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Fulkerson: Members Who Don’t Want to Submit Photos for Pool Passes Can Use IDs

by Dave Emke February 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 30 Comments

Lake Newport Pool/Credit: Mike CollinsIn an email to Reston Association directors last week, CEO Cate Fulkerson said a new policy requiring photos to be submitted with pool-pass applications is being altered.

A number of RA members have spelled out their concerns about providing photos, particularly of children, that would be stored in an online database to verify membership when using a pool. In response, RA will make exceptions to the requirement.

In the email, Fulkerson said RA is “absolutely sensitive” to residents’ concerns:

“For those who do not wish to have their photo on file, for example, due to custody-related matters or other concerns, we ask that they contact our Member Services Department so that we may assist them. Persons without a photo on file will be required to present a current state or other government-issued photo identification evidencing a physical address matching their household information each time they visit a facility.”

The new entrance system works similarly to that of a membership-based gym, Fulkerson said. Photos would not appear on the physical pass; rather, they would solely be on the WebTrac account accessible by staff members with scanning devices at the entrances to each facility. In her email, the CEO said only two pools will be equipped with the scanning technology this year; others will be upgraded “in the future.”

The photo requirement was added to the policy in the attempt to stop people from sharing their passes, Fulkerson said.

“Unfortunately in the past, we have had individuals give their pass to a neighbor or friend in lieu of purchasing their own,” she said in the email. “We believe [requiring photos] will better protect the value of our members’ assessments by improving the way in which we verify the identities of patrons using RA pools.”

Fulkerson said she plans to provide an overview of the new pass system during the March 23 meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors.

  • CE

    This policy disenfranchises me. Everyone knows how hard it is to get an ID.

  • RApool

    So my eight year old will be fine as long as she has her drivers license or passport?

    • cRAzy

      Your papers must be in order–or we will throw you over the wall!

      • Mike M

        No! Not back to Herndon!

  • flyingdonut

    Right, but they announce this on 2/27/17, one day before assessments are due. I would imagine that 95% of people who will be buying pool passes have already done so.

  • jak34230093

    What evidence is there of pool pass fraud? What is the cost/impact of that fraud?

    My in-laws or parents come to visit sometimes and I like them to be able to take my children to the pool. Previously I had on occasion ‘shared’ my passes instead (since you can’t get into the pool unless you are a member). Now, it won’t even be an option.

    Additionally, why are guest passes so expensive? Every member should get X total guest visits with their pool pass since the real cost to RA of me bringing 1-2 extra people with me to the pool 3-4 times per year is relatively low.

    • Guest Pass

      Further, guest passes are not discounted when you pay your RA dues early.

    • noodmik

      See above for evidence of pool pass fraud.

      • jak34230093

        I’ve lived in a ton of different kinds of housing. And in the best cases, amenities from the association should be available to the residents AND their guests. That our community association balks at us allowing guests to use the amenities that WE paid for is very frustrating.

        Clearly the system could be abused if unlimited guests are permitted and pass sharing affects that. Additional pool visitors lead to an increase in cost in maintenance. However, without any explanation of what the anticipated cost savings are due to the changes we don’t have any context for appreciating the benefits of this change.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    “The new entrance system works similarly to that of a membership-based gym, Fulkerson said.”
    That’s odd. The best subscribed gym in our area, the YMCA, doesn’t have pictures on their passes, and they don’t require a driver’s license at entry either.

    • They do take a picture of you when you become a member though.
      That being said, someone using a gym membership falsely is a bigger deal than using a pool pass.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        I don’t recall doing that but, of course, I joined the Y a dozen or more years ago.

        • Yeah, can’t remember how long that’s been done for. But when they swipe your membership card the picture comes up on their screen.

      • Nah

        “someone using a gym membership falsely is a bigger deal than using a pool pass”

        If the gym membership is paid up, and only one person can use the membership card at a time, I don’t see how it hurts them if you let someone else use your card.

        • In that case 20 or more people could share one gym pass as long as only one used it at a time. Don’t you see how that would be a problem for a gym?

          • Sam

            How is that any different that sharing a pool pass??

          • You aren’t paying monthly for a pool pass… it’s a one time cost.

  • John Farrell

    How much pool revenue has RA lost due to pool pass sharing?

    How much is this “gym pass” system going to cost RA?

    There better be a 10 to 1 ratio of revenue recovered versus cost or its yet another boondoggle that the RA staff got suckered into by a vendor.

    Where is the RA Board on this latest extravaganza?

    • 30yearsinreston

      RA’s IT vendor is fleecing us by persuading them to ‘automate’
      Since it is only installed at 2 pools, this will be a recurring revenue stream for them
      Has staff done a cost/benefit analysis ?
      The vendor has probably done one when it sold the project

    • Rational Reston

      Logic and RA are apparently mutually exclusive entities.

      Simple questions should be in the process like:
      “What’s the problem?”
      “How much is the problem costing us?”
      “How can we fix the problem?”
      “How much do solutions cost?”
      “Is the solution more expensive than the problem?”

      Again, this seems like RA was sold a solution without a problem. Not unexpected for an organization that spent $10k on half a dozen iPads.

  • John

    If I lend my pass to someone, that means I am not using the pool. I paid for use so why does it matter whether it is me or the person I lend to, using the pool?

    • Greg

      My thoughts exactly.

    • dbreston

      I completely agreel!

      I also like the idea of X guest passes per member that another commenter suggested…..I have two grown children, who are currently traveling in other countries, but will be back this summer and our home address will be their address for a month or so until they resettle. RA would not let me include them in my RA household without certain documents proving that they live with us. Their W2 forms sent to our address were not acceptable. RA said they need proof of their return flight to the U.S. (???). So….I’m questioning why our household can now only consist of 2 RA members, when in recent prior years, it was 4….I continue to pay the same amount for my RA dues afterall. Maybe each household should get up to four (or whatever number) members, and people with more than that should pay higher dues. We rarely if ever use the pool ourselves…and it’s probably unlikely that my grown kids will go to the pool…I just thought it would be nice if they had the option for my $692 in dues. Also, I fail to see how not letting members loan out their pool passes is protecting our assessments…..

      • 30yearsinreston

        It’s about paying for the Lake House

      • Eric Carr

        That’s silly. I can’t see any reason not to give you those passes. A guest pass system is a great idea too.

    • noodmik

      See above for more pool pass fraud.

      • JoeInReston

        “See above for more pool pass fraud”

        Are you referring to the article? It contains one mention:

        “Unfortunately in the past, we have had individuals give their pass to a neighbor or friend in lieu of purchasing their own,” she said in the email. “We believe [requiring photos] will better protect the value of our members’ assessments by improving the way in which we verify the identities of patrons using RA pools.”

        That does really expound on the problem.

        Are you referring to a particular comment? I can’t find any comment that fits the bill.

        Disqus allows sorting by newest, oldest, and most popular, so what may be “above” to one person is “below” to another person.

        Can you elaborate on the comment or article text that provides details on the pool pass fraud.

  • cRAzy

    The real reason for the policy change ostensibly to keep out “illegals” is, in fact, to drive DOWN pool use so RA can further cut pool hours and even close pools.

    But wait, I thought RA was an HOA?

    • Rational Reston

      “RA can further cut pool hours and even close pools”…..and continue to maintain vacant tennis courts to pristine standards.

  • Sam

    I’m more irritated that I have to create yet another login on WebTrac to purchase passes this year. Why the new system?


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