Now that the Reston Association has collected its annual assessment from homeowners, they sent you in the last week the ballots for this year’s RA Board of Directors election. When you paid your assessments this time, I hope you noticed there was something unique about the bill. For the first time in its history, the amount of your assessment was actually less than the prior year’s. This reduction is in a way symbolic of the importance of this year’s Board election. Your votes will determine if the cleanup and reform process begun by the current Board majority continues or is halted. This election is especially critical.
Four of the nine-member Board seats are to be filled, one At-Large (1-year term), two At-Large (3-year term), and South Lakes District (3-year term). There are thirteen candidates in all.
Four candidates have formed a slate united by the goal of continuing the cleanup and reform of the Association. They are: Sridhar Ganesan and Travis Johnson running for the two 3-year At-Large slots; John Bowman for the 1-year At-Large slot; and Tammi Petrine for the South Lakes seat.
The four offer a strong, varied skill set to oversee the organization. Mr. Ganesan, who shaped the Association’s assessment reduction, is a senior financial systems manager. Solid IT experience comes with first-time candidate Travis Johnson while John Bowman knows Reston’s transportation system and its shortcomings as a result of chairing the RA Transportation Committee. Ms. Petrine adds high energy with planning and zoning experience as Reston 2020 Co-Chair. They share the goal of completing the reform of RA’s financial systems which failed during the Tetra/Lake House purchase and rehabilitation debacle. Restoring competent management and transparency along with an effective conflict of interest policy will give homeowners and residents a basis for renewed trust in the Association.
I for one do not want to see RA ever repeat the sham experience of the Tetra referendum and acquisition or the procurement mismanagement and waste which followed. Also, RA members should not have to be concerned about potential conflicts of interest on the Board such as we have seen in recent years.
There are several other candidates competing in this election. They are people who care about our community and, with few exceptions, seem qualified to serve. I happen to think that the four candidates recommended above offer the best choices because of exceptional individual skill sets and experience plus their shared commitment to RA reform.
I do have reservations about the other slate. It includes a couple of candidates who were supporters of the flawed Tetra acquisition—which troubles me. One of them both supported the purchase and served on the Board during the period of the badly mismanaged facility rehabilitation.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to vote in this election.
P.S. In the last week, some Reston schools were locked down for several hours because guns were reported inside. Fortunately, the reports turned out to be unfounded. There were no guns. But what a scare for all concerned! Perhaps next time, we’ll look at the debate about how to keep our schools safe.