Letter: MCC Board Election Should Not Involve Political Parties | Letters to the Editor

Editor: We, the undersigned, are writing in response to recent Sun Gazette coverage of the McLean Community Center. At some point, we have all been involved in the community spirit represented by the McLean Community Center by serving in its leadership and/or that of its user groups.

Dozens of civic, religious and cultural associations, led by the McLean Citizens Association, worked to lobby, develop operational and governance plans, raise funds and purchase land for the construction of the center, which opened. in 1975.

The Center’s 1971 and 1984 MOUs are the result of successful defenses by the McLean community of the legitimate governance and operating prerogatives that belong to the Center and the Center alone. The McLean Community Center was built for the greater McLean area and is funded by a special tax district. The center should remain governed by citizens of the tax district who support it.

Reopening the 1984 memorandum of understanding is simply not a risk worth taking. Rewriting the long-standing mission statement, as recently proposed by a strategic planning consultant, would also be inadvisable.

Additionally, the McLean Community Center has always strived to be a non-partisan institution. The center’s own policies currently state this, and its election rules prohibit candidates from running with partisan affiliations. Unfortunately, recent reports in the Washington Post and a variety of emails in circulation demonstrate that several of this year’s nominees for the board were recruited by and are posing as members of a political organization.

It’s troubling. If candidates do not play by the rules when campaigning, how can residents be sure they will follow regulations, policies, and laws once elected?

The Board of Directors should be made up of open-minded individuals who strive to fairly represent and serve our diverse community. If the candidates are beholden to a political program, it seems unlikely that they will govern with a broad mind for such a community.

The question facing the McLean community as a whole now is: Should political parties oversee the McLean Civic and Cultural Center? The undersigned will support those who play by the rules by remaining non-partisan and oppose the reopening of the MOU.

Joanne Berkson, Susan Bourgeois, Dennis Findley, Mary Anne Hampton, Carole Herrick, Marshal Hyman, Rob Jackson, Paul Kohlenberger, Tom Mangan, Megan Markwart, Terri Markwart, Nancy Matisoff, Ryan McElveen, Merrily Pierce, Winnie Pizzano, Craig Richardson, George Sachs, Deborah Staats Sanders, Lathan Turner, Laurelie Wallace, Desi Woltman, William Glenn Yarborough, Jr., McLean

[Sun Gazette Newspapers provides content to, but otherwise is unaffiliated with, InsideNoVa or Rappahannock Media LLC.]

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