News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Unopposed Soviet-Style RA Election Marred By Soviet-Style Bureaucratic Snag (Updated)

It's been a few years since we've had to break out the Soviet-era imagery to talk about the Reston Association board elections, but once again we've found ourselves in a spot where all five open seats on the RA Board are uncontested. And because that wasn't Soviet enough, and the beet harvests in our plastic fantastic planned community's communal gardens are apparently in keeping with the five-year plan, we've got a wacky Soviet-style mailing mishap thrown into the mix this year for good measure. Give us some procedural blockquote, BFFs at the Reston Association:
On March 15, 2019, the RA Elections Committee became aware of a technical issue that caused approximately 2,800 paper ballots to be returned to RA as undeliverable. In response, the association has instructed the independent vendor, Intelliscan, to resend the ballots to the correct addresses and has extended the voting period
The deadline has been extended from April 1 to April 3, but fear not: the delay won't result in us being kept in suspense any longer on the results of the uncontested elections. They'll still be announced on April 9, so three cheers for democracy apathy!

In case you're wondering who to vote for, the five people running unopposed include three incumbents, Catherine Baum (apartments), Caren Anton (Hunters Woods/Dogwood), and John Mooney (North Point). The two newcomers, also running unopposed, are Tom Mulkerin (at-large) and Aaron Webb (Lake Anne/Tall Oaks).

You can listen to their official statements above or watch video of the 90-minute candidates' forum here, but you know... unopposed.

We have nothing bad to say about any of the candidates -- if anything we should be grateful anyone is willing to step up and run for what we've long said is a thankless job. But just last year, we had 13 candidates running for four open seats, complete with wacky alliances and "slates" that sounded more like a bad episode of Survivor than our own community. So wha'happened? It's not like the clouds magically parted and suddenly Tall Oaks was un-razed and the golf courses were unthreatened and traffic was unjammed and the Leaky Lake House was unpurchased and there were ponies and bridges and infrastructure for all. There's lots on Reston's plate, and strong RA leadership can only help.

At least the race for the Hunter Mill seat on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is shaping up to be something of a contest, with four contenders to date for the seat being vacated by Cathy Hudgins, who is retiring later this year. They are Walter Acorn, Laurie Dodd, Shyamali Hauth, and Parker Messick, and two three forums have already been planned to hear what they stand for ahead of the June 11 Democratic primary which will essentially coronate the ultimate winner of the seat -- one on April 16 at Sunset Hills Montessori School sponsored by Herndon/Reston Indivisible, another on April 23 at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery in Lake Anne, sponsored by the Reston Citizens Association, and one on April 29 at the Reston Community Center sponsored by Fairfax Democrats.

But vote in the RA election anyway -- or else, in really Soviet style, we'll have to do it all over again because of bylaws requiring a 10 percent quorum for even uncontested elections. As of March 22, returned ballots were over the 10 percent cutoff for the North Point seat, but in the 8-9 percent range for the remaining seats. We'd rather our RA dues go to pretty much anything else, so vote early and often, the end.

Update: Quorum attained. Catherine Baum is the RA's new president, if you're keeping score at home.

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