News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

And Then There Were Five: Here Is Your Slate of 2013 RA Board Candidates (Updated: And Then There Were Four)

Election 13.jpegFive candidates -- one incumbent, two Reston residents who have run in the past, and two newcomers -- have tossed their hats in the earth-toned ring as candidates for the Reston Association Board of Directors.

The sole incumbent up for re-election in 2013, Ken Kneuven, is shifting from the Tall Oaks/Lake Anne district to the one open at-large seat (RA board terms are staggered). He will face John Farrell, who unsuccessfully sought an at-large seat in 2012. Eve Thompson, who also sought an at-large seat in 2012, is now running unopposed for the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks seat.

North Point Director Mike Collins announced last month that he would not seek reelection. His seat is being sought by two newcomers to RA elections -- Timothy Cohn and Larry Dunn.

So here's the box score -- three open seats, two contested elections. Read the official filing statements for each candidate after the jump. Spoiler alert: Development issues play heavily into each statement.

Update: John Farrell has opted to withdraw his candidacy. In a blog post, he writes that he and Kneuven "both of us, unbeknownst to the other, filed to run for the same seat," and since they agree in many areas, Farrell says he opted to bow out. There's also an oblique reference to "the impending turnover at the RA’s CEO position," which, hmmm, the end.

Filing Statements

At-Large Candidates

John Farrell
I fell in love with Reston in 1965. I was 13 & living in Bethesda. Gulf sponsored NBC’s coverage of the Gemini V mission. In the middle of the civil rights era, a planned community, in Virginia (!), bragged about the absence of racial covenants, about the availability of housing for all socio-economic levels and all stages of a family’s lifecycle.
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 4 kids who went to RA camps, Terraset, Hughes and South Lakes. I’ve represented several Reston clusters and formed several large homeowners associations in 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.

My service on RA’s Parks and Planning Advisory Committee convinced me that the next decade poses significant challenges and opportunities for RA. The recent reserve study shows that RA faces capital expenses of millions of dollars. Yet that study ignored the cost to renovate dozens of RA’s ballfields; many of which have never been resodded during their 40+ years. RA’s future capital needs must be accurately understood and funded.
Metro will bring thousands of additional people to Reston. Yet RA’s trails are incomplete. Our new neighbors will want recreational facilities different from what we have today: an indoor 50 meter pool and indoor tennis courts. Those facilities are best funded by the developers who will benefit from Reston’s amenities. They need to contribute proffer money to renovate RA’s existing facilities and build RA’s new facilities.
Reston needs an experienced, knowledgeable advocate to get those proffers.

Ken Kneuven
I have lived in Reston for nearly 25 years; presently residing in one of the original Clusters in Lake Anne – Waterview Cluster, and working in Reston as well. I was elected to the Reston Association Board three years ago; presently I am its President and Chairman of the Board. I am also on the Boards of the Friends of Reston and the Initiative for Public Art in Reston (IPAR).
My present Board experience, leadership skills, and broad management capabilities will enable me to continue to develop and maintain sound relationships and work cooperatively and respectfully with Reston Association’s Members, its Board, its Staff and its Partners. In addition, for over 32 years, I have been instrumental in the development, growth, and leadership of global technology and services organizations. Presently, as Vice President, Strategic Development, of a technology startup, I am responsible for positioning the company’s future strategy and corporate development.

Three years ago, I set out to focus my first term on Reston’s heritage, its existing assets, and its infrastructure. In an era of strained budgets, it is important to prioritize investments in a way that leverages, and most importantly, enhances what we have.
To address this, as President, I decided to focus the Board’s attention on items we can hold ourselves accountable:
• Begin now, to annually develop and allocate appropriate financial resources to sustain and enhance the Association’s physical infrastructure.
• To establish procedures that will ensure Reston Association’s interests and needs are considered in redevelopment and revitalization of our community.
• Regularly engage the diverse elements of the community on issues and opportunities that impact Reston.
The key point here is to build upon and leverage our existing investments, our resources and our partners. If re-elected I will continue to focus on these initiatives, ensuring our community thrives and prospers.

Lake Anne/Tall Oaks District

Eve Thompson
I am a 25+ year resident of the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks area.
• Served several terms on Lake Anne Condominium's BOD
• Served 2 terms as the head of the Lake Anne Merchants Committee
• Currently lead the Merchants Marketing & Events & run the Saturday Craft Market at Lake Anne
• Currently lead the Lake Anne Condo Landscaping efforts
In my role with the Lake Anne Merchants under my leadership we brought many improvements and activities to the Plaza for the community; casual seating, umbrellas and music festivals have all brought greater awareness to the commercial businesses on Lake Anne.
As a real estate agent that makes a living to a large degree based on the great qualities of this community I feel it is important to give back to the community that has provided so much to me and my family.

The amount of development already planned for Reston poses serious challenges and great opportunities for our community. In the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks district the proximity of the Metro begs for strong integration of walk-able and bike-able access from Metro to our neighborhoods. My primary goal would be to protect and improve the assets of the Lake Anne/Tall Oaks district and to make sure that where development is done that it contributes to the value, beauty and overall quality of life of this community.
• Improve non-car access to metro
• Protect and improve recreational facilities and open space
• Be demanding about design standards for new development

North Point District

Timothy A. Cohn
I have a passion for Reston. Having lived here for 26 years, I love and know our community. My technical knowledge and experience, including a PhD in hydrology and 25 years at the USGS here in Reston studying water quality and natural hazards, has made me aware of the importance of decisions about how we live and build on the land. I have been involved in many Reston activities including serving as a cluster president and President of the Reston Runners. While in my leadership roles, I have always been committed to fiscal responsibility, accomplishing the goals while balancing the budget. I’ve worked in a Congressional office, with many diverse groups and personalities, and have the ability to work effectively in contentious circumstances while respecting all viewpoints.

The arrival of our new Metro system will accelerate new development. As we go through this period of transition, my goal is to maintain and preserve Reston’s open spaces. I pledge to support smart growth and alternative modes of transportation while protecting and upholding the qualities that define Reston. I will strive to keep annual assessments at comfortable levels while accomplishing our goals as a community. Fostering civility in all of our activities is important, and I will work to improve the Association’s responsiveness and respectfulness to our community.

Larry Dunn
A Board Member of North Point Villas (a small condominium complex behind North Point Village Center) since December 2010; currently, its Secretary/Website Administrator. A resident of Reston since September 2008; a home-owner since May 2009; a retired soldier, a retired correctional officer, a retired customer service representative; a life-long member of the democratic party [from a state so heavily republican that President Clinton came in third], with a philosophy of compassionate service coupled with a realization of the requirement for fiscal responsibility.

Reston Association has talented, conscientious and committed administration and staff. Reston Association has an elected board and volunteers that are the best. My responsibility is to the North Point District’s owners and residents, to see that they are always included in the planning, that they are always included in the budget, that they are always included in the services rendered.


  1. While all the candidates talk a good game about meeting needs related to the coming of Metro (including the incumbents), RA has done--and probably will do--remarkably little to advance the interests of the large residential community it supposedly represents.

    It would rather spend its time and our money on marketing Reston--$20K for a movie, $26K for a survey for some recent examples--and nothing to preserve our quality of life. It is far too self-absorbed for the good of the community and I don't see any "breakout" candidates in this list.

    1. Maybe you should have gotten off your butt and run.

    2. Not everyone is in a position to be able to run. That doesn't mean they can't disagree with the current situation.

    3. And raising the "dues" as they erroneously call them to pay for such waste and fraud and, of course, their own underused, multi-million-dollar Taj Mahal with graffiti on the dumpsters...


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