by RCA President Colin Mills

Happy New Year, Reston! 
As I enjoy one of my favorite New Year’s traditions, the NHL’s annual outdoor
game, I will continue a tradition of my own by sharing my resolutions for RCA
in 2014. 
over last
year’s resolutions
, we hit on some and missed on others.  We succeeded
in revamping our
and relaunching our newsletter, and John Lovaas did officially turn
the candidate forums over to RCA this year. 
In other areas, like the Master Plan Task Force, we didn’t have as much
success as we would have liked.  Despite that, 2013 was an extremely busy
year for RCA, and we wound up dealing with a variety of issues that we never
knew would come up when the year started. 
Who knew on New Year’s Day 2013 that we’d be fighting to protect our County
libraries, or debating the fate of a parcel of trees at Lake Anne, or
considering whether or not to build a new RCC rec center?
looks to be another big year in Reston, as we prepare to celebrate Bob Simon’s
100th birthday and our community’s 50th anniversary.  We’re no longer a New Town; we’re a mature
community.  And 2014 will inaugurate two
things that will likely transform Reston’s future: the Silver Line and the
redevelopment of Lake Anne.  The former
will spur the growth of new neighborhoods around the stations; the latter will
spark the rebirth of Reston’s oldest areas. 
Both hold great promise and excitement, but also the possibility of disruptive
changes for our community and our citizens.
Like all of Reston’s leading
organizations, RCA will be looking toward the future in 2014.  The actions we take now will set the stage
for Reston’s next 50 years.  With that in
mind, these are my forward-looking resolutions for RCA in 2014:

* Advocate
for a citizen-driven process for Phase 2 of the Master Plan Task Force
Phase 1 of the Task Force is in the books, and the plan recommendations for the
station areas will soon be approved.  In
2014, we will turn our attention to the rest of Reston, most notably the
village centers.  The planning we do in this
phase will shape what our community looks like in the decades to come.
That’s why it’s essential for
Phase 2 to be led by the citizens of Reston, and our vision for the future.  We’ll need to solicit widespread citizen
input, and integrate that input into the decisions we make.  I’d like to see RCA work with RA, ARCH, and
other citizen organizations to ensure that Phase 2 reflects the vision of the
citizens, possibly using the Lake Anne redevelopment process as a model.
* Work
with other Reston organizations to figure out our infrastructure priorities.
As the Silver Line comes online and development begins around the stations, the
new growth will bring challenges for Reston. 
We’ll need to address the traffic going to, from, and around the
stations.  We’ll need to provide parks
and recreation facilities for our new citizens. 
We’ll to need to preserve Reston’s open space and natural beauty.
All of these needs, and
others, will cost money.  We will be getting
some help, in the form of developer proffers as well as County and state
spending.  But how will we ensure that
money is spent on the priorities that matter most to Reston?  The best way to do this, as I’ve said
, is to create an implementation body similar to Tysons’ “keeper of
the vision.”  Failing that, I’d like to
see RCA join with other groups to hold community forums aimed at determining our
citizens’ priorities, so that our elected officials know what to push for.
* Find
ways to honor the great Restonians who helped build our community.
I wrote about the idea of creating
memorials to our notable citizens
last month, and the response to that
column has been tremendous.  Lots of
longtime Restonians have written to me with their suggestions about who should
be honored.  The idea has clearly struck
a chord with the community, so I’d like to make it happen in 2014.
I’d like to pull together a
group to explore the question of which Restonians should be honored, and how
best to do it.  Perhaps we’ll look to put
up plaques in prominent locations, or to rename streets or schools.  However we go about it, it will be a great
way to help new Restonians connect with our community’s history.
* Take
on at least one new issue.
  This is a carryover goal from
last year.  As I mentioned earlier, a lot
of unexpected issues rose up quickly in 2013, and we did a good job reacting to
them.  But I’d like to see RCA establish
a committee to look in depth at one of the many issues that will be facing our
community in the coming years.  In order
to take on another issue, though, we’ll need to…
* Recruit
new volunteers for RCA.
  We have an extremely hard-working
group of Board members and volunteers.  It’s
amazing how much we’ve been able to accomplish together.  However, with all the issues and activities
we have going on, our folks are at capacity. 
If we’re going to do even more for the citizens of Reston, we’re going
to need some new recruits.  For people
who care about Reston’s future and want to have a hand in shaping it, RCA
offers great opportunities to get involved. 
And today’s volunteers might well become tomorrow’s Board members.  I expect that volunteer recruitment will be a
top priority for RCA in 2014.

you can see, there’s no shortage of priorities for us in the coming year.  And if 2013 is any indication, we’ll also be
taking on a passel of issues we haven’t even imagined yet.  But we’ll be
working hard to do right by our citizens in 2014.  I wish all of you good luck, good health, and
good times as we get started on Reston’s next 50 years.