Sometimes, you’re not realizing a connection exists between two ideas until you see the thread of history that connects them. A half-century ago, Robert Simon created Reston based upon seven goals.
No. 6 says, “That beauty -- structural and natural -- is a necessity of the good life and should be fostered.”
For me, that means that we must preserve and invest in the infrastructure already in our community. That should be our first priority and our goal for the community.
The second idea came last year when the Reston Association Board of Directors developed a new five-year strategic plan. Take a moment and reflect upon this one area of focus and goal.
“Sustainability & Community Viability: To effectively manage all resources, resulting a in a sustainable and viable community.”
It sounds a great deal like Mr. Simon’s goal number six. He refers to our resources – structural and natural – as “beauty.” And they are.
Protecting and investing in the infrastructure and assets already in the community should be the first priority of the Reston Association. You may challenge this idea by saying that it does not provide a perspective for the future. After all, merely preserving our facilities does not address the advent of more people, cars and development already on the way.
However, the question is whether our current facilities and resources are capable of meeting the needs and expectations of future Restonians. By investing in what we already have, we recognize that we are making certain that we have a solid foundation upon which to build the future.
Having that sort “eye on the past” helped the board last year when we worked to develop the five-year strategic plan. Mr. Simon’s goals provided the foundation upon which we molded this “roadmap.” The plan is now our vehicle for governance. It will also help us leverage resources and guide our priorities when the time arrives next year to plan the association budget.
That is not to say that we cannot grow or divert from the strategic plan. When we created it, we deliberately wanted the plan to be agile enough so that the community could take advantage of new opportunities that may come along.
To do this, the association needs to be ready. Our current assets need to be in tip-top shape. We need to have the staff and internal resources needed to achieve our goals. The leadership needs to be ready to create new partnerships and properly leverage our current partners as well.
As new people and new development arrive in Reston, they may have different needs and Reston Association will have the opportunity to make these new neighbors feel they can be a part of the community—if we have taken the time now to keep Reston viable. This will ensure that our community thrives and prospers – the way Mr. Simon envisioned.