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Votes

RCC Preference Poll

RCC candidates note experience, explain goals

Five seats are open as the Reston Community Center's Board of Governors' preference poll gets underway on Oct. 9. Four candidates are battling for three adult seats while two teenage candidates have declared their intentions to fill the board's two open student seats. All candidates must be residents of Small Tax District #5. The election runs through Oct. 19 when RCC will host a Polling Day community picnic for small tax district residents at the Hunters Woods Community Center. Polling Day will be the last day to cast ballots in the election. Residents may mail their ballots between Oct. 9 and 16. To encourage a strong turn-out, voters may vote at either RCC facility between Oct. 9 and 19. Voters mailing ballots should mail ballots to the League of Women Voters, 4026 Hummer Rd., Annandale, Va. 22003, and must be postmarked no later than Oct. 16.

<b>Candidates for the Reston Community Center Board of Governors responded to the following questions:

Question A: What previous experiences or activities would you bring to the position.

Question B: What goals or activities would you pursue?</b>

<b>Frederick W. Greenwald </b>

Question A: I have lived in Reston for over 20 years. I am active in local church and other activities and have served in various positions on the Reston Masters Swim Team. I received my bachelor's degree from U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, N.Y., and my master's degree from Central Michigan University.

I have a continuing interest in being of service to the Reston Community Center that is one of the most valuable resources available in Reston. With the diversity of activities and programs, it is a place where the community comes together. We need to continue to ensure that our emphasis is on programs and people. I believe that we need to continue to expand the Community Center and provide additional space and programs to meet the ever-increasing needs of the community. I also believe that any expansion must be carefully considered with respect to the kinds of activities and programs and that any increased costs meet with the approval of the residents of Small Tax District 5.

Question B: To expand the Community Center, increase programs and activities such as a skate park, consider renovation of the South Lakes High School auditorium for use by community groups, as well as other services and activities the community and Board determine. To ensure that the current Community Centers are maintained at the current quality level and are responsibly enhanced for the continued use of all. To maintain the tax range at the current level to ensure that programs and services continue at the high level now being provided.

<b>William J. Keefe</b>

Question A: I am a land use planner in private practice and a resident of Reston since 1978 with two active teenage children. My civic activities include:

Member of Reston Planning & Zoning Committee

Member of Dulles Corridor Land Use (Transit) Task Force

Member of Reston 2000 Task Force

Member of Annual Plan Review Task Force

Commissioner, coach, and referee of Reston Youth Basketball

Member of Reston Runners and Reston Triathlon Support

Public School activities organizer and supporter

Question B: As a Board member, I would promote RCC's unique financial position to respond to the many recreational, artistic, and community needs of the residents of the tax district. With the County and Reston Association constrained by severe budget challenges, RCC can offer programming (especially for teens) to help fill the budget void. RCC is a great Reston institution and I would continue the vision established by Jim Allred, Bob Simon, and others to help meet the artistic, recreational, and community needs of Reston's residents. Given my background as a member of the Planning and Zoning Committee, I can assist in community programming from a land use perspective. Also, I can utilize my various task force experiences, especially as chair, to foster consensus on issues before the RCC Board.

<b>John Lovaas </b>

Question A: My wife Fran and I have been Reston homeowners for 25 years. For many years, I have been actively involved in community activities and have worked closely with the Reston Community Center. My community experience includes service as:

Hunters Woods Director and Vice President of Reston Association Board;

President, Reston Citizens Association;

Chairman, Reston Transportation Implementation Committee;

Member of American Red Cross Steering Committee;

Martin Luther King Day and Reston Festival Planning committees; and,

Producer/moderator, Reston Impact.

I've also served as a senior U.S. Foreign Service Officer responsible for planning and managing U.S. foreign aid programs overseas.

Question B: If elected, my goals would include:

Efficient use of taxpayers funds and maximum benefits to residents of the community

Community Center participation in programming for the planned Southgate recreation center; and,

Increased cooperation between the Community Center and Reston's public schools, especially for after-school programs.

Furthermore, my experience organizing community programs would help in encouraging use of the Reston Community Center for a wide range of forums possibly including a guest speaker series, public policy discussions, teen dialogues and more.

I believe the Community Center has accomplished a great deal, but I also believe the best is yet to come.

<b>Ruth C. Overton </b>

Question A: I have been fortunate to serve on the RCC Board of Governors for the past 15 years. I am often asked, "why do you want to do that?" The answer is simple: The RCC is a useful and effective institution that provides a multitude of varied programs and events that bring the community together and enhance people's lives. It is good for Reston. Over the years I have contributed to those good things and I would like to keep on doing so.

Question B: In the last year, the RCC Board reduced the tax rate and expanded programming to spend down the surplus in the reserve fund. The results of these actions will require careful attention to programming and planning for future projects. One goal of the new Board should be a thorough review of all current programs to maintain and ensure high quality and effective budgeting. In my years on the Board, programming has expanded, the Lake Anne Center was added, the Langston Hughes program "Panthers After Hours" was begun and Martin Luther King Day and the Multicultural Festival have become well-attended community celebrations. In the next few years, I would like to see several projects come to fruition, namely the Skate Park, the South Lakes High School/community auditorium renovation, the expansion of the Center at Lake Anne and the addition of after school clubhouses at elementary schools. All of these things will contribute to what is the best of Reston.

<b>Lorelei Kirchner

Teen Candidate</b>

Question A: As a teen member on the RCC Board, I have been able to voice my opinion on several pertinent issues. One primary issue this past year has been the debate on the RCC funding a new Reston skate park. I am for this endeavor because I feel that it would provide a safe place for teens to enjoy their sport without getting in trouble. I have made it my priority to attend committee and board meetings so that a teen's perspective could be represented. I feel that without a teen's perspective, the opposition will have a harder time understanding why the RCC funding is necessary.

Question B: As a co-chair of the Teen Council, I have had the opportunity to provide input on all activities and programs. This has allowed me to inform not only the Board of changing teen interests, but also to inform them of new activities that might cater to a teen's needs more. The Skate Park is an example of this. I feel that by the RCC funding the construction of a skate park, they will not only be able to provide a diverse activity base, but also programs and activities that promote safe and responsible behavior. I am also interested in planning the same amount, if not more, field trips for teens to take part in. I feel that trips, including overnight ones, are great experiences for teens and help develop independence as well as social confidence. Incorporating an abundance of activities and programs to help make a teen's life easier will hopefully bring comfort and unity to all the teens in Reston.

<b>Yasmin Shafiq

Teen Candidate</b>

Question A: For approximately the past five years, I have been actively involved in the All Dulles Area Muslim Society Girls Youth Group. The youth group does numerous community and service-oriented activities as well as fun activities just for members. I have been secretary of the group and am currently the president. I have a fair amount of experience in leadership, planning, and working with a team. I have been treasurer for the South Lakes High School Muslim Student Association as well. Currently, I am involved in the Southgate Center Project. I live in Southgate Square, and I feel it necessary to be involved in my community. I would bring strength and dedication to the Teen Council.

Question B: My main goal is to represent the needs and wants of my fellow Restonian teens. I will work to improve current teen-oriented activities and bring in new ones to enhance the current program. I think that advertisement of teen activities offered through the RCC needs to be brought more to schools so that all teenagers in the area know what's going on. One big issue that definitely needs the help and support of Reston youth is the ongoing Southgate Center project. It is a project that will greatly impact youth, and so youth should be in the forefront championing it. Additionally, Reston will need dedicated youth to get involved with the future programs the Center will hopefully offer. In conclusion, as a member of the Teen Council, I will do my best to get Reston youth aware and involved in the Reston community.