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Votes

New Community Center Board Elected

By Meredith Billman-Mani

Six McLean residents have won seats on the Governing Board of the McLean Community Center, in one of the most well-represented elections in recent memory. The elections were held on May 15 at Lewinsville Park during McLean Day. Residents had 12 candidates to choose from.

Women were big winners this year, with only one man being elected. Three women have been certified as winners for the three-year, adult terms. Edwina Rogers received the most votes at 263, followed by Patricia Velander and Holly Clement.

Rogers said she would like to see the McLean Community Center “become one-stop shopping, mainly for new residents, where they can go there to find out about the groups in McLean.” She is active in McLean Project for the Arts, the New Dominion Women’s Club and a musical organization, all of which have ties to the Community Center. “I’d like to see the possibility of maybe enlarging the theater so maybe other groups can be housed there,” said Rogers.

Edward Eitches was elected to the two-year, adult term. He will fill the seat being vacated by resigned board member Teresa Rodriguez.

There were 13 write-in votes for the adult positions. This was not enough votes to tie any of the candidates. Eitches received 214 votes; the next candidate behind him had 196 votes.

Two local students, again both women, have been elected to serve on the board as youths. Emily Newman will represent the Langley High School area, and Esabel Khoury will represent the McLean High School area. They will serve on the board for just one year.

A total of 590 ballots were cast in the election. This figure includes absentee votes cast prior to the election date.

Bill Bersie, the chair of the board, said, “Men win, and women win. There have always been one or two [men on the board].”

The new members will take part in several major issues being addressed at the Community Center. Bersie said, “The board this year is going to have to discuss the feasibility study and adding on to the center.” The feasibility/ site evalutiion study, done in 2002, looked into the possibilities of expanding the building.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors formally approved the election results on May 24, according to Linda Lammerson at Dranesville District supervisor Joan DuBois’ office. “They will be official when they are sworn in on [May 26]. They are technically an appointee of the Board of Supervisors, which is why we went through this motion,” said Lammerson.

The new members will be sworn in on Wednesday, May 26, at the incoming Governing Board meeting. That event is preceded by the outgoing Governing Board meeting. Both will be open to the public and held at the McLean Community Center.