Reston Six candidates are currently running for three seats on the Reston Community Center’s Governing Board. A preference poll is currently being conducted through the first week in October.
The Board of Governors is appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to establish overall policy for the center, as well as budget and programming decisions.
The annual poll is meant to indicate to the Board of Supervisors which candidates are preferred by residents of Small Tax District Five. Once the ballots are counted, the three candidates with the most votes will be appointed by the Board of Supervisors.
*Beverly Cosham has served four terms on the RCC board, as well as nine terms with the Lorton Arts Foundation, three terms on the Fairfax Arts Council Advisory Board and one term on the Lorton Re-use Committee. A Reston resident since 1967, she is also a founding member of the Reston Chorale and the Reston Players.
She said her two main priorities are increasing fitness and wellness events for seniors and youth, and she says, “Reston deserves to have a performing arts venue. A space that not only showcases our performing arts, but offers an opportunity for our growing and diverse community to display the music and dance of their cultures on a more regular basis,” she said. “Groups including the Reston Chorale, the Reston Players and the Reston Orchestra seek a permanent performance space to present their art forms in optimum fashion. For example, we could not hold a performance of the chorale and the orchestra at [CenterStage].”
*Sridhar Ganesan is a 15-year resident of Reston. He is on the board of the Reston Citizens Association, and has served as the chair of the Reston Tennis Advisory Committee.
He has more than 25 years of international business experience as an entrepreneur and chief financial officer.
“I am running because I want to leverage my senior and operational level business experience to help RCC take a responsible leadership role in providing great cultural, leisure and enriching activities for children, adults and seniors without raising their financial burden,” he said.
William Keefe has been a member of the RCC board since 2008, and has served as a Reston Association board member, member of the Reston Parks and Recreation committee and Reston Planning and Zoning Committee.
He said he hopes to expand youth and senior programming at the center, as well as increase multi-lingual and multi-cultural programs.
“My theory is that we need to look toward 2019 and beyond, and work with those very special characteristics that make Reston, but with a population that’s going to be very different and will have a series of needs in the future,” he said. “We need to look forward to expanding the facilities to meet those needs.”
John Mendonça has lived in Reston since 1989, and currently serves as chairman and treasurer of the Reston Soccer Association. He is also a board member of Filmfest DC, a member of the Northern Virginia Technology Council and served for 11 years as president and treasurer of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.
He said he hopes to use his experience as a Certified Public Accountant to vet proposals such as a rec center that has been proposed, first at Baron Cameron Park, saying that after attending several meetings, he felt the board lacked appropriate financial analysis.
“RCC is considering building a new recreation center costing up to $33 million, which will be borne by the residents of Small Tax District Five,” he said. “RCC is currently running at a deficit of about a million dollars per year, and its reserves will be down to about $3 million at the end of FY2014. So, as an accountant I ask how can an entity that is currently losing money embark upon a new venture that’s going to cost $33 million plus debt service.”
Michelle Moyer is a 25-year resident of Reston. She has served as PTA treasurer, on the Fellowship Square Corporate board, her cluster board and is secretary of the Reston Master Swim Team.
She said she hopes to see the Reston Community Center respond to the area’s growth over the last few years with increased programming.
“I feel strongly that we need to expand the facilities to meet the growing needs of the community. This building opened in 1979. Since that time the Reston population has increased 64 percent. We simply have not kept pace. If Reston is going to continue to be a premier community we need to invest in expanding the infrastructure and enhance amenities, especially when it comes to fitness and recreation.”
*Tammi Petrine is a 37-year resident of Reston, and co-chair of Reston 2020, a research committee of the Reston Citizens Association. She is also a founding member of Reston for a Lifetime, and a member of the Reston Master Planing Task Force.
She says she is concerned about the rec center proposal, especially if it comes at a high cost to Restonians.
“I don’t think Restonians can afford to self-fund everything in Reston anymore. We self-fund the Reston Association with our dues, and we self-fund completely the Reston Community Center,” she said. “What I’m hearing from my work in other areas is that people are having a hard time making ends meet. To me it’s vital to protect our citizens, and not put anymore self-funding on them.”
The RCC Governing Board Candidates participated in a forum Wednesday, Sept. 18, which can be viewed online at www.rctv28.com.