McLean Community Center Releases Vote Counts, Newcomer Top Vote-Getter

McLean Center Election

Laurelie Wallace, a graduate student and substitute teacher, led the field of candidates running for five seats on the McLean Community Center Board according to vote counts released by the board Sunday afternoon.

Robin Walker, head of the MCC Election Committee, released the  names of election winner Saturday night following the election at McLean Day. But she withheld the individual vote counts finally making them public late Sunday afternoon.

This is the second year in a row that a newcomer has run ahead of board incumbents in the community center elections.

First-time candidate Laurelie Wallace received 247 votes while  incumbents Susan Bourgeois, received 207 and Craig Richardson, who ran as a write-in candidate, received 65.

The contests for the board's two student representatives were the most hotly contested. In the contest for the McLean High seat Malika Nimmagadda defeated Craig McKenzie by six votes.

Drew Armstrong defeated Will Ferrer for the Langley High seat by 25 votes.

Walker said Saturday she was withholding the vote totals because, "The numbers will be made available after we notify all candidates. One candidate was not reachable this evening so we are waiting until tomorrow morning."

 Walker has refused to name the candidate or give any additional explanation.

Dranesville Supervisor John Foust, who oversees the board said:" They do an excellent job of timely announcing the winners. They don’t always announce the vote totals at same time they announce the winners. I assume this is to give them a chance to tell the candidates. I see no harm and have no problem with that.
"To be technically correct, they are not an elected board. They are appointed by the Board of Supervisors based on the results of the election. The Memorandum of Understanding provides that the Dranesville District Supervisor reports the election results to the Board of Supervisors, and the Board of Supervisors, “after determining that it is in the public interest, appoints those persons receiving the greatest number of votes to the Center Governing Board.”

Former Dranesville Supervisor Stu Mendelsohn said:" I do not recall it ever being an issue or how the results were announced while I was in office.  No one really cared what the results were except the candidates.  The MCC would get me the results over the weekend so I could act at the next BOS meeting, which always seemed to be the Monday after McLean Day.  We met on Mondays when I was on the BOS."

The MCC board contracts with the League of Women Voters to count the ballots Saturday evening at the end of McLean Day.

In 2011, then Elections committee chairman Susan Bourgeois,  did not release the vote counts until Monday morning. In 2010, Elections committee chairman Risa Sanders gave the public a total breakdown of the vote by candidate when she posted the winners' names.

The 11-member MCC board oversees the operation of the McLean Community Center, its $6 million budget and $12 million surplus.

Here are the results released to the public Sunday:

Adult Candidates:
Laurelie Wallace      247
Susan Bourgeois     207
Craig Richardson     65

Youth Candidates:
Malika Nimmagada  59
Craig Mckenzie        53

Drew Armstrong       57
Will Ferrer                35

Adult   Yes-220   No-33
Youth  Yes-60     No-28

Bendy Viragh May 21, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Congratulations, Laurelei. I trust you will help put an end to secret contract awards and secret deliberations. As residents of McLean, would like to know how our taxes are being used and spent by the Board.
Briney Daniel May 21, 2012 at 06:10 PM
How about a little analysis? Is Laurelei for more black box theaters or more facilities for kids to play sports and participate in other activities? This is the big issue. Where does she stand? Where does that put the board in terms of recreation v. fine arts?


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