RCA Elects Seven in Uncontested Races

RCA Elects Seven in Uncontested Races

RCA returns five board members and welcomes two new members.

Seven residents were elected last weekend to the board of the Reston Citizens Association, the group leading the charge for Reston to become a town. All seven candidates ran uncontested.

Voting took place during the Reston Festival at the RCA booth set up at the Reston Town Center. A total of 171 people voted.

Incumbent President Mike Corrigan was re-elected with 160 votes. Four other incumbents were also re-elected — Marion Stillson (At-large) with 141 votes, Debra Steppel (At-large) with 136 votes, Jan Bradshaw (Hunters Woods) with 53 votes and Bob Haley (South Lakes) with 50 votes.

Newcomers to the board, James Hubbard (At-large) and John Lovaas (Lake Anne), were elected with 128 and 66 votes, respectively.

EACH BOARD MEMBER serves a two-year term except the RCA president, who serves a one-year term.

Both Hubbard and Lovaas, RCA’s newest board members, had previous stints on the RCA board.

Hubbard, 60, an RCA board member in the early 1980s, said that he has had more time to commit to community affairs since retiring three years ago as a managing program analyst with the federal government. A resident for nearly 30 years, Hubbard supports more open, representative government.

"Broadly speaking, I think we need to bring more democracy to Reston, whether we’re dealing with township or the county or with the Reston Community Center," said Hubbard.

Hubbard thinks incorporation would give Reston the control and representation that it currently lacks.

"As far as I’m concerned, planning and zoning is the issue," said Hubbard, who added that control over local development is necessary to maintain a community's unique identity. Reston's identity, he argued, is now in the control of the county, which makes Reston’s planning and zoning decisions. "It’s a real simple issue: if the community doesn’t control planning and zoning, Reston will disappear."

LIKE HUBBARD, Lovaas has returned to the RCA board because he believes incorporation is “crucial” to the future of Reston, especially as the county begins a process to change Reston’s zoning ordinance.

“We understand that the county is about to rewrite the zoning ordinance that governs all development and redevelopment in our future,” said Lovaas, a longtime Reston resident. “If the community does not lead that process of rewriting the planned residential community ordinance, we can expect disastrous results that favor developers over the community. We’ll end up like Tysons Corner rather than a more beautiful Reston with the characteristics that we all came here for.”

Lovaas, 63, believes a community-led process to change the ordinance would be easier if Reston were a town. “We can still make it positive. But if we don’t lead the rewrite for the zoning ordinance, it will be a disaster for the community.”

RCA’S OTHER BOARD members John Fay (Lake Anne), Colin Mills (South Lakes), Gary Lee Thomas (North Point), Rod Koozmin (Hunters Woods) and Sue Merk (At-large) will be up for re-election next year.

According to Corrigan, RCA continues to meet with Reston organizations, soliciting support for incorporation.

RCA will present their case to the Reston Association this week. Corrigan said RCA will present a similar case to Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors later this year after the RCC board has had time to settle in after the shake up caused last month by the resignation of five board members.

“In August, we hope to come out with a revised town proposal,” said Corrigan.

In addition to town status related efforts, RCA plans to have at least two more community-issue meetings on performance-based local government, education or community-based healthcare.

During the festival, RCA also conducted a poll on various community issues, including town status. Results of the poll will be released later this month.