +10 Macaroni Grill points and a free extra side of bread!

  8. Yup she gets my vote just for the Ghostbusters II reference.

  9. Or anyone not obsessed with redeveloping for the metro except of course to find a new venue for our endangered breadsticks.


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