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April 16, 2009


Dear Mr. Greenberg et al.

On behalf of the RCC, I would like to clarify some points for your information and add some background as we continue this discussion. The motion of the RCC Board of Governors to support conducting a market and financial feasibility study by the firm of Brailsford and Dunlavey for the Task Force was to provide funding for half the cost of that study up to a maximum of $ 50,000.00. This is the limit to the allocation of funds from RCC small district 5 toward our research process; and such studies are planned for in our annual budgets by the allocations to our Feasibility Study Reserve Fund. The minutes of the meetings in which that motion and any other Task Force related motions occurred are posted on the RCC web site. Also, your figure above includes allocations to Urban Ltd. paid for research related to the ongoing efforts undertaken by RA prior to the formation of the Task Force and those undertaken subsequently in support of Task Force efforts.

Small district 5 is comprised of more households than the membership of RA (notably all property owners residing in Town Center) as well as the commercial properties in our tax district, thus RCC acts on behalf of RA members who reside in small district 5, other residents and the business community of Reston in supporting the Joint Task Force exploration of our objective. The Task Force objective is to determine if by working together RA and RCC can meet indoor recreation needs identified to us by our community. In the course of the Task Force discussions, and the research efforts directed toward providing the community with the best information possible to inform these discussions, staff has been directed to research how to address indoor recreation needs with solutions that neither raise the tax rate for small district 5 property-owners, nor the dues for members of the Reston Association. Our efforts are directed to manage the finances of this process responsibly as we proceed as well as to obtain objective research and data to inform the community and decision-making required. Neither organization will make decisions without full and thorough input from the community. Building a new facility will require a bond referendum should that involve RCC.

We are not seeking to build a Fairfax County “Health Club”; nor are we anywhere near decision-making on the size and program elements of the indoor recreation facility that we may undertake to provide the community if it so desires. All options will be discussed and debated. Just as non-members of RA may purchase access to your homeowner association amenities, the RCC and small district 5 programs and facilities are also accessible at higher prices to Fairfax County residents outside the tax district boundaries and at even higher rates to those outside of Fairfax County. The fact that both organizations manage resources to maximize revenue returns while providing both priority favorable access and rates to our constituents is an appropriate strategy to keep costs to those constituents at a minimum.

There will be many meetings over the course of May through August to obtain input from all sectors of the community and those meetings will begin with a discussion purposely scheduled for and seeking input from you and your neighbors in the Newport Shores Cluster Association at 7:30 p.m. on May 18th at the RCC Lake Anne. Additionally, we will provide Newport Shores Cluster Association with materials in advance of that meeting to inform participation. Such materials will be provided as broadly and comprehensively as possible to the entire Reston community. A complete meeting schedule will be announced the week of April 20th and sent to press outlets as well as being posted on our web sites.

We welcome your comments and those of all members of our community as we address the indoor recreation needs identified to us by so many for so long.

Thank you,
Leila Gordon
Executive Director
Reston Community Center

Thank you, Leila, for your factual and detailed response.

I echo your invitation to the Reston community to avail itself of the public meetings and access which surrounds any of RA endeavors. Thru public discourse and community input, each and both boards will arrive at a decision which best serves the interest of Reston.

As Winston Churchill reminds us “For myself, I am an optimist — it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” And I believe that the process, while messy and slow, will deliver the desired result.

Kathleen McKee
Secretary of the Reston Association Board of Directors

Ms. Gordon:

You act as if there is a Money Fairy, and that Needs and Desires are the same thing.

1. There is no such thing as “an indoor recreational NEED” The county can barely fund important basic services and programs such as tracking sexual predators, and is tearing itself apart to find a solution. This is a desire, so at least call it what it is.

It is just that kind of thinking that has led the entire country into the financial abyss we now find ourselves. Indoor tennis, indoor swimming pools, indoor basketball courts, and racquetball courts are abundant in Fairfax County at both public private facilities and have plenty of excess capacity.

2. If you want a small facility to house the excellent social services work community centers do, should a need for additional space actually exist, sign me up. I’ll fight like hell to get it built. But if this is about indoor tennis and swimming, your priorities are ill-guided.

3. The facility is a Health Club because like Worldgate Athletic Club (among many others) it has a weight room, tennis courts, racquetball courts, a swimming pool, arts and crafts, camps, locker rooms, infant and preschool programs (dance, art, etc) and other health club facilities. The items you are offering at RCC and Cub Run are standard Health Club facilities.

4. If there is so much surplus money left from the tax created in 1974, END THE TAX. We are taxed too much as it is. I am going to make it a personal mission to understand the RCC budget and be sure that if there is an opportunity to reduce the taxes of those of us paying money to your organization, the tax is eliminated, not hoarded and used to build anything , let alone a new health club. If Fairfax County and Ms Hudgins want to build a health club for Fairfax County don’t do it on the backs of Reston, and don’t appropriate our $40 million park.

5. If you are going to start taxing local businesses for the planned health club, especially those that you will be competing against with a low subsidized rate, DON’T. Leave the businesses here alone; they are already taxed too much.

6. The argument below that RCC has “an appropriate strategy to keep costs to those constituents at a minimum” is oxymoronic. We are (and will be at your new health club) forced members even if we chose to never use the health club. So the ‘discount’ is of no value. Overall, if I use the current RCC once per month, I actually pay more in the aggregate than someone living outside STD5 using it the same amount of times since I pay the tax to subsidize it and they don’t.

7. Talking about what money RCC spent and RA spends as if they are separate funds is absurd. Some of it comes from my right pocket, and some of it comes from my left. RA members pay for it ALL. You and Robin are spending our money without intellectual integrity.

8. A bond is a loan and has to be repaid. It will be business and households of Reston that do that. There is no such thing as a newly issued bond that has to be repaid “without increasing fees or taxes” no matter how much the staff studies it.

9. The notion that RCC has a “Feasibility Study Reserve Fund” is financially ridiculous. All deficit funding is made up for by taxing us. The reason for the existence of the “Feasibility Study Reserve Fund” is because you budget for an even greater deficit, and therefore a greater tax. Try running RCC on a balanced budget.

10. I implore you – Stop Wasting our Money,



Dear Mr. Greenberg,

We would like to clarify that the Reston Community Center is not legally permitted to submit or execute a budget plan with a deficit. Furthermore, the Feasibility Study Reserve fund is allocated within budget resources and does not represent deficit spending.
We hope you plan on attending the meeting on May 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne. Your message will be included in our records of community input related to this issue and given careful consideration by both Boards. You may also find more information about the process as it is available posted on both web sites. The RA and RCC boards will be gathering community input over the course of the summer. RCC will make a determination regarding its budget priorities and funding in September, and RA will do so in November for the coming fiscal years. The discussions over the summer will be critical to those determinations. We thank you for your participation.

Carol Ann Bradley, Chair, Reston Community Center Board of Governors
Robin Smyers, President, Reston Association Board of Directors
Milton Matthews, Chief Executive Officer, Reston Association
Leila Gordon, Executive Director, Reston Community Center

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