This post by RCA President Colin Mills was originally published in Reston Patch.
And we’re back! As you may have read, I have been re-elected for another year as President of RCA. Thank you to everyone who voted for me; I’m grateful for your support. I’m really excited to work with the Board as we look for ways to stand up and speak up for the citizens of Reston.
Now that the election is over, I’ve rolled up my sleeves and gone right back to work! As I’ve mentioned before, this year figures to be one of the most exciting and important in Reston’s history. As we close in on our community’s 50th anniversary, we’re going to be making important decisions about planning, transportation, growth, affordable housing, open space, recreation, and the environment.
These decisions will shape Reston for generations to come. Get them right, and Reston will be well-positioned to remain a unique and special community, updated for the 21st century. Get them wrong, and we risk damaging our quality of life. RCA intends to play an active role in all of those decisions, and I’m thrilled to be leading the way.
With that in mind, I’m looking ahead and providing you with an idea of what RCA will be up to in the coming year. I’m also taking a look at what you can expect from my blog here in the year ahead.
RCA is already hard at work on several of the issues that will be playing out over the next year. We’ve got a committee that’s exploring the RCC rec center proposal, and analyzing the alternatives to ensure that we can meet the community’s recreation needs in a way that makes the best possible use of our land and our money. We’ve released our comments on the latest iteration of the proposed Comprehensive Plan revisions for Reston, and we’ll continue working to ensure that the plan reflects the priorities and values of our citizens.
The Reston National golf course hearing is (allegedly) just around the corner, and we’ll continue to work with Rescue Reston, RA, and other civic groups to protect our open space. Connie Hartke, who is a member of the Rescue Reston board, has just joined the RCA Board as well, which will allow our organizations to work together even more effectively.
Our Reston Accessibility Committee is planning to complete some new assessments in the coming year, ensuring that more of Reston will be accessible to people with disabilities. And we’ll soon be turning our attention to a couple of proud RCA traditions: holding candidate forums for elected offices that represent Reston, and deciding upon our Citizen of the Year.
Those are some of the things we’ll be working on in the year ahead. What else will we tackle? I don’t yet know. One of the things that’s both fun and challenging about RCA’s work is that we shift our focus as the community’s priorities change. That means that new matters are arising all the time. The issue that’s our primary focus in six months might be something that’s not even on our radar screen today. And given the pace of change in Reston recently, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if that’s the case. For RCA and Reston alike, the one thing you can count on is change. Fortunately, we’ve got a Board that is smart, dedicated, and flexible enough to adapt to whatever comes our way.
As for my blog, I’ll continue to keep you informed on RCA’s projects and activities. That’s the primary purpose of this blog, and that will continue in the coming year. However, there are a couple of themes that I’d like to pick up on more frequently this year.
One thing I plan to do more is to provide updates and summaries on some of Reston’s hottest issues. We all have busy lives, and it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on in our community. (Believe me, I know.) And a lot of these issues are complex and not easy to understand right away.
Given that, I think people would appreciate a clear, concise, readable summary of an issue and the different viewpoints on it. RCA’s role is not only to advocate for the citizens, but to keep them informed on what’s happening. I plan to do more of that this year.
Also, I’ve received many positive comments on my historical posts, and I’d like to do some more of those. I’ll be talking about RCA’s history, certainly, but Reston’s history as well. There are plenty of Restonians who have lived here longer than I have, but as someone who grew up here and chose to stay, I think I have a perspective on our community and its history that not a lot of people share. And I’ll plan to share that perspective from time to time.
So that’s what I have planned. What about you? What issues do you believe RCA should be focused on? Are there subjects you’d especially like to see me discuss in the blog? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. And I look forward to sharing another year together.