Residents of Small Tax District 5 elected all four candidates backed by the Alliance for a Better Community to the Reston Community Center’s Board of Governors.
The ABC slate — Bill Bouie, Carol Ann Bradley, Colin Mills and William Penniman — made up four of the five candidates who ran in the race. Rod Koozmin, the only candidate who was not endorsed by ABC, lost by more than 400 votes.
ABC was eager to re-establish its local political might after last year’s election when four ABC-endorsed candidates, including two incumbents, were defeated in a surprising upset. In that race, a conservative slate, including three non-Reston residents, swept the election. In addition to issuing a bevy of new policies, the conservative-controlled board was responsible for holding governance hearings, which led to a reduction in the tax district boundaries, excluding residents with non-Reston addresses.
“After last year, I think [ABC] was on guard to make sure they didn’t see a repeat,” said Mills.
Now, the entire nine-member board has received support from ABC.
DURING THE CAMPAIGN, the four elected candidates agreed that communication with district residents needed to be improved.
“We, as a team, really had an opportunity to meet each other,” said Bradley, who received the most votes at 776. “We’re looking forward to supporting the community center and communicating with the community.” Bradley, a longtime resident, is a former principal of Terraset Elementary.
Bouie, the only incumbent, received the second highest vote tally at 717.
Mills, a Reston Citizens Association board member who was born and raised in Reston, received 680 votes. Political newcomer William Penniman received 661 votes. Board members serve a three-year term.
The board will soon face a politically-volatile situation when it is forced to decide whether the facility at Hunters Woods is closed for as long as six months for HVAC renovations.
“I’m going to look at all the information,” said Mills, who currently leans toward a solution that will finish the job fastest.
“But I would like to hear what the community has to say about this,” added Mills, who would prefer holding a public hearing if time allows.
The tax district boundaries also face another revision that could result in the removal of seven clusters or the equivalent of 687 taxable parcels.
Without consulting the RCC Board, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is holding a public hearing on Nov. 20 before making a decision. The proposed change could result in a revenue loss of $326,000.
WITHOUT AN ENDORSEMENT from ABC, Koozmin said some people saw his candidacy as a threat rather than a similar alternative. “It wasn’t as if I had some new agenda,” said Koozmin, a 17-year resident. “But I still think this is a great community to live and I wish the new board well in their tenure in office.”
The nine-member Board of Governors is responsible for establishing the community center’s policies, gathering public input on programming and services, and providing fiscal oversight of the center’s budget.
Every year in October, Reston residents and businesses vote in a preference poll, endorsing three candidates. This past summer, five members resigned. Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill) appointed the three next highest vote getters in last year’s poll to replace them. The shakeup resulted in four open slots this year.
This past Saturday, Oct. 21, the community center held a Community Polling Day, when ballots were available at the five village centers in Reston and at the Harris Teeter at the Spectrum.
This year’s turnout was 900. Turnout for the poll the past three years has exceeded 1,000 people.