Is the RCSC Long Range Planning Committee now a charade?

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by aggie, May 25, 2019.

  1. aggie

    aggie Active Member

    Definition of charade: an absurd pretence intended to create a pleasant or respectable appearance.

    If all club space allocation is now to be decided by RCSC Management, what is the purpose of the LRP Committee? Discussions regarding space allocation won't be discussed at open meetings because Management will be doing everything behind the scenes. Sure, club members can get up to speak during member comments at BOD Meetings but questions regarding space will just be passed off to Management.

    It will be interesting to see if Rich Hoffer's request for club stats is granted. Past Long Range Planning and Member Communications Committees have both requested this information which is readily available. Let's see if an open discussion to get this information released is more successful.

    Also, why is there no place for Members to comment on Agenda items? There is only an option to sign up to speak on specific Motions or Member comments at the end of the meeting once Agenda Items have already been voted on by the BOD.
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    What a great question aggie.

    I'll be 71 in July and while that isn't old/old by Sun City standards, there aren't that many good years left. Certainly not enough left to waste away on committee's that are purely for show. I wasn't sure what to expect when Rich invited Ben and I to join the long range planning committee this year. I was unimpressed by what they did last year, but most of it was due the board members overseeing the process. Rich and Dale have tried to jump-start it and to be honest there are some really talented people on the committee.

    The problem is, i'm not sure it matters. After what we saw at the last board meeting, as you noted, the board just keeps shoveling more authority on the management team. There was a point in time when committee's mattered, but this management team has made it clear, they are more interested in dictating rather than listening. We have moved away from the process of self-governance to one of an autocratic construct of control. It flies in the face of how Sun City was built.

    Look back over the past twelve years and you will see some absolutely horrible missteps. Rich ran on the concerns of Sun City remaining competitive, and he was spot on about the importance of being at the forefront, not the ass-end. Unfortunately as other communities have moved away from golf, we've pissed away millions on renovations that haven't made a difference. Over a 20 year period there was going to be over 100 million dollars available to stay abreast of the age restricted marketplace. Rather than developing a strategic plan, we voted to dismiss the long range planning committee and let the board/management make silly decisions with no basis for doing so.

    The long and the short of it is this: If the committee is the real deal, i will stay. If it is simply for show, i'm gone. The committee has developed a set of goals and will next present a definitive time line for implementation. If the board agrees, awesome. If not, i've got plenty of other things to give my time to.
  3. Ida Eisert

    Ida Eisert Member

  4. Ida Eisert

    Ida Eisert Member

    I believe before any vote by the Board, a Member should be allowed to speak to offer further discussion as to whether it goes on to a Motion. So if any Agenda item is a vote item Members should be allowed to speak to that topic when signed up to speak. If the Agenda item is meant as only consensus of the Board to proceed then okay and Members can voice their opinion after that consensus, although, the better would be to have any Member to speak before consensus. Shedding light by anyone brings us closer to clarity and logical decision making.
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    There was a time in Sun City when hundreds of members showed up for any meetings held by the RCSC. Members were encouraged to speak up and more importantly have a voice at the quarterly membership meetings. The day they changed the quorum numbers was the beginning of the end of the process of self-governance. Pretending that having 1250 residents attend is still a reality is simply no reality at all.
  6. aggie

    aggie Active Member

    The Grand Avenue Center plan really is baffling. The Oakmont Jewelry and the Oakmont Ceramics now are being given space at this new Center. Neither of these clubs went through the vetting process with the ad hoc planning committee. If they are in fact given club space, wouldn't it make sense to put the Jewelry Club in the 2nd building and have the Ceramics in the 1st building which will also have the Clay Club. Their crafts are very similar and require similar equipment.

    It will be interesting to see what will now take the vacated space at Oakmont since it will be up to Management to grant the usage.
  7. Aggie, that was a stealth ram job by Dan “Fredo” Schroeder.
  8. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I think the answer to the header, or question, is it would appear, the LRP, is slowly being divvied up and given to management. There appears to be little interest by the BOD to appoint citizens members to assist with plans and projects, and the direction also appears to be to give everything back to management, as this current BOD has no interest in participating in the process of governing.
  9. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    One of the motions you will see coming in June will be an extensive proposal for tracking clubs and activities. The long range planning committee understands the importance of decisions being made based on data. More importantly, that tracking can only be done by incorporating technologies into our daily processes.

    Couple all of that with the supporting documentation by the LRPC that Generation X will only be attracted to the community if we are technologically driven. If Sun City has a major shortcoming, it has been our failure to embrace technology.

    Our proposals to the board encompass all of that and more. Next week we will discuss them in total and if we have consensus we will move forward asking the board for total buy-in. It was why i said above, if we are the real deal, it will only be if the board acts in concert with our proposals. If not, i see no value in staying on the committee.

    For far too long Sun City has been flying by the seat of their pants. Acting on emotion and who shouts the loudest is a horrible way to run a community. I’ve been outspoken about how i feel about the past twelve years and it us time to get back on track and setting this community on solid ground for the next 20 years.

    We’ll see eh?
  10. IndependentCynic

    IndependentCynic Active Member

    I'm all for statistics, but statistics only tell part of the story. They tell the "how much", but give little insight into the why/why-not" and nothing about future trends. The RCSC needs all three to make good decisions -- ie, usage statistics, opinion surveys, and recreation industry trends. The LRPC has historically drawn focus to these -- sadly there's little evidence the BOD cares.

    The RCSC gathers gross usage statistics, clubs gather attendance statistics, etc. This data can provide user numbers, frequency of use, time distribution of analysis. It provides little granular information and NO information about the why/why not. And while a decline in use indicates a trend, it says little as to whether it's a facility issue or an industry trend. Reasons matter. You have to ask BOTH the user and the non-user WHY to get a picture that represents the true community preference. If you don't your making decisions on preferences of only part of your customer (member) base. Reasons must drive changes if the RCSC is truly vested in it's charter.

    For example, it's great to know that X people use a rec center's fitness area. But little is known (I suspect) about how many people use each machine type, what machines they wish the center had, etc. It says nothing about why people don't use machines -- they don't like that machine, they don't know how to use it, or what ever. And it certainly says nothing about why people who don't use the center's fitness area at all -- are they uninterested, have handicap issues, transportation problems, self-esteem issues, etc. Depending on the WHYs, the RCSC can/should make changes to accommodate these members -- to do otherwise is discriminatory.

    I've been a broken record about this for nearly two decades, but here's another salvo in case you missed the previous dozen or so pleas --- THE RCSC DESPERATELY NEEDS A THOROUGH OPINION SURVEY OF THE ENTIRE MEMBERSHIP.
  11. SCR

    SCR Member

    Aggie - I am of the opinion that the thread title should be "Is The BOD now a Charade?". The purpose that I see that the board serves is that they are the voice of Management. Appearances suggest that they really spend very little time researching any motion that comes before them. They definitely don't seem to have a voice of their own. I don't know how much time each board member spends in total or on any given motion or agenda, but I don't think it is a lot. BP you may be able to speak to that. I find it hard to believe that every board member fully understands the lawyereese used to make the number of changes that have been made to the Sun City governing documents. It's like trying to read and understand your electric bill.

    As for the Grand Ave project, I believe whatever amount was agreed upon to be spent on that project will be fall woefully short of actual expenditures. The actual cost of the property was more than 750,000 when you factor in all lawyers fess, and closing costs. The property has sat empty for years now with no foreseeable progress in sight. The property has become run down and is beginning to look like an abandoned building. The cost of fence rentals alone has got to be getting up there.

    BP - self governance is a thing of the past. I know you are passionate about Sun City history, but Sun City is no longer a dreamers paradise of retirement. It is not being run by the residents any longer and hasn't been for at least 10 to 15 years.. It is not the same Sun City. Yes, history does matter and it can be used to teach, but I don't ever see Sun City being governed by either its residents or BOD in my lifetime. Both the residents and the BOD have given total control to management. Having watched the number of attendees at the member exchanges and board meetings over the past several years you should be able to see that there is no interest by the residents to get involved. The biggest turnouts ever at any RCSC function have been the FREE concerts, and the EPCOR and APS rate increases. Where the pocket book is involved you see huge attendance numbers. Changing of the quorum numbers was not the beginning of the end of self-governance.
    It may have contributed slightly, but the ever increasing mobile nature of today's society along with the internet and the ability to order goods for free delivery to your doorstep, communicate with your neighbors and peers on mobile devices, and better and cheaper shopping solutions outside of Sun City have done more the raising the quorum.

    Technology should and must be implemented in every aspect of Sun City life. It should be used to track attendance at the free concerts, the number of people actively using any of the clubs, the number of uses a particular piece of equipment is used, the number of people showing up at board meetings., the number of individuals playing 9 or 18 rounds of golf, the number of individuals using each hole on the courses, the total number of people using the golf courses, how many people use the snack shops, and almost anything that can be done in Sun City. The data collected must be from an independent organization outside of Sun City with no political ties and it must not able to be massaged by anyone within Sun City. It should be used to confirm or contradict management/BOD claims and above all, it must be secure. Will it be expensive to implement and maintain? Absolutely, but it will not cost anywhere near what is being spent on golf or the Grand Ave project.

    IC - An opinion survey will probably get the same number of replies as the number of attendees at the board meetings. Any opinion survey authored by the BOD/Management must be done by a reputable and independent organization with no ties to Sun City. The results of the survey should be published both online, and in the Independent.
    IndependentCynic likes this.
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Great comments guys, can't argue with anything either of you have written. The most aggressive survey was several years back and there were about 2500 respondents. The challenge is talking only to those living here and then it still was only a small sampling. And as much as the data matters, the bigger issue is our technology vacuum. We've simply fallen behind, badly. We need enhance and embrace a ground up rebuild on how we function. Once that's done, everything else can become a reality. Virtually everything we are talking about incorporates technology into the changes and data gathering.

    I know we will never return to our glory days of self-governance. That said, we need to teach and reach buyers, both new and potential ones, that our history does matter. For that to happen, we need the board to understand the value of information. We need them to take more ownership of the governance process. It's gone the wrong direction for 12 years now. There was a time when boards limited the GM's role to one of strictly managing. God, what a novel idea.

    My point is, the long range planning committee is trying to set in place some structure to move the very things along you are saying. There will come a time in the next couple of years where one of the most important decisions Sun City will make will happen. When the current GM retires, who will take her place? What qualities will we be looking for? If you have paid any attention to Sun City West, they have made significant changes, mostly done with massive input from residents. Their new GM actually lives in Sun City. Interesting.

    Our biggest problem for years has been short-term problem solving, and almost always at the cost of the long game. The one thing we should all know and understand is hiring the right people in the right job is critical to any organizations success. Loyalty is worthless, other than to the person they are being loyal to. Non-profits are notorious for not holding people accountable. When boards think their role is to simply "support management," they fail to understand the critical role they play.

    Hopefully we are on the right track with the long range planning committee. Building for the future is a slow arduous process. Several of us think we are moving in the right direction, now its a question of whether the board will see it that way.
  13. IndependentCynic

    IndependentCynic Active Member

    Agreed, plus the number of times they've changed the documents is astounding compared to other nearby Sun City developments -- eg, SCG's bylaws are dated 2006 on their website. The RCSC's seemingly change every year; they bear little resemblance to what I signed up for when I moved to SC in the early 2000's. That's possibly a result of the newer SC's functioning under T33? Maybe requiring member approval under T33 is an effective motivator for members to be more involved -- no vote, no changes?
    A friend told me they were friendly with the manager of the Furr's Restaurant that occupied that location for 25 years or so before they closed circa 2012. The manager commented shortly before the restaurant closed that Furr's considered buying the building and nixed the idea quickly because it would cost a fortune to bring the building up to code. Apparently the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing are abysmal. I remember eating there and the lights or AC would go out and they would have to go reset breakers. So I suspect you are correct, the renovation costs will skyrocket sans sensible (if any) justifications from the RCSC, swept under the rug as was done with Fairway, Marienette, Solar, etc. Could the delay in renovation be related to reduced PIF spending until the lawsuit is resolved?
    I certainly agree that the bulk of the RCSC and SCHOA should be heavily invested in IT. The excuse that "seniors are computer illiterate" is yesterday's news (although many will still claim they are even though they have a smartphone and ipad). I'm not a big fan of "big brother is watching", however, so I agree that statistics gathered need to be sanitized of actual member identity even to the RCSC (except for lawsuits, insurance claims, etc ). Good luck with getting the RCSC to agree with making it public and keeping self serving politics out of the equation. I can't judge the SCHOA b/c I don't follow much of their doings.
    Good surveys cost lots of money, and there isn't a lot of cost difference between good ones and bad ones -- so it pays to put the effort into making it complete, well designed, and apolitical. It needs to answer what's liked, what's not, what facilities are used, which aren't, and what the respondent wishes the RCSC had. The questions shouldn't just be about amenities, there should also be questions about governance. If the RCSC won't sanction the survey, we should form a citizens group and do it in spite of the RCSC, much like some of the surveys in the '80s BP talked about recently.

    The survey must be executed independent of the RCSC -- otherwise the results will be what the RCSC wants them to be. As to response numbers, certainly you can't force someone to complete a survey, but you can incentivize them to do so by any number of means -- eg, discount/penalty on assessment, prize drawings, etc. If I had a 1 in 30,000 chance at winning, say, $1000, I know I'd complete the survey. Without question, the results should be made public to the membership, but release to the general public should be measured, especially if portions of the results are negative and might affect home sales, etc.
  14. aggie

    aggie Active Member

    I saw that an agenda item for next week's BOD Meeting is a request to have RCSC Management's initial plan for Mountain View Rec Center by December 2020. Was there discussion about this in the Long Range Planning Meeting this morning? Will there be additional input prior to management's decision about what will be done about the pool/pools and possible having the Performing Arts Center re-located to Bell Center?
  15. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Nope, we have nothing more to say about it. It's all in the hands of management.

    Go figure.
  16. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Another demise of the LRP? This time, right before our very eyes, and not allowed to say a word?

    The BOD gave it all back to the GM, nicely orchestrated. Guess those little nose signals all of the directors were giving towards the management desk were an affirmation that orders were being followed. Watch the video and notice the smile and the nudge to each one's nose. Just following orders?
  17. War is peace
    Freedom is slavery
    Truth are lies

    Welcome to the new improved RCSC Board of Directors. Which reminds me that I still do not understand this open meeting under Title 33, Board by laws and policies changed to conform to Title 33 because of the court decision last September and a statue passed that we “operate” under Title 10 but nothing has changed back, consequently this must be some sort domestic something or other. Then there is some sort sort jive in the latest Sun Views that reverse mortgages had a hand in “stream lining” the policies. This sounds like a lot of jive bull crap to me or am I missing something.

    Then there is this performing arts center, which if you sift through verbal diarheria is just another vanity project for another club. The players give how many performances a year? I attended the town hall last year and the players stated that the space could also be used for lectures, by who? Tim Cook, Bill Gates, Walter Issacson, don’t think so. Then there was it could be used for the Sundial paid shows where close to 1,200 people show up in a theater that holds maybe 400. Who are they selling tickets to, leprechauns? The players also stated it could be the venue for Sun Bowl shows that must be moved because of weather. Since they Sun Bowl shows average about 4,000, this is a good plan how? Please refer to my previous example. A disaster in the making.

    We also have Sun City’s most self entitled club, Vintage Vehicles, continuing to worm their way to the front of the line for RCSC to build them their tribute to the Parthenon for somewhere around $4,000,000 no matter what figure they tell you. Why is that? Everyone else has to go through the process and they feel they do not because we have the Grand Avenue property. Is this insulting or is it me?

    Just had to get this off my chest.
  18. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    In Sun City's history, long before the Players Club, there was a call for a performing arts center to be placed on the Bell Rec Center property. So, the players club would like a nice place to put on their shows, so what? Why not a performing arts center for the community? To host lectures, speakers, educational topics and the like. No, I don't think Bill Gates would come by, but then again, this is just you, stretching the point to the absurd. The only disaster is to ignore the needs of the community and not put in an entertainment venue for Sun City. It is long overdue, and despite all of your bluster and bravado, should be planned for and completed. This site, TOSC, has hosted several ideas as to how and what it could be, so I am not going to rehash those same ideas.

    I agree with the car club. Many clubs have waited for dedicated space and all of a sudden, the car club comes into the picture and feels entitled to be first. They should follow the process like other clubs. It should be examined as to why the car club all of a sudden is first in line to the space and money, when there are so many deserving clubs out there.

    As far as I am concerned, the new "open" meetings are staged, the outcome is known to the management team and board prior to the meeting, which is why less and less folks will attend, the fix is in. The way the GM has it now, she does the appearance of open meetings to abate the criticism, yet she reaffirms Title 10, which allows for closed and secretive meetings, which I feel sure is going on. Can't prove it, not going to try, but it sure feels staged to me.
  19. CM, don’t want to get off on the wrong foot here on this performing arts thing, but I was just repeating what was said in the past. While I admit to having an abrasive attitude at times, now the arts center is moving around between Bell and Mountain View.

    Since I am familiar with construction projects of this type and size, I can say that Bell would be a no go without the complete demolition of a section of the center. This would be because of the nature of theater seating being sloped. I just see a lot of problems putting this there. The only saving grace on Bell would be parking. I did hear once about constructing a stand alone building in Bell parking, but that presents parking problems per the building code. That would make this a non starter on this site.

    Mountain View would be best as less demolition work and there is a lot of wasted space on the property. The hall/gym/stage area is conducive to a 400 to maybe 450 seat theater. Anything larger would require demolition of that entire area or the building. Parking could be a problem and seating would have to be based on parking. My prediction on cost for Mountain View including a redo of the pool area would run around $21 million or so and would require a construction manager like Weitz, who did Fairway and under budget.

    While I might of been a touch sarcastic regarding the paid shows at Sundial and bad weather scenarios at Sun Bowl, those ideas were in fact presented at the MV town hall last year. I believe the people presenting the ideas didn’t exactly think them through.

    I am sensitive to the needs of the community, I just don’t want to spend a ton of money on a white elephant and I would also like this in Phase 1. So far all we have received is a new rec center ten years ago, some redone golf courses, couple of club houses on the courses, club space in a repurposed defunct Chinese restaurant and a Taj Mahal ego building for one club#. The arts center is the only project that really benefits the whole community. I would also like the first musical performance to be a concert featuring Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and either Fugazi or The Screaming Trees. A suitable alternate would be My Bloody Valentine. These are real bands.
  20. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Hey GdV, no harm, no foul. No abrasiveness, sorry to elude to as such. Yet there have been times when the gist of the conversation has taken a distinct turn to the farcical. Nine Inch Nails, eh?

    How about the plot of vacant land on the corner of Olive and 99th? Instead of trying to remodel a wheel, build a new and better wheel.

    Mountainview is not a suitable site because of the parking situation. It will never meet code for a level of desired occupancy and meet the parking requirements. It makes more sense to turn Mountainview into sports area, and build a new entertainment complex for the community. Since land is at a premium for the size desired, the available locations are dwindling.

    The assignment of space allocation to management makes sure there will be little to no attention paid to the public needs and wants, and can count on a whole lot of lip service, double speak and general disregard for what would really benefit the members.

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