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August 21,1998

Community Organization Relationships Committee Final Report

Introduction:

The committee�s overriding consideration was to foster unity within the community. Furthermore the committee�s recommendations are intended to be fully compatible with Reston achieving Town status in the 21st Century should the community move in that direction

The committee met nearly every Thursday morning from its inception through July 1998. The entire committee considered, discussed and approved each of the recommendations. The Matrix (Appendix A) depicting organizations and the services they provide was developed by Donn Dears, Karl Ingebritsen and Don Griffith.

The original list of Reston organizations was distributed at a full task force meeting with a request for the leaders of these organizations to contact the committee. A similar request was made during the televised Y2000 reports over Jones Cable. A letter (Appendix B) was sent to organizations for whom mailing addresses were available. In addition, Don Griffith personally contacted as many organizations in Reston as possible to be certain they were included in the matrix. If any Reston organization has been omitted from the matrix it was not due to lack of effort by the committee.

Additional research on various topics was conducted by Arthur Hill and Bob Howard.

 Observations:

All of the committee�s recommendations were made with a twenty year horizon in mind. There is no expectation that all of these recommendations would be implemented immediately�Rather it is the committee�s view that some of these recommendations will require considerable follow through and effort to have them implemented within the next twenty years. Some recommendations depend on the cooperation of organizations external to Reston (or that encompass areas greater than Reston). For example:

  • Having Reston contained within a single Supervisory District requires the cooperation of those responsible for redistricting after the year 2000 census. (See Appendix C). Currently approximately 300 residences fall outside the Hunter Mill District (in the Dranesville District). It would be helpful if they were included within the current Hunter Mill District. Of equal concern is that the redistricting could result in more residences being sliced away from Reston. This would be divisive and further complicate the implementation of community programs or the resolution of issues affecting the community.
  • Establishing a Reston Pyramid requires the cooperation of the School Board. The committee made this recommendation to foster Reston as a community. Having a Reston Pyramid would facilitate Reston recreation programs, communications with Reston families and foster a sense community.
  • Establishing a single VDOT administrative area for Reston requires the cooperation of VDOT. This recommendation was made to help ensure that roads and roadsides would be maintained uniformly throughout Reston. It also would simplify communications between the Reston Association and VDOT and result in higher quality maintenance by eliminating voids between RA maintained areas (including clusters) and VDOT maintained areas. Similar benefits would accrue to areas outside the boundaries of the Reston Association, such as the Town Center District, Deepwood and Stratton Woods.

    Goal:

    "To define an efficient interrelationship among organizations serving Reston so as to enhance the delivery of services as desired by the residents and be viable with State and County."

    Objectives:

    1. Establish a group working in concert with the Supervisor�s office to monitor the implementation of the Y2000 task force�s goals. To ensure maximum compatibility and integration with ongoing activities this group should include the Executive Directors of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Reston Association, Reston Interfaith and the Reston Community Center. These organizations have the potential to provide administrative support for this group.
      1. Recommend that the Boards of Directors of these four organizations be briefed by the Reston Y2000 task force on its report to facilitate a smooth transition to the implementation phase.
      2. Suggest that there be an annual report to the community on the progress being made toward implementing the task force�s report.
    2. Establish an advocacy group for Reston with representatives from the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, the Reston Association, LINK, RCA and others who can actively promote Reston at local, regional and international meetings, conferences, conventions and trade shows. The objectives of this group are :
      1. To foster Reston as an internationally renowned location for high technology businesses while, indirectly, promoting the property values of those who live in Reston, and
      2. To be an advocate for Reston before governmental bodies, agencies and commissions to enhance Reston�s stature among these bodies and to promote Reston�s interests.
    3. Advance Reston as a unified community. The objectives for achieving this goal are :
      1. Have Reston contained within a single Supervisory District. Currently only a few hundred residences fall outside the Hunter Mill District (and are located in the Dranesville District). The advent of a new census in the year 2000 provides an opportunity to achieve this goal. Also try to achieve similar objective for Virginia Senator and Delegate districts.
      2. Establish a Reston Pyramid so that all children living in Reston attend Reston schools and participate in Reston sports and after school activities. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, South Lakes High School is under populated by approximately 600 students.
      3. Have VDOT establish a single administrative area for Reston thereby eliminating the differences that now occur between VDOT activities in North and South Reston. These differences are especially apparent with the maintenance of medians and roadsides.
      4. Ensure common media access for all Reston residents.
      5. Unify the disparate organizations representing Reston residents. Promote a common voice wherever possible. Without unity, effective action and governance is undermined and a sense that the community is disjointed can persist. As first steps in this effort:
        1. Simplify, clarify and redefine the election process for representative organizations in Reston, and specifically recommend that RCC develop a mail ballot such as used by RA.
        2. Increase participation to at least 50% of eligible voters in local elections. Encourage the involvement of GRCC, Rotary, Reston schools and others in this effort.
        3. Expand relationships between the Reston Town Center (its management and residents) and other community organizations. As a first step recommend that RA�s Cluster Information Exchange Committee invite Town Center Clusters to participate.
      6. The Reston Association should facilitate the establishment of a Joint Commission for Recreation Services (i.e., Reston Sports council). The group could also include the Reston Community Center, Reston schools, Fairfax County Park Commission and other organizations active in the delivery of sports activities. This group would work toward improving the utilization of existing sports facilities while eliminating overlap in service delivery; identify opportunities for new facilities in or around Reston; and work to address new activities such as skate boarding and cricket.
    4. Establish a central information source for Reston. Such a resource could help eliminate conflicts in scheduling and also improve communications between all organizations and members of the community. The objectives for achieving this goal are:
      1. Establish a web site and phone hotline to post activities that are scheduled to take place throughout Reston. This effort requires funding for the web site (i.e., host server and ISP), administering the web site (i.e., adding new events and updating information) and for establishing a central contact person to receive information from all the organizations in Reston.
      2. Publish and maintain a matrix of services provided by community organizations.
    5. Encourage participation by businesses, individual citizens and community organizations to enhance the delivery of services in Reston. The objectives for achieving this goal are:
      1. Identify gaps in services (such as pathways and youth services) and organize to obtain the necessary funding or community participation to close the gaps. Programs such as Adopt-a-Path could be used for this purpose.

    Conclusions & Recommendation:

    Implementation of these objectives should help unify the community and foster a sense of community as well as pride in the community.

    To ensure that the entire Task Force 2000�s work goes forward it is recommended that this committee�s Objective 1 be implemented. To effect this implementation it is recommended that the Community Organization Relationships Committee be tasked to develop a plan for transitioning to the implementation phase.


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