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RCA Election To Be Held This Weekend

A new crop of community activists hopes to breathe new life into the struggling organization.

Almost 37 years since the Reston Citizens Association was created, a new group of community activists is seeking to resurrect the struggling organization, which has been plagued over the last few years by low membership and dwindling responsibilities.

The RCA elections will be held this weekend at the Reston Festival at Reston Town Center.

The new group of RCA candidates is led by Mike Corrigan, a former Lake Anne representative of Reston Association's Board of Directors. Corrigan, who is seeking the RCA president seat, is running alongside eight other candidates from across Reston.

Two RCA board slots are already filled with incumbents Jim Traylor and Arthur Hill, whose terms have not yet expired. None of the seats up for election this weekend are being contested.

After the election, RCA's 13-member board will have 11 members, a fuller slate than the four or five board members who were active over the last year.

President: Mike Corrigan

A Reston resident for more than 30 years, Corrigan has served as both a Reston Association director and vice president of the board. He formed and chaired the RA Transportation Advisory Committee and was board liaison to the RA Facilities and Environmental Advisory Committees.

Corrigan would like to use RCA as a community forum to address issues such as sprawl, transit oriented growth, assimilation of the immigrant community and maintaining a range of housing opportunities.

Above all, Corrigan wants RCA to spearhead an effort to investigate the issue of Reston's governance. Reston, which is not an incorporated town, lacks true government. Corrigan believes it could benefit the community and be ultimately cheaper if Reston changed its governance structure.

Hunters Woods: Jan Bradshaw

Bradshaw served on the Reston Community Center's Board of Governors for six years as vice chair, secretary and chair of almost every committee. Since 1991, she has served on her condo committee, where she was involved in a $2.2 million facade project. She is now her neighborhood's representative to ARCH, a new community organization.

She said she would like RCA to become the voice of the Reston community on issues such as Reston's governance and the project to expand Metrorail to Wiehle Avenue. Also, Bradshaw would like Reston to have a better collaborative relationship with the Town of Herndon.

Hunters Woods: Latetia Combs

A former member of Reston Interfaith's Board of Directors, Combs has been a community volunteer for much of the more than 20 years she has lived in Reston. She is a former director of the Reston Triathalon and also was a member of the development team for the apartments at North Point.

Combs said she would like RCA to again become the forum for major issues facing the community. Also, she said in her candidate filing statement that she wants RCA to be restored in a general sense to its previous prominence.

North Point: Eric Kessel

Kessel, an attorney, has been a Reston resident since 2001. He has practiced law in Fairfax County since 1999. He said his goal is to help revitalize RCA as the voice and the conscience of the Reston community.

He would like RCA to once again be seen as an independent forum where residents can address community concerns.

South Lakes: Robert Haley

Haley, an attorney, has lived in Reston since 1987. He previously worked at Telenet Communications and Sprint in Reston. He is a former U.S Air Force officer and a Vietnam veteran.

He sees RCA as a body that can help maintain Reston's quality of life. Among the issues he would like RCA to address are: enhancing traffic considerations, working with regional planning, Reston business issues, Reston governance and the protection of Reston's natural environment.

Lake Anne: John Fay

Fay grew up and went to school in Reston, having lived in the community for 27 years. For the last four years, he has served on RCA's Board of Directors and has worked on the Reston Festival. He has helped maintain the web sites for both RCA and the Reston Festival.

Fay would like RCA to help the community solve transportation problems, ensure good educational opportunities for children, and continue being a place where citizens can have a voice in community affairs.

At Large: Debra Steppel

Steppel has been a Reston resident since 1998 and has been an active community volunteer ever since. In 2001, she received the Martha Pennino Service Award and was a Reston Relay for Life team captain this year. She is also a current member of Reston Chorale and its vice president of corporate development.

As an RCA board member, Steppel would work to give Reston a greater voice in regional planning issues, address issues related to Metrorail expansion and protect Reston's founding ideals. She also supports investigating alternative forms of governance.

At Large: Mark Terry

A government consultant, this is Terry's first foray into elected community service since graduate school, when he served on his university's graduate student association as president.

Terry said the idea of reinvigorating the struggling RCA is appealing to him. He hopes to use his position as an advocate for Reston's interests to local and state government officials. Also, he wants RCA to increase discussion and debate on the Dulles Rail Project, Reston governance and regional planning issues.

At Large: Marion Stillson

Growing up in England, Stillson said she first heard about Reston in a town planning course. Now, having been a Reston resident for 30 years, Stillson wants to again serve the community. She is a former member of the Reston Community Center's Board of Governors.

Stillson said Reston is governed well by Reston Association and the RCC Board of Governors, but they are limited by their specific mandates. The community needs RCA to tackle a broad range of issues from a broad perspective, she said. She would like RCA to address issues such as transportation, education, public safety and planning and zoning.