Thursday, July 25, 2013

Minutes from June 24 RCA Board Meeting

Location: Reston Community Center, Hunters Woods

Attendees: C.J. Basik, Sridhar Ganesan. Diane Lewis, Colin Mills, Terry Maynard, Tammi Petrine, Gary Walker, Gary Lee Thomas, Dick Rogers

Visitor:  Mike Collins (former RA North Point Board member and currently an aide to Congressman Connolly)

Absent: John Hanley

Call to Order: President Mills called the meeting to order at 7:35. Dick Rogers agreed to take the minutes.

Agenda: Adopted with no change.

Minutes: The May minutes were adopted as submitted.

Treasurers Report: Diane Lewis reported no significant changes in income or expenditures.  The Board thanked Diane for her services as Treasurer during her term; she is leaving the board.

RCC-Rec Center: An extensive discussion was held on the rec center issue.

Colin Mills reported on the 17 June RCC budget meeting which approved $50,000 for possibly holding a referendum on the rec center in November 2014.  The RCC Building Committee is looking at the issue of alternate locations for a rec center. RCC plans to look more closely at rec center financing in early 2014.    

Tammi Petrine reported on the RCA rec center committee she has formed. There are several members with park, recreation or financial experience who can help analyze operating expenses.

A discussion was held on possible operating expenses and who would pay for them.  The consensus was that more research is needed.   Gary Lee Thomas made the point that it is important for the public know that unlike County oversight, there is no “Reston auditor” to overview the process. It was suggested that the financial issues be put forward in simple terms that the average Restonian could understand.

It was noted that RA has not yet taken a position and this will be discussed at the regular July RA Board meeting.  The possibility of joint RCA-RA work on the issue following the example of Aurora, Colorado might be considered.

As a result of the discussion, Mills and Petrine will see if a community coalition can be put together and then RA support for it solicited.

Election update: Colin Mills noted that there was no candidate for the North Point seat.   A press release on the election and candidate has been distributed. Gary Walker reported that election ballot process seems to be working OK.  The election period will run from 26 June to 10 July.

Technology/social media: Gary Walker reported that the website is up and working. He will explore whether photos can be put on it. He noted is important that the newsletter come our regularly since people seem to respond to it. People seemed to be picking up that it was on the site. There are about 810 subscribers although some are dropping out

Community Calendar: Gary Lee Thomas raised this some time ago, saying that it would be good if people had just one place to go to see what is happening in Reston.  It was noted that one problem is that there are so many organizations in Reston and we cannot depend on them informing RCA of their activity; RCA would need a paid person just to contact them.  A possible link to the Patch calendar was discussed. Colin summarized the discussion saying this is a good idea but we would need to determine if  we can partner with others.

RCC Meeting Space: Colin submitted a letter he drafted to Leila Gordon asking for free meeting space at RCC rather than paying the current $18 per meeting.  A discussion was held on whether we could get free meeting space elsewhere.  There may be concern at RCC that if they give RCA free space they will have to do it for many others.

A motion was made that Colin should send the letter. It was approved with 6 votes in favor and 1 opposed; 2 members abstained.

RCA Communication Disclaimer: In response to C.J. Basik’s motion at the previous meeting, Colin had drafted a short policy statement disclaiming RCA sponsorship of personal communications that do not reflect adopted RCA policy.  The sentence that the author is an RCA Board member was deleted. A motion was made for approval of the amended statement and it was approved unanimously.

“Maker Fair”:  Gary Lee Thomas noted he had not been able to get in touch with Brian Jacoby but had talked with his number 2.  They are still interested in organizing a “maker fair” in 2014 but they need to partner with a civic organization which would help to provide insurance and manpower.  Jacoby has talked about their employing an event planner.  Thomas said RCA still needs to figure out how it could fit in.  It was suggested that USGS might be a good site.

Transportation: Dick Rogers briefly noted that access to the south side of the station appears to be at a dead end and that County DOT officials are uncertain what to make of Supervisor Hudgins push for higher priority for Soapstone planning.  He noted that an RCA rep on the Hunter Mill Transportation Advisory Council (HM TAC) would be useful.

It was moved the RCA designate Dick Rogers to represent RCA on the HM TAC. The motion was approved unanimously.  Colin will send a note to Hudgins requesting his appointment.

RMPTF: Terry Maynard noted that the issue of whether the county will abandon its 300 sq ft standard for office workers is still open.  He noted that businesses are using much less space per worker now than years ago and square footage per office worker is expected to decline sharply in the next few years.  Use of the 300 GSF/worker standard will mean more workers in Reston when some see it going as low as 100 GSF/worker.  He hopes to get a formal response from the county.

Other items; Gary Lee Thomas suggested a formal letter of appreciation to Hank Blakely, who has left the Board. Colin agreed to prepare one.  Colin also thanked Diane Lewis and C. J. Basik, who are leaving the Board, for their service.

Next Meeting:  22 July. The new Board will be seated then.

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