Reston residents had their first opportunity to meet with this year's candidates for the four open Reston Association director seats. Four of the six candidates participated in Saturday's forum, at which they supported preserving and improving Reston's recreational facilities and environment.
A candidate for the at-large seat, Joe Leighton — RA director from 2000 to 2006 — said his goal was to keep all 15 pools on RA property open. "People don't want destination pools, they want neighborhood pools," said Leighton. He said he had a friend who has not used a pool in 20 years, but wants to keep the pool in his neighborhood open, because it raises his home assessment value. More than keeping the 15 Reston pools open, Leighton wants to get some of them heated in order to increase attendance at them.
Leighton's opponent, Jane Wong, said she wanted to be a part of an effort to introduce an indoor tennis court to Reston. "And after that a skateboard park," added Wong.
Frank Lynch, the unopposed candidate for the North Point seat, said Reston's recreational facilities make for one of the most appealing aspects of living in Reston. He said that pools, fields and courts in Reston enhance the community's neighborhood feel, and he would like to preserve that feeling. "The RA budget is heavily tilted to Parks and Recreation, and I don't want to see that change," said Lynch.
While the other three candidates at Saturday's forum discussed the need to preserve Reston's recreational facilities, James Burton, a Hunters Woods/Dogwood candidate, expressed concern for Reston's environment. "One of my goals is to preserve Reston's beauty," said Burton. One way to approach the environmental issues is to ensure balanced growth for Reston. An issue that needs to be watched closely is the question of amending the Planned Residential Community ordinance that governs most of Reston's residential neighborhoods. Burton said increase in density might cause additional traffic problems, which would generate more pollution. Also, increased density could mean increased runoff of water into Reston's streams.
Reston resident and member of the RA Election Committee, Sam Stalcup, said his conversations with the candidates on Saturday led him to conclude there are three main issues in Reston. They are keeping the pools open, incorporation of Reston into a town and the coming of metro to Reston and the impact it might have on the community.