News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

RA Raises Assessments to $634, Hurts Our Tender Fee-Fees in the Process

Reston Association Assessments will increase to $634 next year, a $44 increase and the largest jump in five years. But fear not, because $160,000 of that money will go towards "document management software," which will allow them to get rid of all those filing cabinets that necessitated their move to a new headquarters building in the first place. Hmmm.

Actually, assessments have gone up in large part in recent years to keep up with the costs of repairing and maintaining Reston's aging facilities. Still, capital expenditures only represent a comparatively small amount of total expenses (a little under $2 million for new and existing capital assets in 2014, compared to $13.7 million in operating expenses). The RA had considered taking out a $2.5 million loan to keep the assessment costs from rising any higher, but in the end opted to go with the maximum amount they had agreed on a few weeks ago.

That's why, if since bollardly development is coming, it's so important that new residents fall under the auspices of the RA -- more people paying assessments should spread out the costs of paying for new amenities (which it's been assumed we're going to pay for either way) and (hopefully) keep assessment costs down.

Either that, or we can go to Office Depot and pick up a nice flatbed scanner for $99 -- a $159,901 cost savings. Math!

Our favorite correspondent, The Peasant From Less Sought After South Reston, had pored over the budget documents, and found this shocking diss:

Right at the beginning of the document was the budget proposal of the RA's communication staff ("Cost Center 1100", in their fancy fiscalese). Upon reading on page 4 all the good work this cost center has done and its 2013 highlights, I came across the following:

"Increased mentions in local and regional media (Reston Patch, The Connection, Fairfax Times, Fox 5, The Washingtonian)."

WHAT? No mention of Restonian? I believe you have made more mention of our taupe overlords than all the above-mentioned "lame-stream mess media" combined. Obviously, proof of a vast left-wing conspiracy against your good self in your continuing battle to expose the jackboots trampling our God-given right to plant bamboo and English ivy, spread red mulch, and paint our houses in pastel tones.

We were able to dry our tears long enough to get on the Internets and see what else $634 could buy. Here's a partial list:


A 2006 Honda CRV stereo with a 6 CD changer. (This CD not included.)


A Max Arzia Black Soft Leather Motorcycle Jacket (Small)


A Sekonic L-758DR DigitalMaster Flash Meter, for, um, metering flashes. We guess.


Finally, some sweeeeeeet Nitro Black Machined Rims for our BMW Ford Focus, the end.

1 comment:

  1. The amounts spent on software are quite ridiculous and should be looked into. A $300,000 website, $160,000 in document management software, and do we the members see any benefit? Not against the spending, but do we see any improvements on the services to their members? Have efficiency improved? Their "modern" website can't be used to make a room reservation online, you still have to complete a paper form... Pool passes are a joke (and really expensive for a piece of plastic)... And perhaps there's a lot more that hasn't been uncovered.


(If you don't see comments for some reason, click here).