Excitement...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 10, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    For those of you new to Sun City or perhaps not all that familiar with our history, there was an overriding theme or feature John Meeker tried to build into his 13 year run as head of the community development. Simply put, he wanted residents excited about what was going on.

    We've talked about the struggles and challenges during those early years and one of the best ways to overcome them was to focus on the exciting new aspects of Sun City. Clearly the Sun Bowl opening had an enormous wow factor. Mountainview Rec Center was some 6 years after Fairway opened and had people wanting more.

    The real pop came once they moved across the tracks. Lakeview Rec Center and the round appeal of a true resort setting along with the lake was enormous. The hospital followed shortly thereafter and was in part supported by donations. Seems to me like 85% of the residents kicked in something.

    Meeker understood promotion as well or better than anyone in the organization. The one thing residents longed for were the grand opening of the new model homes that happened about every two years. It was such a spectacular event that the day before the general grand opening he held a special opening for just residents. They solicited comments and awarded prizes and the community attended in droves. Wildly popular would be an understatement.

    Of course once DEVCO left, any new building or improvements stopped. It wasn't until 1999 when the board passed the PIF there was any opportunity to even consider how or what to update/improve. When the Bell Rec Center got some of the first of the PIF monies to be used in the pool/fitness area remodel, many of us realized Sun City had turned the corner.

    Bell was closed for near on a year. Some lamented losing that year was tragic. The majority looked at the renovation and hoped it would be as good as they promised. When they held the grand reopening, people came flooding in. Residents were stunned at the shinny new walking and swimming pools along with the massive fitness area. It created a buzz, an excitement not felt in Sun City for years.

    The next major rebuild was Fairway. The second oldest rec center was dumpy (i'm being kind). There were several challenges, PIF money was tight and the footprint of the land available was such we needed two stories to meet our needs. It was about a 4 year project, broken into two separate builds. Again, residents held their breath hoping they lasted long enough to use the new facilities.

    The good news was every step of the way they showed/told people what how it was going. Presentations were plentiful and excitement levels were high. When it did open, residents were thrilled. The community was enthralled by what was going on.

    The last major remodel was at Marinette. It was pushed on/at the board by the long range planning committee. The main focus was pickleball, but the pool, and fitness center (which used to be the size of a postage stamp) along with the exterior all got major upgrades. Again the community was thrilled when it opened.

    I will stop here, but there is a path we will continue down in this thread. If you understand our history and believe it matters, then you know using that buzz, that excitement factor is so important.

    Stay tuned.
     
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Before i begin, let's do a brief recap of some of the larger PIF projects: 2001/2002: Sundial Rec Center-$2million. 2005; Bell Rec Center Pool and Fitness-$4 million. 2008/2009: Fairway Rec Center (completion)-$16.5 million. 2012: North Golf Course and Patio-$5.6 million. 2013 Marinette Rec Center and Pickleball Pavilion-$5 million. 2013: Bell Tennis Complex-$1.6 million. 2015: Riverview Golf Course and Patio-$6.1 million. We also can factor in the Willowbrook/Willowcreek Golf Course work done last year and this for near on $10 million dollars, another $2 million for work done on turf reduction in 2016 at Lakes East and West and the $5.5 million buyout of the solar lease. By the way, i left out the millions that will be spent on golf course maintenance buildings, i didn't think any of those would get your juices flowing.

    Take a look at that list and tell me what gets you excited for the community at large? The last project with big picture community impact was Marinette. In reality, the Grand Ave project will affect a handful of clubs, but the vast majority of Sun City residents will never venture there. The solar buyout is a good thing, but hardly qualifying for blood pressure raising events. And the golf courses while they are getting much needed irrigation and water distribution work have left golfers less than thrilled as the year they are down and the 18 moth to 2 year grow in to maturity has angered many.

    Huge expenditures with virtually no big picture excitement since the Marinette project; and this is where i twist the knife and remind you that was the project recommended by our peers on the long range planning committee before it was kicked to the curb. I'm certainly not arguing we shouldn't have been investing in golf, but all at once? And before you buy into the logic we had to do it to keep the the state off our back because of the leakage at Viewpoint lake, ask the powers to be to release the document that says we have to invest 30 to 40 million dollars in golf course remodeling.

    All of this would have/could have been rendered mute if board members understood how Meeker built Sun City into the dynasty it is. If they knew the history and what it took, they could have followed a strategic plan for long term growth and success. They could have insured the community get excited by big picture openings in conjunction with needed investments in the infrastructure that is less than exciting.

    Historically speaking, we missed the mark and ignored what lay before our eyes. Hopefully those on the board now and those running for it in the future will grasp the importance of how and why Sun City succeeded.
     
  3. CMartinez

    CMartinez Member

    All of this would have/could have been rendered mute if board members understood........We recruit board members via the election committee. When the "recruiting" happens, it is done via survey. Ask questions these candidates are told. Ask me anything, I give you my best answer, they are told. No one tells them what it is like to be a board member. They are led to believe the RCSC runs on auto pilot and there really is no reason to get excited about anything. There lies the danger.

    I would like to get excited about classes for prospective board members, actually getting to feel, taste, and see what it takes to govern in Sun City. Let's face it, by the time a board member is in a place to be able to lead board decisions, the damage is already done. The next year a new board comes along, and chaos ensues again, especially with the selection of officers and committees. The "discussion" of who will do what always leads to some sort of resentment. Especially when the agreed to terms are swapped out behind ones back.

    I would like to see classes offered, titled "So come be a board member of the RCSC". Contained within these short sessions would be history of Sun City, what is the PIF, who is SCHOA, what does a board meeting look like, what are the needs for committees, and what is a liaison? This is basic Sun City in a short, neat lesson plan. Offer the classes once a quarter, advertise the heck out of them as a way to learn to participate in the governing of Sun City, and that it will be a fun time learning about the community at the same time. When most folks run for the board, they know nothing of what I just wrote about. How about making a commitment to educate the potential candidates so it is not a whole new language day one. Replace the chaos with comfort and knowledge. Why is there such a aversion to wanting to educate our electorate? Get people involved, give them the tools, let folks make correct decisions for the right reasons. Offer up an educational model of excellence and you shall receive excellence, in both the candidates, the processes and the choices made to govern. Keep everything in secret, behind closed doors, no idea how to govern, and you get where we are today. For Sun City to be successful, we need people who want it to be successful, who take on the task of being in control of the corporation and its destiny, and directing the work of the management team, not the other way around.
     
  4. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    This is very educational. I like the comments from you both on this thread and other threads.

    I get excited by the rec center redos on the list. I hope when they redo Lakeview they keep the overall design (if they can.) I really like the late 60s/early 70s retro.

    I'll have to come back later when I have time to read again and digest further.

    Just one question. When did the board work sessions become closed to the public?
     
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I think the work sessions have always been behind closed doors. The thing that was more open in the early years was discussions/changes were well publicized and debated before actions were taken. and back in the days those living here paid way closer attention to what was going on around them. I hate to say they cared more, but there were less technological distractions and they were more into the ownership of both the community and the governance. I think i mentioned the RCSC back in the early 80's were aghast when only 12,500 or so folks voted in the election for board members.
     
  6. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Wow. How times have changed. And not always for the better.

    I agree that they may be too quick to vote on changes before all the questions can be asked.
     

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