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Op-Ed: Inside RA’s Budget Process

by RestonNow.com — August 28, 2015 at 3:00 pm 8 Comments

Ellen Graves/Credit: RA This is an op-ed by Reston Association President Ellen Graves. It does not represent the opinion of Reston Now. Graves will be providing periodic updates as the 2016-17 Budget process continues this fall.

Over the next few months, I will be keeping Reston Association members updated on the status of the association’s 2016-2017 budget development process through a series of blog posts on the RA website.

The RA board of directors and RA staff conducted the first in a series of budget work sessions Monday, Aug. 24, and they will meet frequently throughout the fall to finalize an operating and capital expense budget and to set the new 2016 assessment fee. Following each work session, I will share the latest information from that budget session.

During the Aug. 24 work session, board members reviewed the first draft of the budget developed by RA staff. Board members are closely reviewing all aspects of the budget and have requested additional information from the staff on pool and tennis facility operating costs and utilization, costs associated with mowing and maintaining roadway medians, assessment fee comparisons with other area homeowner associations, budget details on the Pony Barn project and a list of opportunities creating greater efficiency and cost savings within the association.

Board members were also reassured by RA CEO Cate Fulkerson that no operating or facilities renovation costs associated with the recent acquisition of Tetra property purchase are in the 2016 or 2017 budgets.

As your board, we take the fiduciary responsibility you entrust in us as our No. 1 priority. You have my assurance that the board will thoroughly review all aspects of both the operating and capital budgets before setting the 2016 assessment fee.

The board is planning another work session in early September and like all board meetings, the work sessions are open to members. Once the next budget work session is scheduled, it will be posted on the RA website.

  • Henry Rearden

    If the board actually wanted to work with it’s constituents you would have never squandered so much money away for the TETRA project. But then again, when it’s not YOUR money, I guess it doesn’t matter.

    For all the money that goes to the association, so much is wasted on trivial matters.

  • Greg

    Who reads the RA blog? Not even a link to your blog? #FAIL

    • cRAzy

      DON’T go there! You can find nothing of value of the RA blog (despite having paid over $100K to refresh it this year–talk about “fiduciary responsibility”) and anything you do find will be useless, out of date, non-responsive, etc.

  • John Higgins

    Agree that a link would be useful. It took some digging, but I believe the “blog” referred to by Ellen is the members’ comment section of the Budget Work Session page on their site. I’m sure any constructive comments will be welcome and useful.

    http://reston.enterprise.localist.com/event/board_budget_work_session_pt_2

  • Rational Reston

    “we take the fiduciary responsibility you entrust in us as our No. 1 priority”

    So funny!

    • Henry Rearden

      Funny or sad? You decide.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Let’s be honest here, Ms. Graves. I entrust my money with RA because the only other choices would cost me tens of thousands of dollars.

  • Sports Fan

    Do away with the tennis program which costs over $1m a year.
    Provide the courts ( seeing as they are already built) and have a volunteer community organization run the program. This is the way baseball/softball and soccer and football are run.
    Why should my fees sponsor one sport over another.

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