Autumn on Lake Audobon

Autumn on Lake Audobon
Autumn on Lake Audubon, Photo by Alison Kamat

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Statement of Terry Maynard for Reston 20/20 at Special RA Board meeting on Tetra review, March 20, 2017



Statement of Terry Maynard, Co-Chair
Reston 20/20 Committee re
The StoneTurn Group Tetra Report and Follow-up
March 20, 2017


Good evening.  I am Terry Maynard, 2217 Wakerobin Lane, and I am speaking on behalf of the Reston 20/20 Committee.

First, I would like to thank StoneTurn Group and its investigative team for its excellent report prepared in far too brief a time.  It does exactly what you, Deidre, promised it would do:  It lays out a clear forensic description of what happened during the unfolding Tetra debacle.   Regrettably, from our perspective, it does not lay out specifically the who, why, and how of the many events it identifies. 

The members of Reston Association deserve to know all the details in this shameful episode, including those reported by StoneTurn Group and others that are not covered in this report.  We need to know, first, because somewhere between our Board and RA staff and its contractors, including counsel, RA spent $2.65 million of our money on a property worth less than half that in 2015.  Moreover, in 2016, RA spent nearly one million dollars repairing and renovating the property without any budget or identifiable Board approval until some $600,000 had been spent.  The total spending was nearly quadruple the quarter-million dollar forecast estimate in referendum documents. 
 
These are colossal errors.  We must know in depth how and why they occurred and who caused them to occur.  Then we must take steps to prevent these blunders from being repeated, and to discourage anyone from ever making them in the future. 

Our preliminary report, which used the StoneTurn results extensively, highlights several major areas of mishandling of Tetra’s purchase and repair.  As the many questions it raises suggest, it is meant to stimulate further investigation. 

In contrast to numerous mistakes StoneTurn Group documents, neither StoneTurn Group nor we have been able to identify a single attempt by RA or the Board actually to lay out a price offer, formal or informal, to Tetra’s owner for less than his asking price of $2.7 million.  To the contrary, we have an e-mail from the RA land use attorney’s office to the CEO attempting to justify the seller’s $2.7 million price.  Maybe such an offer document exists, but it hasn’t surfaced yet.  If it doesn’t, that’s a monumental failure of RA Board, staff, and counsel fiduciary responsibility. 

Similar unexplained and highly questionable events occurred throughout last year’s period of renovation, but I think we have made the point:  There is much more to know and do before closing this ugly chapter in Reston’s history.

What all this points to is the need for a follow-up investigation to understand fully all that occurred and to make appropriate corrective recommendations.  The core purposes of that investigation would be to identify specifically what mistakes, accidental or malicious, were made, identify who was culpable for those mistakes, and recommend to the Board appropriate corrective policy, process, and personnel actions.

We propose that the next RA Board of Directors appoint a special committee of RA residents with an extensive period to work and extensive authority to access RA documents and personnel to pursue this investigation.  Heaven knows, this community has the expertise to conduct such an effort.  In the end, the community is the aggrieved party in this fiasco, stuck with a white elephant, millions in debt for decades, and the near certainty that facility revenues will never cover costs.  Moreover, by using community resources, we have the opportunity to avoid yet another major expense related to this shameful episode. 

That said, we appreciate that this Board, the majority of which served throughout the purchase and renovation of Tetra, is not planning to take action on StoneTurn Group’s recommendations.  Moreover, as the CEO rightly pointed out in last week’s Board Governance Committee meeting, RA’s specific ideas on how to address process and procedural matters need to be refined.  We think that a further indepth investigation will help shape those ideas much more effectively and accomplish much more for the betterment of Reston.

Monday, March 13, 2017

A Preliminary Report on Key Issues in RA's Mishandling of the Purchase and Renovation of the Tetra Property, Reston 20/20 Committee, March 13, 2017

E-mail transmitting report to RA Board of Directors and others: 

Terry Maynard

Today at 10:01 AM

Message body

Dear Ladies & Gentlemen,

Attached for your consideration is a brief preliminary report on RA's mishandling of Tetra based on the work of StoneTurn Group in laying out the relevant events and the excellent work of a small group of Reston 20/20 researchers who ferreted out additional information and tied it all together.  Our goal in this report was to pinpoint areas for follow-up so we, as a community, can understand who was behind what happened and why those events occurred.  It is meant to stimulate discussion and a much deeper follow-up initiative to get to the bottom of all the mistakes that occurred and hold accountable those who made them.  In the end, if we do not hold accountable those who horribly mishandled the Tetra purchase and renovation, we can almost certainly expect a similar debacle to occur in the future.

In light of the fact that the current Board majority was immersed in all the events described here and in StoneTurn's report, it has no credibility in conducting any further actions on Tetra.  The new RA Board, installed next month with a majority not involved in Tetra, should tackle the issues we raise here and any others it finds in a deep dive effort by a committee of Restonians.

In the meantime, we look forward to discussing StoneTurn Group's report as well as our own at tomorrow's special Board meeting, assuming the forecast blizzard doesn't prevent the meeting from occurring. 

Sincerely,
Terry Maynard, Co-Chair
Reston 20/20 Committee

   A Preliminary Report on RA's Mishandling of the Purchase and Renovation of the Tetra Property by TerryMaynard on Scribd



Friday, March 3, 2017

An Open Letter Concerning the St. Johns Wood Proposed Re-Development

An Open Letter Concerning the St. Johns Wood Proposed Re-Development

To: The Reston Planning & Zoning Committee, Reston Design Review Board, Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning, Fairfax County Supervisors, and all affected community members-

A plea for adequate time for public review and comment on the next round of developer changes to its St. Johns Wood re-development proposal.

The undersigned residents of the North Point area of Reston seek your attention and assistance regarding anticipated changes to plans for redevelopment of the St. Johns Wood apartment complex.  The property is located at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Center Harbor Road. Please assure that Bozzuto Development Company, Inc. (Bozzuto) provides all affected reviewing authorities and the public-at-large sufficient time and information to review the revised plans that the developer has indicated will be made.

The numerous submissions by Bozzuto for redevelopment of the property, seeking to convert 250 multi-family garden apartments in nine-three story buildings to 467 new apartments and forty-four townhomes, have undergone many changes over several years.  County Supervisor Hudgins currently advises on her website, “Bozzuto is in the process of revising their plan; therefore, the public hearing was deferred until May 25, 2017.”  This postponement by County Planning follows deferral of review by the Reston Design Review Board in October 2016 and a statement of non-support for the Bozzuto application by the Reston Association in September 2016.

More recently, the Reston Planning & Zoning Committee calendared the review of a yet-to-be publically released revision of the developer’s redevelopment plans for St. Johns Wood. That meeting is scheduled for March 27.

Despite the rapidly approaching dates for Reston Planning & Zoning Committee review and the County Planning public hearing, to date Bozzuto has not provided the public with any information about changes to its application.

If the changes are not significant, it is unconscionable to withhold public scrutiny of this potentially neighborhood-altering project. If as is suspected the changes to the application are significant, it is even more imperative that the public be provided meaningful opportunity to examine and comment.  This is particularly important given the troubling deficiencies cited by the Reston Design Review Board and the Reston Association.

The St. Johns Wood project will so greatly affect the quality of life, environment, safety, and property values of the North Point area of Reston that the project must be reviewed in the most transparent manner possible. Please help!

Susan Barse
Stephen Canner
Mark Clyman
Arlene Krieger
Patricia Lentz
John Mooney
Dabney Narvaez
Linda Platt
Jeanne Vasterling