Learning from 'ResTOWN in 2006'

Learning from 'ResTOWN in 2006'

RCA has last board meeting of the year on Monday.

While numerous bills and policy issues will be discussed and voted on during Virginia’s 2006 legislative session, which begins in January, the incorporation of Reston won’t be one of them.

For about two years, the Reston Citizens Association has led an ambitious effort to help Reston become a town, dubbed at the beginning of the year as “Restown in 2006.”

But last November, the group’s plan for a 2006 town status referendum stalled indefinitely when Reston’s county and state representatives refused to back the effort.

Despite the setback, RCA board members are unfazed. They’re simply organizing for another push in 2007 — one they say that will be aided by experience.

On Monday, Dec. 19, RCA is getting a jump on the schedule, having its last board meeting of 2005 to coordinate its 2006 efforts. “We will work on a revised schedule for ResTOWN 2007,” said Mike Corrigan, RCA president.

ONE POSSIBLE timetable, proposed by Corrigan, will include community meetings on various community issues early in the year, so by April the group may begin having community meetings on a revised town proposal. “Then, no later than June, we go to Supervisor [Cathy] Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) with a revised proposal for negotiation with the county,” said Corrigan, further outlining his proposed schedule. “The second half of the year, we pursue the county discussions actively, and obtain the support that our elected officials need to carry the proposal forward."

While the board will make formal decisions about how to proceed at Monday’s meeting, its efforts in 2006 will be strengthened after having learned the process in 2005, said Corrigan.

“One major way is getting started on discussions with the county earlier,” said Corrigan. “We also want to focus the discussion on the fact that we are asking for a referendum on town status. We are not asking the elected officials if they are in favor of a town or not — we are asking if they will allow a referendum of the people of Reston to decide town status.” Arguments for and against a town should be made in the period leading up to a referendum, said Corrigan.

RCA will also look to fill its board Monday. Gary Lee Thomas may be considered to fill the North Point vacancy at the meeting.

“Gary is a South Lakes resident, but the board agreed at the last meeting to consider filling vacancies from out of the district, which is permitted by the by-laws,” said Corrigan.