News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

RA Headquarters Referendum: No Shiny New Building, Filing Cabinets For Now (We Think)

You people scare us sometimes! Just minutes after we posted a diatribe about the lack of information about the results of the awesome Reston Association headquarters referendum, one of our many anonymous commenters posted what is purported to be the official tally. We don't know if this came from a mole deep within RA headquarters who was frantically hitting the reload button on his or her woefully underpowered Internet connection at work waiting for us to mention this, one of the aforementioned reporters who gets paid way too little to attend to these details, or a civic-minded individual, so we have no idea if these are the real numbers -- but really, why would someone go to the trouble of making them up?

Anyhoo, the ayes had it -- or at least they would have, if the referendum had made quorum. Which, as predicted, it didn't.

The results of the Reston Association 2009 Headquarters Facility Referendum announced tonight are as follows:

Total Potential Voters (properties) = 17,311
30% quorum required = 5193
Votes received = 5022
Referendum is 171 votes short of required quorum.

117 ballots declared INVALID
2474 votes FOR
2431 votes AGAINST.

Please see that attached BDO Seidman LLP report for full details.

Reston Association will not move forward on this referendum at this time.
Reston Association will look to staff to work with Cresa Partners to find a facility to lease.
Reston Association has stated that all inquiries re: lease actions be directed to CEO Milton Mathews.
There you have it. We're just curious what it took for a ballot to be declared INVALID. Did people mail tea bags in with their ballots or something?

Update: It turns out that just minutes after we posted our initial diatribe about the referendum, RA President Robin Smyers updated her own filthy "web-log" with the results. COINCIDENCE? Yes, almost certainly. In all seriousness, we've mocked RA's attempts at blogging before (not that this site is any great shakes), but we're pleased to see they're attempting to use new ways to communicate in a timely fashion, particularly since it was the lack of a quorum that sank this shiny proposal. Now fix that "administrator account" byline. It looks bad.


  1. Thank God. Now we can use RA's limited capital to update the old pools and other facilities that RA members actually use and not the offices used by the overpaid EO.

    Time to clean out the RA staff that promoted this completely idiotic idea and also allowed the destruction of RA's open space so Mike Rolband can get even richer.

  2. Why don't they buy the old distillery and fix it up? Surely that would be enough room for all their filing cabinets.

  3. For Anonymous above---

    ...but wait! There's more!

    Just because they failed at getting a new HQ does not mean RA--with RCC--won't try to build a massive recreation center at Brown's Chapel. As the Observer notes, "a joint task force is considering a building that would be between 125,000 and 170,000 square feet with costs ranging from $45 million to $65 million. The building may include up to eight indoor tennis courts, a 50-meter pool, classrooms and a full-size gym."

    Yes, we're talking 3-4, maybe even five times as expensive as the just defeated HQ proposal. And, get this, if you don't want to pay for it out of your RA fees, then the County will tax you through the much-beloved Reston Special Tax District #5.

    A simple question: Is there no end to this idiocy by our so-called leaders?

  4. Finally.
    The good news is that the election results weren't "redefined" to yield what the RA Board desired.

    My prediction is that RA and Milt will now rent the same 33K square footage (in Class A rental office space) that RA wanted to buy. A plus for residents is if RA will stay within their 6.4 million dollars allocated in 2005 by renting 25K of square footage (equivalent to what RA has now).

  5. There's no parking at the distillery and not much land around it to build enough parking for all the employees and those who attend meetings/pay dues/sign up for camps and classes.

  6. People try to remove their names and addresses from the ballot. Those ballots are listed as invalid. If Restonians want their votes to count, they have to leave their names and addresses intact on the ballot. Also, voting online and a second time with a paper ballot gets your vote discounted.

  7. For Anonymous just above this:

    That's not how they do it in Chicago. The dead vote by mail, the Democrats vote as often as they like, and the Republicans are drawn and quartered.

    And you can't be nominated for mayor unless your last name is "Daley."

    It's a lovely city!


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