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Letter: Decision to Cut Lake House Afterschool Program Unfair to Affected Families

by RestonNow.com October 17, 2017 at 2:45 pm 96 Comments

This letter was submitted by Reston resident Alexandra Kenny South. It does not reflect the opinions of Reston Now. We publish article and opinion contributions of specific interest to the Reston community. Contributions may be edited for length or content.

As a working parent with young children enrolled in Reston Association’s Fit Kids After-School Program, I was deeply dismayed by the Reston Association Board of Directors’ recent decision to end the program mid-school year. I followed with interest the discussion at the Board meeting as well as the Reston Now reporting on the ruling and the comments posted online. I thought I would provide my perspective on the matter as one of the families directly affected.

I have two children who attend Reston Association’s Fit Kids After-School Program, ages 8 (3rd grade) and 5 (kindergarten). They ride the bus to the Lake House from Lake Anne Elementary School every afternoon, where they spend the next few hours engrossed in experiential learning activities, homework help, outdoor play and creative arts. Dan Merenick, Katherine Caffrey and the rest of the Fit Kids staff bring a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to the RA Fit Kids Program, and perhaps most importantly, my husband and I know as working parents that we can trust them 1,000 percent to take excellent care of our children.

We were taken aback to hear the Board’s Hunters Woods/Dogwood District representative, Victoria White, state that, “Quite frankly, we’re a homeowners’ association. We’re not a child-care provider.” Reston Association has, in fact, long been a child-care provider, offering a wide range of summer and other school holiday educational programming which we and many other Reston families have benefitted from. The Fit Kids Program is an extension of the programming that the Reston Association has offered for years, and it is a lifeline for us as parents with two small children and two full-time demanding jobs that require a lengthy commute. It has been especially vital to us on the many days during the school year that are teacher workdays/student holidays, for which we would otherwise have to take leave. With the program now being discontinued midway through the school year (Dec. 15, we’ve since been told), we will be left high and dry, as public school-based after-care programs (SACC), which have similar costs, carry a very long waiting list, and spots at other private after-school care providers are few and far between, particularly in the middle of an existing school year. The decision obviously impacts the Fit Kids staff as well, many of whom gave up other afterschool positions to work at RA.

I understand, of course, the need to look at the bottom line when considering which programs to continue or not, particularly when the Lake House renovation costs were not budgeted appropriately from the start, leading to an overall loss in revenue over time. However, it’s not clear to me how RA envisions bringing in greater revenue by eliminating the Fit Kids Program at the Lake House. I would expect that any increase in revenue through special events, such as weddings, office parties, and the like, would be gained outside of the Program’s working hours (3:30-6:30 p.m. on weekdays). On the rare occasion that the Lake House was reserved during those hours, perhaps the Fit Kids Program could be moved to Brown’s Chapel or elsewhere to accommodate it.

On a more personal note, I grew up in Reston and I moved back here in 2011 in large part because I wanted my kids to experience the sense of community that RA contributes to. It saddens and disappoints me greatly that the RA Board cut such a valuable resource to our family because they don’t believe that other Restonians care to pay an additional $6-7 per household per year – paltry in comparison to the sums paid to the Reston Association for other goods and services, including use of recreational facilities. There must be another way to boost revenue that does not harm the many children that are gaining so much through their participation in RA’s Fit Kids Program.

Sincerely,
Alexandra Kenny South

  • Donald

    As I said before, this is sad, and just poor leadership. It’s one of many draconian cuts, with no eye for the future. Zero innovative thought process.

    Poorly handled as a board. The group of nine is too focused on “fixing” when it should be focused on Reston’s future. Stop micromanaging and do your jobs as board members.

    Bring this program back.

    Donald

    • Restont

      Donald please join the board. They need your sense.

      • Greg

        But we can’t afford the cents he wants to spend. His plan is to double the RA assessment just because it might help property value.

      • John Farrell

        Not really

    • The Constitutionalist

      This program should never have existed in the first place. As many of my fellow Restonians have explained here, it isn’t the community’s job to subsidize your child care. If you make the personal decision to have kids, it isn’t your neighbors job to fund their after school program. Just as it wasn’t their job to breast feed your daughter or change your son’s diapers.

      • Donald

        Well now! I suggest all the single taxpayers without children, as well as empty nesters, get a significant tax break. No need for them to pay for the school systems.

        And renters should get a nice tax break too. Why should mortgage (debt) holders be the only ones to get a significant tax break and nobody else??

        Donald

        • The Constitutionalist

          I suggest everyone gets a significant tax break and the government, and anything resembling one, gets it’s fat little greedy fingers out of it and we move to a privatized system.

          As I’ve gone on record before numerous times here, I’m against subsidies of any sort, healthcare, housing, food. Any. Sort.

        • Try Again

          It is not a subsidy when the government lets you keep your own money.

          • Donald

            Any way you look at it, a mortgage tax deduction is a subsidy.

            Donald

          • Try Again

            Nope. The government is not giving me someone else’s money. They’re simply not taking as much of my money.

      • What he said

        Bingo. I have paid for child care for two kids for ten years. Nobody else in Reston contributed a dime to the considerable amount I paid for that. Nor did I expect them to. The RA should not be in that business. Recently they have done a poor job at doing the business they are supposed to be in (maintaining Reston) so they need to focus on that not other crazy projects.

  • cRAzy

    …and just exactly why is it the duty of the rest of us in Reston to subsidize your child care? FYI: RA members subsidize EVERY RA program because RA does not charge a fair market value for them. As for daycare, there are plenty of alternatives, just not as cheap.

    • The Constitutionalist

      bla bla bla the public good or something.

    • Donald

      Yea, and the taxpayers should stop paying for subsidized daycare for active duty military personnel. What makes them so special to take my hard earned dollars!?

      Donald

    • Liberal Dogma Today

      Everything I want is a Fundamental Human Right and someone else should pay for it!

    • John Farrell

      Almost everything RA does connects to child care whether its the pools, the tennis courts, the camps, the athletic fields, the nature classes.

      Its disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

  • LC

    I highly doubt that we will see any increase in revenue by cutting this. If they could show where there were actual bookings they had to pass up because of it I would understand. However, I think they cancelled it preemptively without any real plan on how they are going to increase revenue. We shall see but I bet they could have finished out the school year and not much difference would have been made.

    • Donald

      Agreed.

      Donald

    • cRAzy

      I would simply suggest that you look at the books on this rather than spouting off. The program does not even cover its operational costs (staff, supplies, etc., needed to conduct the program), much less the full cost (overhead) of the program.

      As soon as the program ends, RA will be losing less money.

      • Donald

        Most of RA’s services, such as aquatics, tennis, ball fields, 55+, the Nature House, do not cover their costs.

    • Caul Shivers

      Well, the program isn’t earning any money. It’s spending just to operate. I do agree that it should have been given a full year for the sake of the parents, but as soon as that program goes, revenue goes up. Whatever additional revenue that comes in from rentals (if any…) will be more than they’re currently making.

    • The Constitutionalist

      We aren’t trying to see an increase in revenue. We’re trying to lower the spending, you know, the other side of the equals sign in the equation.

      • Donald

        Yea, revenue is a frivolous,unnecessary thing.

        Donald

        • The Constitutionalist

          Unfortunately, that’s again, not the reason we’re in this giant mess. Instead of writing checks out of your savings, we’re instead writing checks on credit.

          • Donald

            The only debt I see is a well written mortgage instrument. Other than that, RA has no credit facility. Heck, RA probably carries a 5-Star financial rating.

            Donald

          • The Constitutionalist

            The debt the RA carries is an increase in your assessment.

    • John Farrell

      This program was started to justify the costs of Tetra. A cynical ploy by the RA staff.

      Having started it, it’s shameful to cut it in mid-year without seriously exploring relocation options.

  • Michael

    Takes time to grow a program to at least break even. Seems like little thought given to business considerations such as a marketing strategy for growth plus reexamining the restrictions placed on usage by the neighbors that limit the revenue potential. Extremely insensitive to current paying users in that there is no reason to not at least finish the school year. Reston needs to find ways to make things work not find reasons to stop doing what makes this community special.

    • JoeInReston

      I think it is the other way around – thought is being put into how to make the Lake House viable, or perhaps more accurately, less non viable. A program that costs $6 per household that only benefits 19 of households in a community of ~20K households would certainly be ripe for cutting.

      • The Constitutionalist

        Get outta here with your economics!

        • Donald

          Yea, really. And who came up with those crazy traffic signs stating deaf child lives on street. Why do we all have to pay for one family’s need!?

  • Chuck Morningwood

    Mr. South, LAES has a SACC program. I suggest you check into that.

    However, to keep that in perspective, my special needs son also went to LAES. There are no after school programs in Reston and the local area for special needs kids. Conversely, my family had to make professional sacrifices in order to accommodate the county, industry and the school system’s lack of accommodation.

    One of the things I have discovered, there are worse things in life than spending weekday afternoons with my child.

    • Caul Shivers

      It’s Mrs. South, actually. And as parents of students at LAES, they are quite aware of the SACC program. The waiting list, especially for LAES, is tremendously long, and by cutting this program mid-year, it leaves them in an poor situation. I’m all for canceling the program, but not mid-year.

      “There are worse things in life than spending weekday afternoons with my child.” Not sure if it was your intent, but that comes off as extremely condescending. Of course there are worse things… Not everybody has that luxury to stay at home with their kids, however. That is the whole point of childcare.

      • Chuck Morningwood

        I realized after I had posted that the author was a she. My apologies.

        With that said, we had to make the sacrifice. Our daycare options were also cut off mid-year as well, when KinderCare in South Reston suddenly announced that it was a mistake for them to have ever taken in our special needs son, and that he would not be allowed back the next day or ever. We never found a program in Reston that would take him without us also providing an attendant at our expense. The closest program we could find for him was a SACC program for special needs kids out in Merrifield. Of course, if we wanted to avail ourselves of the program, we would have had to provide our own transportation from LAES to Kilmer Center.

        The long and the short of it is, if my family could adjust to no daycare options, I see no reason why the South’s can’t also adapt. It means some discomfort and sacrifice, but we survived it, and they will to.

        As for you thinking my comment is condescending, well, if it upsets your ulcer, then it’s your belly that’s aching, not mine.

        • John Farrell

          RA already provides daycare and has for years through the summer camps, nature classes, pools, tennis courts, athletic fields, etc.

      • The Constitutionalist

        “Not everybody has that luxury to stay at home with their kids, however.”

        The unfortunate decisions we don’t think about before having kids.

        Oh well, I’ll make everyone else pay for it.

        • Greg

          Better read and abide by the commenting rules…

  • 40yearsinreston

    I don’t want to pay for your childrens childcare
    Not one paid my mother for mine
    $6-$7 may not seem much to you, but to some, it is

    • Donald

      We’re a part of a Community Organization. We all pay for services we may never use. I for one, have never set foot on a tennis court. But, I see the value in offering the amenity or service to the Community. Any form of after school programming, 55+, aquatics, ball fields, sports, lakes, etc., makes our community more special, more unique, and adds value to our properties.

      Let’s stop focusing on short-term (1-2 year) cost cutting efforts, which impact the services of the Community negatively, and look at managing costs over the long-term (beyond 2 budget cycles). Let’s start focusing on alternative sources of revenue. Let’s start focusing on innovative solutions, like community purchasing agreements, grants, sponsorships, donations from National Trusts, revenue sharing, public/private partnerships, etc.

      This specific move by this board, was just dumb, naive, and ill-informed.

      Donald

      • JoeInReston

        I am weary of hand wavy, pie in the sky suggestions that present easy solutions to hard problems. They rarely work. Overly optimistic thinking is what got Reston into the Lake House debacle in the first place.

        So I think it would be prudent for Reston to continue on balancing current spending with current revenues. If these alternative revenues sources bear fruit, than great, we can reassess spending levels at that point. But until then, lets continue to count pennies. We are already up to $700 a household.

        • Donald

          Yea — pie in the sky.

          I’m sure that’s what you would say to your child or grandchild. “…darlin’ don’t focus on those lofty things like being an astronaut or president of the United States, they’re to ‘lofty,’ instead sweetie, focus on balancing your checkbook, and watch those expenses…”

          I say again, penny pinching is not strategic, not even tactical. It diminishes the quality of everything around us — services, facilities, staff morale, dependability, even our home values.

          Focus on managing costs over time. Tie these initiatives to make he Strategic Plan with measurable goals and outcomes.

          Most importantly, find more revenue — that’s the quickest way to stablilizing, even reducing assessments over the next 5, 10, and 20 years.

          Donald

          • TheKingJAK

            A solid combination of short-term and long-term focus is very important, without a doubt.

          • The Constitutionalist

            It’s crazy that there isn’t any private, commercial solutions to all these problems that don’t involve everyone in the community subsidizing the life choices of everyone else.

            Oh wait there actually is, never mind.

          • Donald

            I agree. And while we’re at it, I think we ought to allow our federal government contract out our defense of the nation to Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics. Let’s also let Fairfax county outsource our policing to G4S and firefighting to Raytheon.

            Donald

          • Oy

            If you think RA should be in the child care business, you’re nuts.

          • Donald

            Good to know. Thanks for your well thought out commentary.

            Donald

          • Oy

            At least as well-thought-out as your jibber-jabber about how we need “quality” so that kids can dream of being astronauts or something.

          • John Farrell

            We already are in the childcare business.

          • The Constitutionalist

            With the amazing track record the government has at developing anything functional, what would you propose the government do to find effective tools of war? It’s almost like when two parties share a genuine interest good things happen for both.

            For this topic, no one agrees.

          • Donald

            I believe our government may tax my income for the defense of our country. I believe our military has performed magnificently since the country’s founding. A country’s defense should never have a profit motive.

            Donald

          • The Constitutionalist

            Our country, at least on the surface, is not profiting off of the defense of our country. Private companies are, and rightfully so, as they’re the best ones to do it (all things held equal). If the government was developing the tools on their own to defend the country it would cost three times as much at least. As you see with every government program that is also offered in a private capacity. Education, healthcare, etc.

          • Nah

            The RA, like any HOA, should stay in its lane and focus on maintains common areas, recreational facilities and natural resources. Let other companies provide all the other services that “increase the quality of everything around us” – presuming that there is a market and people are willing to pay for them.

          • Greg

            There isn’t a viable market for them; that’s why the RA assessment payers have to heavily subsidize them.

          • John Farrell

            Please go read the purpose of RA in the founding documents.

            You see that RA has a purpose far more broad than that of narrow HOA.

            That difference is an essential part of what set Reston apart from other organizations.

      • Nah

        Pools, ball fields, tennis courts; these make sense for an HOA to provide. Child care? Not so much. Heck, why not have the RA run a 24-hour grocery store and pharmacy, too? There would be value in offering that amenity to the community, yay! And why not a towing service and a service station with a mechanic? There’s practically no end to the things the community might conceivably want.

        • Greg

          We’d be very happy if the RA negotiated discounted utility rates for all RA members (including the RA itself). We all buy electricity and most of us buy gas, cable TV and internet.

          Trash, snow and ice management, and landscaping are other expenses that nearly all of us pay for, finding a contractor to discount these services for RA members — how hard and costly is that?

          Perhaps the CEO or the director of communications can do something useful and beneficial that actually saves money? Imagine that!

        • John Farrell

          Pools, ball fields and tennis court are part of child care too.

      • Rational Reston

        An HOA is not a “Community Organization”.

        But an evaluation of tennis courts should be somewhere on the the cut list, too.

        • Rational Reston

          We should close everything down. I would actually prefer I don’t even have to ever see my neighbors. The only law on the books that should exist is one that bars anyone from making under $120,000 per year (net) from living in Reston.

        • John Farrell

          Actually, if you read the purpose language in it organizaional documents, RA is very much is a community organization; far more than just an HOA.

  • RestonRed

    I understand this change makes life difficult for affected families. However, I agree that RA should not be a regular child care provider.

    Also, as a stay at home mom in Reston, I wish more parents would stay at home in some form to care for their own children. Of course this area is expensive but one doesn’t always need the new car or larger home a second full time, long commute job goes to provide.

    I am blessed we have been able to make sacrifices and I can stay home. It is my responsibility to care for my children. Paying for someone else to care for your children is not.

    • Donald

      Do you take the IRS tax deductions for your children at the federal and state level? Why?

      Many of us can’t – we’re single (without children) or empty nesters. But, we don’t harp on you because you can.

      Donald

    • RestonBlue

      Surely, you don’t intend your comments to come off as patronizing and privileged as they seem. Some of us are not working to afford a bigger home or a new car but rather to put food on the table.

      • Mike M

        Sounds that way to you. Not me. You should be working to put food on that table, and the rest!

      • The Constitutionalist

        If you’re not also putting food on your neighbor’s table then I could argue you’re not doing your fair share for humanity and mankind. For shame, good sir!

    • Restont

      @Restonred this is America where families are blessed with the ability to work or stay home. This article is about the board honoring the commitments it made to these families. Respect other’s people’s choices as you would want them to defend your choice to stay home. One could argue by not working you are not paying your share of taxes and you should pay a premium to the government and your neighbors for paying for the polic, fire, library, etceter, services you enjoy but do not contribute to.

    • Drip

      This might be one of the most condescending comments I’ve seen on Reston Now in quite some time. Honestly, belittling a working mother who is doing everything right in taking responsibility for her children is entirely insulting an only reflects poorly on you. This is an expensive area to live. Living in Reston makes somewhat more so. Perhaps the working mom does not have extended family to lean on for support. Maybe her husband does not make $200k+ to take care of her (as you imply). Or perhaps she simply worked very hard to get her job and wants to pursue her career. Despite your near-rant that the working mother is somehow inferior to your ability to live within 1950s ideals and that the working mother is somehow on the dole (she’s not), the truth is that the working mother who wrote this piece is doing everything right. I have no doubt she is a role model for her children through her work ethic and I have no doubt that she is actively engaged in their lives. You may be sacrificing that extra BMW in order to sit on the couch while your husband works (see how easy it is to prejudge and cast stones), but I am certain that the author is living within her family’s means. Quality time v quantity with children and all.
      It is debatable whether RA should be involved in child care. But the fact remains that the writer secured childcare and got the shaft by RA, who advertised it as a year-long program. The writer is advocating to fix the issue. Meanwhile, you prefer to pontificate to others while you sit quietly at home in your comfortable life.

      • Donald

        “…But the fact remains that the writer secured childcare and got the shaft by RA, who advertised it as a year-long program. The writer is advocating to fix the issue…”

        EXACTLY!

        This RA board is so myopic.

        Donald

      • Greg

        Who forced her to live in Reston? Or Fairfax County? Or northern Virginia?

        • Greg

          Nobody forced you to live in Reston either, so complaining about $6 when you could move is a moot point.

          • Greg

            Where do you find me complaining about $6?

            Stick to the point and you may have (some) relevance.

    • Donald

      Yea, and while we’re at it, we, the taxpayers should stop paying for subsidized daycare for active duty military personnel. What makes them so special to take my hard earned dollars!?

      Donald

    • John Farrell

      Condescending much?

  • JoeInReston

    This Reston Now link – https://www.restonnow.com/2017/09/18/reston-association-board-gives-ok-to-include-payoff-of-lake-house-loan-in-2018-budget/ – provides the reasoning for the program cut.

    Afterschool programming at the Lake House, which begins at 2:30 p.m. each day, can hinder the opportunity to rent the property out for daylong corporate retreats, Leone said.

    “Most businesses, if they want to do a retreat offsite, typically are looking at wanting to come in at around 8 o’clock in the morning … and then they want to go until, at a minimum, 4 or 5 o’clock in the afternoon,” he said. “They really don’t have that [opportunity] today because, realistically, if you’re doing a corporate meeting there you have to be out at the latest … at about 1:30.”

    • Heh

      What will happen in the coming year: RA will discover that Lake House hardly ever gets used for all-day corporate retreats, and they actually lost money by getting rid of the people who paid to use it every day for after-care. Ooops!

  • RestonBlue

    High quality education and childcare is built into the fabric of Reston. That is why so many RA programs are and have always been subsidized by homeowners. The original Restonians recognized that living in a community with high quality childcare which gives parents the ability to work and contribute to the economy is good for everyone. You cannot have it both ways. Our property values are bolstered by our reputation as being family friendly and having high quality childcare and schools. You cannot enjoy the elevated property values and defund programs that helped us create the kind of community that attracts families and, therefore, boosts home prices and attracts businesses to the area. I am a lifelong Restonian of over 40 years and I believe that doing away with this program is an attack on the very core of what it means to be a Restonian.

    • Chuck Morningwood

      So, remind me again. During the last 40 years, how many years has RA been in the afterschool daycare business?

    • LOLwut

      ” The original Restonians recognized that living in a community with high
      quality childcare which gives parents the ability to work and
      contribute to the economy is good for everyone.”

      Oh really? Tell me what child care services the Reston Association operated in the 1960s.

      “Our property values are bolstered by our reputation as being family friendly and having high quality childcare and schools.”

      Have you noticed that the Reston Association does not operate any school in Reston? There is no rationale for it to do so. Nor is there any rationale for it to operate child care.

      I’ve only lived in Reston for 20 years but I think adding lots of “services” that a homeowner’s association should not do – like childcare – is precisely the way to destroy Reston and is an attack on the meaning of Reston.

  • Restont

    The children based programs are falling apart under the current management. During camp now 5 year olds watch mostly inappropriate movies each week because it is a “free” activity. It is irresponsible for them to cancel the program mid year. The board and management do not seem to care about people under 60.

    • The Constitutionalist

      I’m not sure they care about anyone at all.

    • Arlene Krieger

      The board and mismanagement don’t care about anyone regardless of age. It shows a great failure of Social Justice with respect to the needs of children,, middle class people and the poor. Social justice has been pushed aside. We are in a building frenzy for housing for wealthy people. We are pushing the working middle class out of Reston and we have no interest in providing housing for every one at every economic level including the homeless. . We have thrown the vision of Bob Simon over board. People who work here can’t afford to live here only adds to the huge traffic congestion we already have The people who serve the Reston community — police, firefighters, teachers etc. can’t afford to live here. I don’t know why “they” are so sure the metro will take care of traffic. The metro is failing and who knows what will happen 10 or 20 or even 50 years. I’d be for more building if the homes and apartments were subsidized to accommodate mostly middle class working people and the poor. The county and Reston have cancelled many of the programs for small children with special needs. Also, Why take away a day care center. It should exist and charge a nominal fee and have busses to take the kids from any school to day care at Lake House. These are the things that civilized communities do . It is clear to me that we in Reston need a new form of government. — one that serves all of the people and not just the builders and other special interest groups.

      • Greg

        Let’s see. There is Stonegate. The Green. Cedar Ridge. West Glade. Crescent. All subsidized housing in Reston. Then there are many county-owned units at Shadowood, Springs, and Parc Reston. Then every new tower and residential development has to have set asides for lower income people.

        Then there are section 8 tenants. Hundreds of them in Reston.

        The police and sheriff departments can get free housing in exchange for taking their cruisers to their homes and minimally assisting with security.

        And you want more?

        Ask those cops and firefighters where they want to live. I guarantee you Reston will not be on their top-ten list.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Stop voting for Hudgins and Plum

  • Mike M

    “We all pay for services we may never use.”
    How many of these do we need to pay for?

    ” . . . makes our community more special, more unique, and adds value to our properties.”
    How “special” do we need to be? How do you know it adds value? You can’t.

    • Greg

      And then they, always the libbies, complain that living in Reston is even more expensive:

      “This is an expensive area to live. Living in Reston makes somewhat more so.”

      • Oy

        But muh quality of life!

  • 40yearsinreston

    an extra dollar here, another extra dollar there
    Its just a small amount
    That’s how we got to almost $700 assessments

  • Sam

    Honest questions so please save the snark:

    Is the issue people have with these after-school services that they’re “subsidized” and not covering full expenses (is that true?) or that it’s childcare? Full year after-school care was part of the Lake House programming from the beginning and projected to bring in the bulk of revenue (see link below). Is this no longer true? Have any of these projections panned out?

    https://www.restonnow.com/2015/04/03/ra-estimates-122k-annually-from-tetra-rentals-programs/

    Did this program exist in another space before Lake House?

    • Greg

      Both.

      Even the RA itself doesn’t list childcare, subsidized or not, on its own website. And it shouldn’t, since it shouldn’t be in that business.

      https://www.reston.org/AroundReston/SchoolsChildcare/tabid/470/Default.aspx

    • John Higgins

      Sam, good questions and worth examining. Unfortunately data to do that are not available to us. The pre-purchase estimates showed revenues net of program expenses, so we can’t say why this became a subsidized program rather than a self-sustaining use of Lake House.

      I think the answer to your initial question is more complex. Do people object to 20,000 residents subsidizing childcare of 19 households? You bet. Is childcare that far off the legitimate mission of a community association? That’s arguable. It most likely was in the 1960s and decades that followed, but the world today finds childcare offered to employees of federal, state and local governments, and scores of large corporations. It can be found in churches and non-profits. And, yes, in HOAs. It’s not such a stretch that a community association might help meet members’ needs in this area.

      I called it more complex because this was not a program entered into because of an identified need and the desire to meet it. It was an opportunity identified in the search for reasons to acquire Lake House. The RA used every Lego in its box to show that there was a reason to own it and that it would not be a continuing drain on our assessments. Folks are understandably upset that this is just one more example of bad information used to sell the referendum. I suspect that is the heart of the matter. Stand by for round two: if the program is cancelled so that RA can earn revenue for event rentals and that doesn’t pan out, there will be pitchforks and torches galore.

  • BirdBirdBirdistheWORD

    Will all that revenue earned from fit kids, surely it’ll be enough to cover the franchise fees for a Reston Hooters

    • 40yearsinreston

      Turn it into a dog park

  • Donald

    We could pass all Reston Association Camps, Aquatic Programs, Tennis Programs, Soccer Programs, Baseball Programs, Seasonal Programs, 55+ Programs, the Nature Center and its Programs, and the After School and School Break Programs over to the Reston Community Center.

    We already pay for RCC through our Reston Special Tax District dollars.

    Donald

    • JoeInReston

      I don’t mind the many silos, but I do think publicly funded silos need to be cognizant of other silos that provide duplicate functionality. For example, why is the RCC planning on major indoor pool enhancements when the county is planning on building a rec center a few miles up the road?

      • Donald

        I believe these are matters that should be coordinated and scrutinized. Perhaps RA hands over all its pools to RCC. Like I said, I don’t like the idea, but, perhaps the question(s) need(s) to be asked.

        Donald

  • John Farrell

    Is there a reason this program can’t be moved to the Glade community room?

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