I've lived here thirty years, too, and Reston is no longer the innovative, exciting place I remember. The quasi-government organizations which worked for us when Reston was smaller no longer do. No-one is in charge. Often, no-one has the authority to do what needs to be done. Other times, what Reston needs is not what the County needs, so it can't be done just for us. Some tasks are unreasonably difficult and never will get done under our present structure.
An examples of each of these:
1. No-one is in charge--our response as a community to Hurricane Katrina was muted, with each group passing responsibility to the others. In Herndon, the town council got a major effort underway without delay.
2. No-one has the authority to do what needs to be done, so it can't be done. No-one had the authority to hold hearings on the impact of Metro coming, so Metro happened to us without consultation. Herndon was consulted, and still has a seat at the table. This is so even though Metro cuts through the middle of Reston but only grazes the edge of Herndon, a town.
3. What Reston needs is not what the whole County needs, so it WON'T be done. Reston needs wireless internet, like Alexandria has. I think Reston already has the infrastructure, so it should be easy. But County officials won't play favorites, they have to offer services for the entire County or not at all.
4. Unreasonably difficult task. Pathways in some places are needed, but the authorities have been unable to provide them despite twenty years of trying, because of conflicting standards. One such is on Wiehle Avenue on the synagogue side of Wiehle, at the intersection with Baron Cameron. A town would just do it.
Wanting self-determination is not to denigrate Supervisor Hudgins, or any of her predecessors. It's the system at fault, not the players. In fact it seems to me that Cathy Hudgins has tried to act like a mayor, filling in the unmet need for community input in Reston, by holding charettes on this and charettes on that. But she's limited by not representing only Reston and by having to work with officials who represent the rest of the County, whose interests don't always coincide with Reston's.
Marion Stillson (disclosure: I'm an RCA Board member).