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Six Candidates for RA Board At-Large Seat Face Community Questions in Panel

by Dave Emke — March 10, 2017 at 2:45 pm 70 Comments

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A half-dozen residents have thrown their hats in the ring for an At-Large seat on the Reston Association Board of Directors, and they faced the community Thursday in a candidate forum at RA headquarters.

Roberto Anguizola, Eric Carr, Mike Collins, Charles Dorfeuille, Ven Iyer and HeidiAnne Werner are all vying for the three-year term on the board. The forum provided them an opportunity to tout their abilities, as well as their goals if they should be elected.

mikecollinsWhen contemplating the 2018-19 Reston Association budget, which will be approved later this year, candidates said there is a wide number of factors that must be considered. Collins, who was an RA board member from 2010-2013, said it is important for the board to get back to fundamentals.

“We’re not doing the very basic thing we have to do, and that’s maintaining our facilities to the best of our ability,” he said. “That’s going to require laser-like focus by the board, they are going to have to be intimately familiar with our operations, and they have to just say no.”

Dorfeuille, an eight-year resident and a member of the Community Engagement Advisory Committee, advocated for a line-by-line analysis of the budget that separates essential items from non-essential.

“We are spending too much for what I believe we as a community are being given,” he said. “What is non-essential, we look at in the line-by-line review of what we can reduce or what we can de-prioritize.”

veniyerIyer, also an eight-year Reston resident and the president of a technology business, said the budget must be brought in line without continuing the trend of increasing assessments.

“Our assessments have nearly doubled in the last 15 years — this is not sustainable and it is not warranted,” he said. “In another 30 years, the Reston as we know it now will only be affordable for the wealthy top.”

Carr, a former cluster president with over 20 years of nonprofit and government management experience, said a long-term capital plan is needed so the RA board can “get [its] arms around” the existing capital assets that need to be addressed.

“We think about these 40-, 50-year assets we own in two-year budget cycles,” he said. “That doesn’t make sense and it’s very hard to project into the future, and we continue to get surprised when pools fall into disrepair or when pathways need maintenance.”

wernerWerner, a lifelong Restonian who works as an association manager, said natural environments need to be protected from development. She added that services, programs and facilities available to Reston Association members need to be optimized.

“This really is to put a focus on our facilities, to make sure they are in the proper maintenance and attractive for members to use,” she said.

anguizolaAnguizola, a trial attorney who has lived in Reston since 2008, said his top priority would be to address aging infrastructure in the community. He touted partnerships with nonprofit groups and businesses as a way to achieve that goal without increasing assessments.

“Most of the recreational facilities and amenities in Reston were built in the late ’70s, early ’80s,” he said. “They need attention, and that’s going to cost money to keep them at the level everyone expects them to be at.”

Collins said the board must do a better job of managing its staff and analyzing its needs in the effort to keep costs down.

“The board needs to have firm controls on the budget from the get-go, they need to be willing to get into the details, get behind the top-level numbers and again, say no,” he said. “Sometimes we don’t need a new truck, we don’t need a new computer system. I hate getting into the weeds like that, but apparently we need to do it.”

Beyond the budget, candidates were asked questions on issues including engagement of the community, how conflicts of interest should be addressed and adherence to the Reston Master Plan. The issue of handling continued development and population growth in Reston is also one of great importance, candidates agreed.

charles“We can’t look at, for example, St. Johns Wood having people go outside the Master Plan to expand and increase the population density in places that it does not allow,” Dorfeuille said. “The Master Plan doesn’t just give guidelines for developers to increase the population, make it more dense — it also gives us a powerful tool.”

Carr said the future cannot be predicted, only shaped — and he said the Master Plan can be altered, if necessary, to help do so.

ericcarr“If we don’t like that vision of the future, we change that vision of the future,” he said. “We need to be proactive and we need to take strong leadership to change that Master Plan to something that suits Reston as it is today.”

Iyer said Reston must remember it has the power to stand up to developers.

“The most common way people lose power is by thinking they don’t have any,” he said. “We do have a voice, and RA is on the frontline of that, so it is very important for us to organize our power and our ability together. The very first step toward a movement is to come up with a voice and speak out against [development at] St. Johns Wood, the Lake Newport soccer proposal, and [development at] Reston National Golf Course.”

Anguizola is the president of Reston Soccer and a driving force behind the Lake Newport soccer proposal, which has been tabled indefinitely by the RA board after a pushback from the community. He was the target of a question from an audience member regarding a potential conflict of interest he would have when it comes to the proposal.

“I think it’s impossible to have folks that are deeply engaged in the community that won’t have a potential conflict of interest when they are going to take office,” he said. “The right thing to do is disclose it in all of the annual disclosure documents, and number two, recuse yourself. … If that issue comes before me, or any other Reston Soccer issue, I will recuse myself from that, and every other candidate that has those issues should as well.”

When asked about the recommendations made in StoneTurn’s review of the Tetra/Lake House purchase, Iyer said he wants to see the Tetra Review Committee disbanded and the pro bono offer by community-based Mediaworld re-addressed. Two other candidates, Anguizola and Werner, said it is time to move on.

“We’ve made a bad decision — I don’t think anyone in this whole room is ‘yay’ for the Tetra deal — but we do have some recommendations,” Werner said. “There does have to be some accountability, but Reston does need to move forward and figure out, now that we have this property, how do we utilize it to the best of our association’s ability?”

Carr, who is chair of the Tetra Review Committee, said getting a firm handle on the Lake House’s financials is one of the main goals he has for this upcoming budget.

“We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that this is ever going to be a profit center for us. It isn’t. It’s going to cost us a lot of money, but we need to know exactly how much money it’s going to cost us,” he said. “We need to accept at some point that it isn’t going to fill our coffers, and we need to budget for that.”

Candidates also answered questions about traffic, pool usage, staff accountability and more. The forum can be viewed in full on Reston Association’s YouTube channel.

Voting will continue through April 3 and can be done by mail or at reston.org.

  • 30yearsinreston

    The Lake House Fiasco cannot be put into.the past
    It will happen again unless measures to prevent these type of wasted resources are implemented

    When is the staff going to be cut ?
    A ‘director’ supervising 2 staff and whose primary responsibility is to ‘liase with the Board’ is overkill

    • Chuck Morningwood

      You really like you bring up that director, you could be the change they need.

    • egbessou Géléhéso

      Well because of the Director and Boards lack of oversight yada, yada, yeda and now everyone pays $692.00 a year for services used by one or two percent of the RA.

  • John Farrell

    Once again we are worse off for this exercise than if it hadn’t happened.

    1 minute answer by only one of the candidate to questions!! To address issues as complex as Tetra and the Comprehensive Plan (in which RA has no role because the Hunter Mill Supervisor doesn’t believe RA should be involved in land use issues).

    30 second rebuttals but only on 3 questions. Who came up with this idiocy?

    Bumper stickers and sloganeering of vacuous word clouds is all the candidates had time for. They deserve better and so does the membership.

    Spare me. It’s no wonder the RA Board gets lead around by the nose by the CEO when this is the quality of the “job interview” that the membership gets.

    • MakeRestonBetter

      I agree that it was frustrating, but I’m not sure how it could have been done in another fashion. As it was, the event was very long. I’m not sure a true debate would have been possible with this many candidates. It’s probably too late for this election, but if you can think of a better way for next time around, don’t hold back from letting the elections committee know!

      • John Farrell

        Talking to the Election Committee members has been a waste of time.

        They suffer from a serious case of NIH (not invented here). Only they know all of the answers.

        They have demonstrated a relentless disrespect for candidates, their time and resources.

        A serious housecleaning of that gang is in order.

        • Bernie Supporter

          I could not agree more.

    • Conservative Senior

      She needs to be fired.

  • Nancy Watson

    What I thought was shocking was the ignorance about how things work! Mike Collins had a leg up but the rest of the group was ill informed about what RA can and can’t do. News Flash: RA can complain about development and might be able to generate enough noise to get some plans altered “slightly” but if the County says yes and DRB approves the design then it’s happening folks.

    • MakeRestonBetter

      Totally agree with this. Mike Collins is most informed about how all the pieces fit. My concern with him is that if he was on the board 2010-2013 and we have the mess we have now (traffic issues, development issues, integrity issues), what was he doing then? None of this stuff sprouted over night. There has been an accumulation of issues over time.

  • Bernie Supporter

    Last night’s forum was a hard place for any candidate to make themselves seen or heard or given a chance to distinguish themselves. A careful review of the youtube video may be enough to eliminate one or two candidates but not enough for the others to present a clear choice between the others. I applaud all of them for doing their best under the worst possible conditions.

  • Donald

    Good choices to choose from. For many candidates, I might recommend honing up on what it means to be a corporate board member. Knowing your role and your responsibilities, what you can and cannot do, will be critical to your effectiveness.

    • Eric Carr

      Donald, you nailed it. Being an effective director takes more than anger. It takes understanding of the art of the possible and how to use the board’s authority effectively.

      • Donald

        Mr. Carr, thank you for responding. I wish you the best with your endeavor. I believe your passion and commitment are invaluable ingredients.

        One wish. If you succeed, please focus on healing. I’ve been reading these threads for quite some time, and hoped they did not represent the community as a whole. The anger, the bigotry, the scorn shown to neighbors, it has to stop.

        It’s valuable to identify mistakes, miscalculations, poor decision making. But, when it devolves into revenge, vengeance, and an eye for an eye – the community loses its soul. In the end, we are neighbors and friends.

        Reston has come a long way – I’ve observed the trials and tribulations over the last 40 years here. We’ve finally grown up, and need to be able to play with the big girls and boys. We need to act like adults (and professionals) in the eyes of the County, the State and our Stakeholders. If we don’t, they’ll pay no attention to us.

        If you win, take the best that RA represents. Move it forward, set big goals, give staff the guard rails they need (but nothing more), and most importantly — set the example, and SMILE. I haven’t seen a lot of that recently. SMILE.

        I wish you, and all my neighbors, the very best. Good luck.

        • Eric Carr

          Donald, I agree. We’ve collectively turned on ourselves, and much of the anger is justified. That said, we have to move forward too. I’m hoping that, as we resolve the Tetra mess, we can use that episode to launch a new approach, more inclusive of community input and more conscientious about what Restonians want and need.

          • Donald

            Well said. The only additional advice I can give you is this (given from a Chairperson to me, my first time on a board).

            “Stop driving the bus looking through the rear view mirror, you will inevitably crash and hurt everyone depending on you”

            I’ve always kept that at the forefront of all my decionmaking since. It’s done me well.

            Donald

            P. S.: Please stay cognizant of the Hidden Creek CC threat. That may be one of the board’s biggest decisions.

          • John Farrell

            I really don’t understand the anxiety over HCCC.

            Unlike RNCG, HCCC is membership owned property by people who live in Reston. Many live on or near the property. It would take a vote of that membership to sell the land. I haven’t seen their membership agreement but I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t require a super majority of the membership to sell the land.

            RNGC is owned by an out of town mutual insurance company that got snookered by a broker into buying a pig in a poke and is now trying to dump the property on a “greater fool.”

            The County Master Plan for Reston was just adopted by the County and now specifically provides that both courses will be commercial recreation and open space.

            It would take both change in the Comprehensive Plan and a rezoning which would each require a public hearing before the County Planning Commission and the County Board of Supervisors.

            After all the effort that the County put into defeating the Northwestern/Lerner effort to overturn the existing use, its hard to imagine that Sup. Hudgins would support either case.

          • Donald

            Mr. Farrell, thank you for your insights, I look forward to continuing this dialogue if you are so inclined.

            Actually, HCCC is owned by Fore Golf Partners:

            http://www.foregolfpartners.com/default.asp?contentID=19

            I pray you are correct, but, I believe Mr. Staples and Mr. Miraglia would be happy to capitalize on an opportunity to make a significant return on their investment.

            I would prefer the Community do its homework and be prepared for the worst.

            Donald

          • John Higgins

            Perhaps a reader who is a member of HCCC can help clarify the important question you raise. Is HCCC an equity club, owned by the members and operated by Fore Golf Partners? If totally owned by Fore Golf (or Staples), is there a covenant in the deed that prevents the owners from converting this to any other use? Rather than laboring through the maze to learn this, a member of HCCC can fill us in.

          • Donald

            Mr. Higgins, a great idea. I hope it would be someone who truly understands the agreements and the fine print.

            Reading the press and other information on-line, Fore Golf Partners is very proud of their ownership of HCCC. It is one of their portfolio of owned courses across the country.

            Donald

          • Sandy James

            Wow Mr. Carr- that’s not the tone taken on your Facebook Page! The message there seems to be all firing squads and lynch-men!

          • Eric Carr

            We urgently need change and strong leadership. But that doesn’t mean it has to be nasty. It can be a reasoned conversation with people who all want the best for Reston. I’m sorry if you took a different message from my posts; that wasn’t the intention.

        • Reston2000

          I think what the membership is most concerned with is the fact that there seems to be a small group of people who are able to drive projects and decisions that cost a lot of money (!) through RA and through the board, and those projects benefit only a few or select few, and sometimes, not even the membership as a whole, but outsiders…like elite swim league, elite tennis leagues, elite soccer leagues…and that these big-budget facilities that are being proposed are aimed at serving a much wider constituency or regional events (Police and Fire World Games)…this is not what RA was set up to do (buy and build big facilities), but to keep our basic facilities, for our residents here, maintained and operating…

          • Donald

            Reston2000, your points are well stated and imply big decisions need strong Community input. I believe that’s achievable as long as the Board focusses on what’s best for Reston, and as importantly, it’s ability to sustain itself.

            I agree those elite groups should not dictate to Reston. But, if I were on the Board, I would welcome organizing community meetings with them — and ask them what they would bring to Reston in terms of new resources, amenities and dollars.

            Listening to new ideas can be a good thing. It doesn’t mean taking action, it just means listening, being innovative, and ensuring the Community is properly involved.

            I think the big challenge is — getting the Community to — get involved. Right now, based on my rudimentary observations over the last many months, the number of people that go to meetings, sit on the board and committees, that actively write and speak is perhaps around 40 to 50. I may be off, so please challenge that number.

            My thought is, we need more people who see the positive value of participation. Will it be enjoyable, productive, rewarding?

            I’ll stop now, it’s late and I think I’m rambling. But I truly enjoy discussing what the possibilities can be for our Community.

            Donald

  • Sam of SamsHouse

    I would agree that there are “some” good choices here. Carr and Iyer are unnecessarily angry and seem like way less productive problem solvers.

    • vdiv

      Perhaps the anger is representative of the association members and is needed to precipitate disruption and change of the unacceptable status quo.
      Iyer is my choice.

      • Bernie Supporter

        I agree. Iyer is my choice, too. And his tech expertise may be just what the board needs to create a new system for keeping the community informed in a timely way.

    • MakeRestonBetter

      I don’t mind candidates acting angry, but I do not excuse behavior that is bullying. At Board meetings during member comments and again at the candidate forum, Ven consistently does not comply with the rules. This takes time from other candidates or the issues. If what he had to say was anything productive, it might be okay on occasion. But our community does NOT need more theater. We need thoughtful conversation over important issues. We also need someone who clearly understands how the various parts of the process (the County, RA, VDOT, etc.) work together – or not. Being hostile and combative is NOT going to improve the RA Board.

  • Donald

    https://hbr.org/2010/12/micro-meddling-boards-undermin.html

    “…The micromanagement is made worse by the fact that many nonprofit board members lack a rudimentary understanding of the realities of nonprofit business practice. They let whatever success they’ve had in business go to their heads and mistake their big-headed certainty for knowledge, making it damned-near impossible for leadership to make any headway with them…”

    • Bernie Supporter

      Okay. Now I am impressed. This is the second time within 24 hours that I find myself in agreement with you on this thread.

      • Donald

        That boards should not micromanage??

        • Bernie Supporter

          No. The part about people who do well in business thinking that the same thinking applies to nonprofit businesses, when it doesn’t. I clicked on the link you provided and found the article pretty sound.

          • Donald

            Then sadly you missed the point. But, there’s no need to continue the discussion. You appear to be on a specific mission, and that’s perfectly fine. But for me, I just want to avoid being a part of diminishing people.

            I wish you the best,

            Donald

          • Bernie Supporter

            I guess I am on a mission, and in this thread it is for that forensic analysis of the Lake House purchase. Since I had that in my mind, I assumed (and you know what they say about “assume””) that that’s what this was referring to. Best wishes from this side of the argument, as well. Clearly, you’re not a bad guy. 🙂

          • Donald’s biggest fan

            You’re the man Donald thanks for saying what needs to be said!

  • Bernie Supporter

    I was interested in Mr. Carr for the at-large seat as many of his positions seemed to mirror mine. However that cooled (somewhat) to see him post in comments section. (He may be the only candidate to do such a thing.) I do agree that Mr. Carr wasn’t given enough time in that rushed-debate setup he found himself in. As with all the candidate’s that forum tied one hand back, as he was unable to share his views on every question.

    The other thing that cooled my interest (somewhat) in Mr. Carr was the mutual admiration society here between him and the poster named “Donald.” This was the first exchange where I saw Donald self-identify as a former member of the board. I fear too many of these “formers” have been around too long appear are trying to act like “King Makers.”

    Also, “The Donald’s” advice — that candidates need to SMILE more — boggled my mind. If I want smiles, I can watch a half-hour comedy on TV. There are serious issues facing Reston. We don’t need smiles. We need people on the board with good ideas. (And I think Mr. Carr had some.)

    As for The Donald’s idea from his former Chairman about not looking in the rear view mirror, that advice may seem benign enough at first blush, but to me it contradicts the greater age-old wisdom: Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Ven’s call for a forensic analysis of Lake House, and determining culpability made sense. (Especially, since there appears to have been major conflicts of interests involved in its purchase, and the current Board appears all too willing to sweep all dirt under the rug. Like The Donald, they want us to forget about it. And smile.)

    • Donald

      Bernie. I am saddened by your tone and insinuation. I sit on several corporate boards, and NEVER, on a community board like Reston Association. I have no desire, EVER, to sit on the RA board. I shared my experience from being involved with other corporate entities.

      If you noticed, I actually defended you on the other thread.

      Please, take my advice. Chill, and take a deep breath.

      Donald.

      • Bernie Supporter

        My apologies for misunderstanding your relationship to the RA board. It does appear that there are some old hands behind the scenes trying to be “King Makers,” and if you say that isn’t you, I have no reason to doubt you. Like anyone else, you are entitled to your opinions.

        However, there’s no need ever to defend me. Like everyone else, I share my opinions (and take exceptions to opinions of some others,) just as they do mine. That’s just the nature of making comments anywhere on the Internet.

        While it probably was intended to be condescending, I must admit your “Chill, and take a deep breathe” line was humorous and made me smile. Which is ironic since I HATED your advice to board members and candidates that they need to SMILE more. 🙂

        Seriously though, Ven’s idea to do serious, forensics on the Lake House is wise, and no matter who votes for or against him, that idea should be taken seriously. Surrounding this purchase are claims about conflict of interest, which if true, should culminate in immediate resignations or firings, If true — and I stress IF — this would be such a betrayal of trust, abuse of power and potentially illegal behavior that rises to “lawsuit level” –as those involved have a fiduciary responsibility to handle our money wisely and to our benefit, not their own self-interests.

        • Donald

          Well. It saddens me if this is where we’ve come.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Well, at least we agree on something. I am so hoping that a forensic review of the Lake House purchase proves these claims baseless. It saddens me that these questions even have to be asked, and hope that all involved are completely exonerated of any knowingly wrong behavior.

          • Donald

            I pray we don’t get consumed and let items like the threat to Hidden Creek or Reston National go by the wayside.

            Are you (or your select candidates) prepared to let a future RA board go forward and purchase either of these properties? The commitment is there from prior boards, for RNGC. I suspect it won’t be cheap.

          • Eric Carr

            Bernie, we just completed a forensic review on Tetra. An investigation was performed by StoneTurn Group, a professional forensic auditing firm, and it has turned up a series of failed processes, revealing a purchase that was essentially an impulse buy. We just spent $45,000 doing exactly that, for better or worse.

            The audit got about as far as it could given lack of process and, in many cases, lack of documentation from the staff. Lots of blame and lots to fix. We will get through the recommendations and the next Board needs to address these failings with the staff.

          • Bernie Supporter

            I think it was StoneTurn Group’s Recommendation 3 (Establish a comprehensive Code of Conduct for both the Association Board of Directors and staff) that is most troubling. Their report didn’t answer issues, including individual culpability, specific conflicts of interest and potential law-breaking that may have occurred in the process of the purchase. In fact, during the meeting on the subject, the StoneTurn representative specifically said that those questions were outside the scope of their work, which is why it is not explicitly outlined in the review. During the debate, if I heard it correctly, the Board choose to spend $45,000 that didn’t look into these matters, rather than accept a pro bono offer to do the same investigation. So, when you say, for better or worse — it appears to come down on the side of “worse”

          • Eric Carr

            I agree that the scope of their work was restrictive, and I was not a party to that negotiation. I, too, wished they could have pursued that issue further. While they didn’t name those who made this happen, a close reading of the report gives good indication of who is responsible.

            The Mediaworld bid was the one we initially chose, and we were not involved in the contract negotiations with the board. That said, the StoneTurn Group did a fine job given their limited time and scope. They were thoroughly professional and comprehensive and did great work, and identified many shortcomings and areas we need to fix.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Don’t misunderstand me. I am not knocking the StoneTurn Group. What I’m knocking is the limited time and scope they had because of RA. When I watched your debate (where you were SO restricted in making your case) I think I heard Ven say that the board turned down an investigation for $0 and instead went to go with one for $45,000. Did I get that wrong? (and I know this has nothing to do with you) I watched this thing on YouTube and thought I misheard that, and replayed that portion … but that’s what he said. I know I’m a suspicious person by nature (reinforced by real life) but turning down free for pay-to-play struck me as a means for RA to limit the time and scope of the report. Hearing this made me feel like RA went out of their way not to get to the answers the Community is clamoring for.

          • Eric Carr

            That’s what happened, and I don’t know why. I do know that we got a good, independent investigation. Could we have got the same for $0? Yeah maybe. I can’t answer to that. But we do have a strong forensic investigation of the Tetra debacle.

          • The Constitutionalist

            Here’s something that boggles my mind: the notion that paying someone $45,000 to do the same work that someone will do for $1 is somehow an acceptable business practice.

            Every single one of you touted on your resumes your very in depth business experience with both not for profit and for profit entities.

            But hey, just another day when you can spend someone else’s money.

            Carr, you got my votes, but only because I was picking the least worst of the group – sort of the status quo nowadays, isn’t it?

          • John Higgins

            Pardon my trollish injection here, but I’m impressed that you went back to verify what you heard at the forum. You got it right. Unfortunately, what was said was wrong and this misinformation, repeated often enough, takes on credibility. I was a member of that “pro bono” group selected to do the review. The operative word is “selected”. We were not turned down. We were offered a contract that the team felt impinged its independence. Those concerns were addressed in a second version of the contract, but we turned it down over potential liability issues, despite RA’s offer to continue to work on our concerns. Perhaps the March 14 meeting to discuss the report will shed further light on the report. Note, too, a more subtle misstatement on this matter: the Lake House Committee that selected our pro bono group had nothing to do with the terms of the contract or the failed negotiation. Implying otherwise is wrong. Knowing better and spreading the error to gain campaign advantage is reckless and – in my view – unethical.

          • Bernie Supporter

            Factual information is not trollish. It is appreciated.

          • Conservative Senior

            As the responsible person, she should resign now! We could save $200K + her bonus.They spent $45K & learned what we already knew.

          • Reston2000

            The two attorneys advising her on this raked in over $1 million from RA (us)…$200K is a drop in the bucket…

          • Conservative Senior

            Fire them.

  • egbessou Géléhéso

    Does Reston need the pools? NO… Does Reston need the tennis courts? NO… those should be turned over to a private enterprise that only charges the users or turn them over to the county. There are a lot of residents who are tired of paying for things they never use…

    • Donald

      egbessou, I actually believe most Restonians prefer the amenities.

      But, rather than either of us throw misleading statements back and forth at each other, why don’t we validate our beliefs with facts. I’ll check to see if there are any community surveys available, perhaps someone here has access to real data.

      Donald

    • sick and tired of RA

      Well said. RA thinks they are running a country club with elitist sports like tennis and then also spending dues on defending another elitist sport, golf. I am willing to bet that the majority of tennis players do not even live in Reston.

    • Damon Feldman

      But thats Restin and always has been. The pools and other facilities create community and a better quality of life for all.

      There are dozens of places in N. Va. that have fewer fees and fewer benefits, making Restin a unique option.

      • egbessou Géléhéso

        I guess I need to look at the RA’s budget and income and expense sheet… because I don’t believe the average owner is getting their $698 dollars worth…

        • Donald

          Well, I thought I’d do some comparison shopping this evening. Let me share a few communities:

          Ashburn Farm Association fee is — $1,044 per year

          Brambleton Homeowners Association fee is — $2,220 (plus additional fees) per year for detached home

          Lansdowne fee is — $1,632 (for 2016)

          Columbia Association, MD fee is — 68 cents per $100 of valuation, assessed on 50 percent of the fair market value as determined by the state of Maryland for property tax purposes. For a $300,000 home that’s roughly $1000.

          I’d say Reston is comparable to other communities, and probably offers more amenities than most for the price. Food for thought.

          Donald

    • Reston2000

      We knew this when we bought here..that there was a Homeowner’s fee, and that fee paid for these facilities and services…you should have decided then whether it was worth it to buy here or not…I think it is worth it and appreciate the facilities and services and maintenance RA provides…

      • egbessou Géléhéso

        Do you appreciate management wasting a million dollars?

        • Reston2000

          Did I say I appreciate management wasting millions of dollars?? No, I didn’t. I said I appreciate the amenities and they are of value to me. What I don’t appreciate is the expanding scope of RA – I do not support that. I think they need to get back to the core mission, and stop using our money to buy, build, expand…they can barely take care of what they have…they need to focus on what they already own.

    • Moon Lotus

      If you are so fired up about Reston why dont you run for the board?

      Based on your profile and the many many opinions you share you could add some color to the stuffy meetings and also shake out some deadwood.

      My guess. You re mostly in love with yourself and the upvotes you get from the extreme positions you take on a wide variety off issues. Lots of bark no bite. A bore otherwise.

      • egbessou Géléhéso

        Oh I’ll be at the meetings from now on…

      • egbessou Géléhéso

        Insult and deflect… typical when you have nothing constructive to offer…

    • JoeInReston

      I agree that scope of what Reston Association does needs to be greatly lessened. ~$700 annual for a glorified home owner’s association is absurd.

      That being said, managing pools, tennis courts, and trails should be RA’s core brand. That is what I am expecting the RA to do.

  • Dora

    Despite the staccato nature of the forum discussion, it became clear that experience matters. My vote is for Mike Collins. We need a board member who can hit the ground running making sure everyone in Reston is represented and included. RA needs good fiscal oversight while protecting the community from unnecessary development and preserving the Reston master plan. Mike can do it!

    • Bernie Supporter

      I won’t vote for Mike Collins because I don’t believe that he is committed to preserving the master plan. During the debate the question was put to him if he would pledge not to give developers special waivers and exceptions. He was the only candidate who refused to do so.

    • Reston2000

      I cannot vote for Mike because he says on his website that he “Led the initiative to hire outside land use counsel to advise RA on development matters” – which is costing us $300-$400K per year on top of our general counsel who is another $400-500K. I’d rather put that money into our pools, paths, and programs.

  • The Constitutionalist

    I completely agree. I think that Iyer, like all of us, is angry at the right issues, but like all of us, doesn’t see the right solutions.

    And unfortunately, I want to get behind someone with solutions, not someone who is just pointing out the problems.

  • james dean

    stoneturn report & more info on tetra / lake house transaction by reston2020 can be found @ http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2017/03/a-preliminary-report-on-key-issues-in.html…there is a ra bod governance committee mtg tonight mon mar 13 betw 630-830 pm & special ra board mtg tues mar 14 630-830 pm where ra members can comment on the stoneturn report & tetra /lake house issues

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