On Wednesday evening, the six candidates in the Reston Community Center's 2011 Preference Poll will take to the CentreStage to outline what they would bring to the Board of Governors.
Candidate Rod Koozmin wants to bring a canoe on stage, and is miffed that executive director Leila Gordon has told him "no."
Koozmin says he wants to bring the boat because he hand made it in RCC's woodshop. The woodshop - expanding hours, availability and programming- is the central focus of Koozmin's campaign.
"I don't think bringing your canoe will work," Gordon wrote to Koozmin in an email obtained by Patch. "We have another candidate who builds things in the shop, and if you bring your canoe he should be able to bring his work, so I think it is best to just restrict this to the physical presence of the candidates."
Koozmin's response to Gordon: "The campaign and the forum is not about you. It's about the Reston Community Center and the citizens of Reston. One of the reasons I am running for the board is because I am not happy about how one person, you, can arbitrarily decide on everything that goes on in the RCC. The Reston Community Center is for everyone in the fifth tax district."
Gordon says the restriction on what candidates may bring onstage with them is based upon the logistical considerations of providing a forum for six candidates and the moderator of the forum in the CenterStage. A canoe would block aisles and could infringe on other candidate's rights, she said.
'I don't have anything personally against him or his hobby," said Gordon. "The unfortunate reality is that there is no practical way to incorporate a full-size canoe in a discussion forum about the RCC and its role in the community that would be fair to the other five candidates taking part."
Koozmin, who operates a knife sharpening business in Reston and has in the past run for a seat on the Reston Association Board of Directors, said in his most recent email to Gordon he still does not agree and is likely to bring the canoe anyway.
"It will not block aisles but will sit with me in front of me on the table (crosswise) just as others might have papers or whatever," he wrote.
"I have had the feeling that my canoe is as important and appropriate to me in explaining my candidacy and goals as papers might be to others and may want it with me during the forum. I urge you to ask your staff to be willing and lend a hand just by holding the doors open as I bring in my canoe (if I do decide to bring it in)."