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Reston Association Perspective

Reston Association Perspective


Board's Line Item Review of Budget Continues

Sep 21 2015

By Ellen Graves
Board President

As I mentioned in my first update, I am using these posts to keep Reston Association (RA) members up-to-date on the association’s 2016-2017 budget development process. The RA board of directors and RA staff conducted the third in a series of budget work sessions Wednesday, Sept. 16.

During the 5-hour work session, Board members and staff thoroughly reviewed the extensive list of follow-up data and questions that the Board requested of the staff at its second work session. The RA staff provided a great deal of useful information making it possible for the Board to have rich dialogue on virtually every aspect of the operating budget. The Board conducted a line-by-line review of the list of Potential Budget Adjustments provided by RA staff and identified over $42,000 of unnecessary activities in the operating budget. The Board will continue its line item review at its next work session.     

As Board members consider data and make capital and expense budget funding determinations we remain focused on these guiding principles: 

1.    The 2016 & 2017 Strategic Budget Themes identified during the 6/29/15, Budget Work Session – Leading Sustainable Change, Optimizing Member Experiences, and Leveraging Technology

2.    The quality of life we want for all Reston Association Members; and

3.    The value of all of the property the Association is entrusted to maintain including but not limited to residential properties, roadways and common areas.

While learning that aquatics and pool maintenance and operating costs are a significant budget expense, Board members also listened to a number of cost-saving options presented by RA’s Deputy of Director for Recreation Laura Kowalski – including the option of closing some pools and/or reducing operating hours in 2016. Reston Association has 15 outdoor pools that cost approximately $1.6 million annually to operate. 2010 to 2015 pool operating statistics show that some pools are just not being fully utilized and many function below capacity levels. The Board has made no decision on the impact to the pools at this time, but will have further conversations in the coming weeks and months as we finalize the budget process.

During the fourth in the series of 2016/2017 budget development work sessions, which will take place on Thursday, Oct. 1, the Board will continue to review the list of Potential Budget Adjustments with particular attention on RA Parks and Recreation expenses including: Aquatics/Pools, Camp and Special Event programs. The meeting will be streamed lived on RA’s YouTube channel beginning at 6 p.m.