Reston Association Board of Directors listen to a member’s comments during the Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, Special Meeting-Public Hearing.
Photo by Mercia Hobson.
The Reston Association Board of Directors held a special meeting and public hearing Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at RA Headquarters. During the meeting, the board discussed a key change proposed to the 2019 budget. It involves the Board's decision to pass on to RA members fees charged by credit card companies. Sridhar Ganesan presided at the meeting.
The RA Board of Directors is scheduled to approve the budget and the 2019 assessment at its next meeting Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018. "That would bring to a close more than three months of Board deliberations on the various budget drafts developed by the staff, a process that also included multiple opportunities for the RA members to provide their input," said Ganesan.
During member comments, only one resident, John Higgins, addressed the board. “This is not the time to be passing the 2019 budget," said Higgins. "That was back in October-November of 2017 because you are supposed to have a Biennial. [RA] Never voted on a 2019 budget. Never. Might want to look at that gentleman. That was a violation of documents."
Higgins addressed his concern about credit card and processing costs when members pay their assessments. Trying to wrap his comments in under the allotted three minutes, Higgins shared that he believed the repair and replacement reserve fund was "grossly overfunded" and asked for greater analysis.
Ganeson explained, "The only free money that is unencumbered is about a million out of the seven million. The rest of it is committed either for past or for current or for something that’s been committed for next year."
The key changes proposed to the 2019 budget between the last Board meeting (Oct. 25, 2018) and the public hearing involves the Board decision to pass on to RA members the fees charged by credit card companies,” Ganesan said.
"Following Board approval in that regard, RA staff further evaluated its implementation and has recommended that RA hold off on charging such fees on annual assessment payments until the billing and collection system that it uses for such payments has been upgraded. This change, if approved, could potentially increase the proposed $693 annual member assessment by approximately $5 per member household."
Ganeson said, "RA uses a separate web-based system for payments related to other services and programs such as swim and tennis passes, and the staff has recommended to the Board that RA pass on credit card fees to members on all non-assessment related payments.
"RA members will have an additional opportunity to comment on the budget at the Nov. 15 Board meeting. The Board may also consider using some of its operating cash reserves to minimize potential increases to the annual assessment or to keep it at the 2018 assessment level of $682."