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We were part of the team selected to conduct the independent review of the Lake House project.

While we were not


able to come to agreement with Reston Association (RA) on the terms of the review, we were able to analyze the
events leading up to the purchase by reading public documents on the RA website, and watching RA Board
meetings on YouTube. We feel it is important to share our findings with the Board and the community with the hope
the Board would hear our concerns, answer our questions, and commit to improving the way it manages our money.
Below is a summary of major findings from the January 22, 2015 Board Meeting - the first public meeting on the
project.

I. Major decisions on the Lake House project (e.g., price, timeline, financing) seem to have been made
by staff and attorneys before the project was presented to the Board at the January 22, 2015 meeting.
It is not certain that the full Board knew what staff was doing.
The staff and land use attorneys presentation revealed that negotiations with the owner were well underway
prior to the board meeting. The appraisal was commissioned. Staff had approached a bank for a $2M loan.
The CEO discussed the owners timeline. There is no indication in the public record that the full Board was
aware staff and attorneys were conducting this work. An April 10, 2015 Reston Now article stated that the
CEO spoke with officers about the project in late 2014, and that the officers requested it be presented to the
full Board in January 2015, however, there is no record of this conversation. This gives the impression this
deal was crafted by a small group (of select Board members, staff, and attorneys) without consent of the full
Board.
Our questions:
1. Who drove this purchase?
2. What Board members knew this work was occurring?

II. Vital Board debate did not occur in public. The Board held a two-hour Executive Session on the
project, which prevented citizens from hearing critical Board discussions.
The two-hour Executive Session on potential contractual matters related to the Lake House would have
been understandable if it occurred after the presentation on the project by staff, however, it occurred before
the proposal was presented to the Board, and before any contract was proposed. During the public meeting,
following the presentation, there was no open discussion regarding price, condition of the property, financing,
and ability to pay. We are concerned the Board and its attorneys are using Executive Session to hold vital
debate and make critical decisions on projects that affect our assessments.
Our question: What was discussed in this Executive Session? It certainly was not a contract, as no
contract or proposed contract was on the table.

III. The CEO proposed a rapid timeline for purchase. The Board was required consider and quickly act
on multiple motions - all in one meeting. Several Board members raised concerns about the rapid
timeline; these concerns were not heeded.
The CEO noted that the timeline was the preferred timeline of the owner. We appreciate several Board
member questions about the rapid timeline and questions on how to slow the process down. These were not
reflected in the minutes.
Our questions:
1. Why the rapid timeline?
2. Why didnt the CEO heed Board members concerns?
3. Why did the owners timeline matter?

IV. The RA land use attorney appears to have a conflict of interest.


RAs land use attorney, who presented on the project and commissioned the appraisal, represented Lake
Newport residents in a battle over expansion of that same property in 2003. Many members wonder if he
was representing the interest of all RA members or his previous clients. At the very least, the previous
relationship should have been disclosed from the onset.
Our question: Who was the land use attorney representing?

This is the first of several installments on the events leading up to the purchase of the Lake House. We urge you to
ask Board members and prospective Board members about these events. Our extended analysis on the January 22,
2015 meeting can be found here. In our next installment we will review the appraisals.

Installment I: January 22, Board Meeting


1/26/17