June 14, 2016
Good Evening! My name is Sridhar Ganesan and my home address is 12000 Lake Newport Road. I am also the president of Reston Citizens Association, an organization that represents everyone in Reston.
I speak in my individual capacity as well as for RCA to comment on the topic that is uppermost on a lot of people’s minds - the need for, among other things, a detailed review of RA’s acquisition of Tetra/Lake House, together with the revenue and business forecasts that were provided to the members last year when the proposal was first made, the initial cost estimates for the renovation of the facility and the subsequent massive cost overruns as reported recently.
There are many concerns with regard to the processes, internal controls and decisions that were made from the time the Tetra-Lake House property acquisition was first proposed all the way up to the May 26, 2016 RA Board meeting when $430,000 was approved to be transferred from the operating budget to meet the cost overruns, all of which seem to be outside the approved budget.
For the greater good of Reston and the Reston Association organization, I strongly urge that we perform this bottoms-up review of Tetra/Lake House facility and use that as a basis to improve RA’s operations and make the governance structure much stronger – whether it is within the RA organization, the Board operations or the various committees. To be effective, the review should include all communications involving Tetra, including e-mails, memos, staff reports, consultant reports, billings, assessments, inspection reports, contractor bids, phone logs, schedule of meetings, as requested by the review panel.
It is imperative that this review be conducted by an independent panel of citizens from Reston, and not be a RA Board led and not include anyone associated in any way with the purchase, renovation or marketing of the Tetra facility. It is very critical for the reputation and credibility of RA as well as for those of its current directors and is all the more needed, given the distrust and lack of confidence that currently prevails.
As a public company chief financial officer by background, I offer my services to be on such an independent review panel - in my capacity as a member of RA and someone with the ability to perform such due diligence. I am currently in the process of assembling a suitably qualified non-partisan team for our consideration to be a part of this panel.
The key point is to set up a transparent independent review. So I implore this RA Governance Committee to recommend to the full RA Board that such a committee be established to perform the due diligence required, facilitating all support required in a timely manner to perform the review, including making available all staff and directors on the Board of RA as needed. For the benefit of the Reston community, we should also charge this panel with making recommendations on governance structures, financial and operational processes and internal controls in order to strengthen RA’s operating and financial structures.
Thank you for your help in moving this forward.