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    Founder's Day as Reston Turns 50

I am in my thirty-third year of service representing the 36th District in the Virginia House of Delegates. I am a retired teacher and school administrator, having been employed by the Fairfax County Public Schools for nearly 30 years. Serving as your delegate is now my full-time focus.

This website is intended to assist us in communicating with each other. I hope that you will subscribe to my electronic newsletter, Virginia e-News, that is emailed every Wednesday. Each week I share my thoughts on a pressing issue or human interest item in the form of a commentary. Read this week’s commentary below. In the newsletter you’ll also find a bulletin board of local information and a calendar of events happening in our community.

Please let me hear from you on your needs and interests. I am honored to represent you and here to serve you as effectively as I can.

Ken Plum.

Delegate Ken Plum’s Commentary

Reston at 50

April 16, 2014

A cake at one of many Founder's Day celebrations marking Reston's 50th anniversary and the 100th birthday of founder Robert E. Simon.

A cake at one of many Founder’s Day celebrations marking Reston’s 50th anniversary and the 100th birthday of founder Robert E. Simon.

Although President Barack Obama did not come to Reston’s 50th anniversary celebration as President Lyndon Johnson had done at its dedication in 1964, he did send a letter of congratulations to the community’s founder Robert E. Simon. Not that Founder’s Day was short of dignitaries: Governor Terry McAuliffe spoke and presented a proclamation; Senator Tim Kaine spoke at the event as did Congressman Gerry Connolly who presented a resolution; not to be outdone, Senator Janet Howell and I presented a joint resolution as did Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova and Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. The occasion was doubly momentous with Robert E. Simon celebrating his 100th birthday a few days later. Congratulations went to Bob Simon for his vision for the community and for his leadership and tenacity in making it happen as well as to the community members who shared the vision and helped to make it a reality over the decades. Although slow in getting started by some business standards, Reston is now recognized as the most successful of planned communities and sets the standard for others. More established cities and communities have their “tower center” with mixed-use development, walkability and plaza, attempting to emulate the success that Reston has found in its recent decades.

Reston is about more than urban design although anyone who studied the subject in college knows about Reston. There are many intangibles that make the community special, and many of them were brought about by Bob Simon’s principles upon which he developed the community. As Senator Tim Kaine indicated in his remarks, Reston had an open housing policy before federal law required it to. A recent intergenerational community award demonstrates that the Simon vision of a place to live, work and play for all ages has been achieved. An evening at the Best of Reston program like the one last week gives you a strong sense of the community that exists with an effective partnership between the business and non-profit sectors.

There is a strong sense that Reston has come of age. A significant part of the program time at Founder’s Day was spent on a presentation about the redevelopment of Lake Anne Village Center, the historic heart of Reston. The basic concept of the center will be maintained but expanded to accommodate more people and to ensure its economic viability. The soon-to-open Wiehle Avenue station on the Silver Line will be followed in the next four years with two more stations on the Metro system to serve the community. The recently-adopted Reston Master Plan takes into account the transit-oriented development that can take place around these transit hubs. In keeping with the Reston spirit, the Wiehle Station has the largest bicycle facility of any station on the Metro system.

Reston is built on a solid vision–strong in human spirit and economically successful. I am proud to call it home.


For previous commentaries, visit the Virginia e-News archives.