Ballot Box Busy For Burke Centre Elections

Ballot Box Busy For Burke Centre Elections

Duwain Ketch

Trustee at large candidate

As a current Burke Centre trustee at large, Duwain Ketch's vision for Burke Centre is one of strong management.

"I want to work this year to strengthen the management process in the community," Ketch said.

Ketch wants to switch from a neighborhood trustee to an at-large trustee to "represent the broader community," he said.

Goals include to continue to represent the interests of all the residents and to support neighborhood trustees addressing the needs of their residents. This includes determining if future increases in assessments are absolutely necessary. He will continue efforts at improving the management of community assets and amenities, financial accounting practices and procedures, and administration of the architectural control program.

Ketch wants to work with members of the Board of Trustees, committees and task forces, and Conservancy staff to provide the community with effective leadership. Residents will be provided timely information about community issues, financial matters and management activities.

Ketch has been a Burke Centre resident in the Ponds neighborhood for 22 years. In addition to a civil service career for 20 years, Ketch managed human resources and administrative services programs, was a property manager at the Sequoyah Condominiums in Alexandria for one year. He was a real estate agent for four years and the editorial operations manager of an electronic publishing company for seven years. Currently he volunteers as the treasurer, Friends of the Kings Park Library; treasurer, Friends of the Burke Centre Library; member (past president), Friends Scholarship Fund Advisory Group, Fairfax County Public Library Foundation; and Board of Directors, Burke Rotary Club.

In addition to being a current at-large trustee at Burke Centre, Ketch was the treasurer at the Burke Centre Conservancy, 2001-04. Through the years, he's worked on the Web Site Task Force; at-large trustee, 1990-91; participated on the budget and finance committee. Other committees and task forces Ketch has participated in include Marshall Pond Cluster Committee, Fairfax County Planned Residential Community District Task Force, and the task force for acquisition of Lynch Farm.

Luanne Smith

Trustee at-large candidate

Luanne Smith is making the jump from the Oaks trustee to an at-large candidate because of her concentration on neighborhood participation and volunteering.

"That's what I think is a real major problem. If I'm tied down to one neighborhood, I wouldn't have the time to do this," Smith said.

Over the past year, Smith claims to have increased neighborhood participation on matters, citing a recent Oaks Neighborhood Council meeting at which over 40 people were in attendance, in contrast to a year ago, when attendance was just one or two people. She's gotten all 16 Oak Clusters active to make a difference in the issues surrounding the Oaks and Burke Centre.

As one of the nation's largest homeowners associations, Smith thinks that aging community requires a lot more attention than it did 27 years ago. There are too few staff members to manage this community, so many volunteers are needed. If elected, Smith pledges to recruit the volunteers the community needs with door-to-door requests for volunteers.

Smith also believes in changes this year in the executive director's office at the Conservancy.

"I have a lot of concerns in that area," Smith said.

In addition to being the Oaks trustee for the past year, and previously from March 1994-March 1996, Smith's experience includes Spring Oak Cluster Committee; founder and coordinator of Burke Centre's Earth Day, 1994-present; Open Space Committee, 1996-March 2003, which she helped re-establish. She also participated as the founder and coordinator of Oaks Cares, 1994-present; and Burke Centre SHARE, 1995-present. Smith was trainer for Cluster Committees, 1997; on the Oaks Neighborhood Watch Halloween Patrol, coordinator, mid-late 1990s; participated in the 20th Anniversary Committee; and coordinator for Opening Ceremony, 1997; was chair, Annual Fall Festival Community Action Team, 2000-01. Past work also includes the Fall Festival Committee, the Welcome Committee, and junior vice commander, Burke VFW.

Smith's goals and objectives include empowering cluster committees, better management of common areas, the establishment of budget/finance committee and re-establishing the early-bird pool rate.

Smith is a retired commander, U.S.N., with a degree in history and political science from Penn State University, as well as a master’s degree from the Naval War College

Greg Smith

Woods neighborhood trustee write-in candidate

As the Woods trustee, Smith's goals have remained consistent this year, he claims. He still continues to be a communication channel between the residents and trustees and knows the value of open and constant communication. With the upcoming budget, Smith is concerned about the financial strength of the community and the oversight of the very expensive assets in Burke Centre. He would like to see the community operate closer to the break-even point rather than a deficit. He's dedicated to working to protect the property values through protection of the common spaces, repair of roads and maintenance of trails, and he would like to see through the renovation of the Woods Community Center. One goal is to assist members of the Board of Trustees in working more closely and amicably with each other.

Smith's Burke Centre experience includes work as Woods neighborhood trustee; Woods Community Center Committee; Wood Mouse Cluster Committee; assistant coach with FPYC Baseball (1994-95); manager and coach, Fairfax Little League Baseball teams (1996-2001); assisted daughter's Burke Athletic Club soccer team, past Burke Garden Club member; pool member each year.

Smith has been a Burke Centre resident for the past 14 years, returning to Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, after serving in Okinawa, Japan. The past year, he's held a position in Unisys on the DOD program, as a configuration manager. He graduated from Geneva College (Pa.) in 1983 with a bachelor of arts in economics.

Kay Bedsole

Write-in candidate for trustee at large

As at-large trustee, Bedsole's goals and objectives approach will be one of common sense and practicality, she indicated, with fiduciary responsibility high on the priority list. Dams/ponds and erosion will be a huge focus for the next few years.

To Bedsole, a trustee has the responsibility for long-term planning and oversight. After paying for competent staff to do a good job under the direction of the executive director, the board and the trustees should provide guidance and direction.

The Architectural Review Board is equally important to the residents of Burke Centre, Bedsole indicated. She believes the residents need to respect and support the staff and volunteers who work very hard to enforce the covenants and by-laws.

Bedsole moved into Burke Cove in October 1981 with husband Gene. Community activities include trustee at large, 2000-03 and 1993-95; Landings trustee, 1992-93; Burke Cove cluster representative, 1991-92; Burke Cove Landscape Committee, past co-chair (10 years); Woods Community Center Committee, Swimming Pool task force.

Salvatore (Sam) Dibartolo

Landings neighborhood trustee write-in candidate

Dibartolo's objective is to represent the interests of the residents of the Landings, improving fiscal responsibility and enhancing the appearance of the community.

"I wanted to have representation on the board for the betterment of the community and how it's run," Dibartolo said.

Dibartolo's goals include working with the Fairfax County and state representatives on issues relating to Burke Centre.

"I want to keep our community a nice place to live," Dibartolo said.

Past volunteer activities include president, Vista Acres Recreation Association, in Lynchburg, Va.; treasurer, Knights of Columbus Council 8600; vice president, Sons of Italy, George Washington Lodge; and member, GE Quarter Century Club.

In Burke Centre Dibartolo was on the VRE Parking Garage Task Force; Fairfax County VRE Parking Garage Task Force; Burke Centre Election Committee; Fairfax County Senior Citizen Council-Burke Centre ‘55-ers representative; and four years as the Eagle Landing Cluster representative.

Dibartolo has lived in the Landings for 20 years. He has a mechanical engineering degree, University of Missouri/Rolla. He retired as a senior systems engineer after 34 years with General Electric Co. He also has experience as an engineering consultant on mechanical and environmental design of electronic equipment for the US Navy, and he worked with FEMA Disaster Assistance in Los Angeles, Calif., earthquake damage assessment in 1994.

Marc Flaster

Commons neighborhood trustee

Marc Flaster wants to work on establishing goals for Burke Centre for the near future, visualizing and discussing the future for Burke Centre, and developing strategic goals and objectives for accomplishing its mission. This will be done with a five-year plan he has in mind.

"I want to help Burke Centre focus on the future," Flaster said.

Reporting to the community on the status of the goals is essential, as well. Flaster wants to concentrate on the important things in the community and not lose sight of these among the myriad of less important issues or concerns that come up in the year. He wants to encourage candidates with leadership qualities to run for the trustee position and to improve and update the election policies and procedures.

"What we need to do is concentrate on what's important to us," Flaster said.

Flaster intends to strengthen political ties with county supervisors, the state delegate and senators. He also wants to facilitate community awareness and identity. Although local neighborhood concerns are important, the interest of the community in its entirety is of higher significance. His plans include rebudgeting while examining present expenses, but no drastic changes, he said.

Flaster's experience includes the office of Commons Trustee, 2002-present; vice president, Board of Trustees, 2003-present; secretary, Parking and Towing Task Force, 2001-02; president, Walden Board of Directors, Commons cluster, 2000-03; board member, Walden, 1999-present.

Flaster is employed as chief of Management Information Branch in the federal government's Office of Personnel Management. He graduated from the University of Virginia and also holds a master’s degree in administration from George Washington University.

Colette Sheldon

Ponds neighborhood trustee candidate

Colette Sheldon's goals include participation and constructively working with people in the community, with the other trustees, and with the Conservancy staff. She intends to remain mindful of the founding principles of the community while participating in decisions regarding the Ponds neighborhood and Burke Centre.

Sheldon has been a Burke Centre resident since 1990, in the Ponds neighborhood.

Past activities include Ponds neighborhood trustee, 2003; trustee liaison to the Wildlife Committee; trustee liaison to the MOMS Club. She assisted with 2003 Fall Festival, Spring Pond Cluster chair, 2000-02; Open Space Committee, 2000-02; Election Committee, 2001; Fall Festival Committee 2001-02; and the Burke Lake Road Widening Task Force, 2002-Jan. 2003.

Phil Pool

Write-in candidate for trustee at large

Phil Pool is a newcomer to an office in Burke Centre, but he's alarmed by the recent budget situation. With 25 years’ experience in the hotel industry, Pool hopes to bring that business experience to the operations in the Burke Centre community as well.

"I want to get us back on track financially," Pool said, pointing to an irresponsible operating budget procedure currently at Burke Centre.

For three years, the budget has experienced no increases, while the operating costs have gone up, he said.

"It wasn't managed well," Pool said.

Pool moved to Burke Centre in 1990 and has been loosely involved with the Oakland Park Cluster for 10 years. He is on the budget/finance task force that is currently working on the Burke Centre budget as well.

Pool is the general manager of the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Bethesda with a staff three times the size of the Burke Centre staff.

"In addition to focusing on the service to our guests, I am responsible for building and administrating the budget of the hotel and managing a staff of almost 100 employees," he stated.

Maria Rojtman

Oaks neighborhood trustee candidate

Maria Rojtman's objectives as the new Oaks trustee include continuing the enhancement and empowerment of cluster committees, promoting information and resource sharing among clusters and residents, and promoting community building across Burke Centre.

In December 1994 Rojtman and her husband moved from Baltimore to Burke.

She was raised in Columbia, Md., in a similar planned community. She was appointed as a board member, Salvation Army 2003-04; president, Salvation Army University View School PTA, 2002-04; Salvation Army UVS Hoe Down [Festival] Committee, 1999-2002.

Her professional experience includes her current position as a Policy, Budget, and Analyst with the U.S. Department of Education since 1992. Before that, Rojtman worked in land use and transportation planning.

Her Burke Centre activities include a position as Split Oak Cluster Committee, 2002-04; Fairview Elementary fund-raising, 2003; Brownie Troop 5683, 2002-04; Girl Scouts Council Nation’s Capital Association 54, 2003-04; organizer, Fairview Elementary Girl Scouts/Service Unit 54-14, 2003-04; sponsor organizer, Burke Centre Festival Committee, 2001.

She has a master’s in public administration with concentrations in quantitative methods and legal studies, as well as a bachelor’s in political science with concentration in mathematics from the University of Baltimore.