Let me explain...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    For as long as Talk of Sun City has been around, we've always had way more readers than posters. Most boards like this are the same. Just the way it is. With that caveat out of the way, i always feel compelled to set the record straight for those reading while trying to decide if Sun City AZ is right for them.

    I know some posters get antsy when some of us write negative comments about the community we love. I've never been a fan of sugar-coating stuff; i've always felt brutal honesty is way more effective in helping shape change. Pretending everything is perfect is nonsense.

    Sun City AZ is as good as it gets. That said, my frustration is it could be so much better. Anyone who has studied our history knows what it took to make it work. It was a massive effort by those building it, and those buying into it. It was supposed to fail, but no one told those behind it they couldn't succeed.

    In this thread, i will try and lay out some of the values built into the community. More importantly we will look closely at our shortcomings and how we have strayed. How the movement away from the tenets we were founded under have eroded.

    For anyone uncomfortable with the negative, don't read any further. For those looking to understand why we are special, unique and stumbling at times, it will be an exercise in growth. Those of posting on Talk of Sun City do so because we love it, not hate it.

    Should be fun and hopefully readers will feel free to join in with their thoughts, if not, i will be happy to do the heavy lifting.
     
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Let's begin: Sun City was a community shaped and built around the concept of member involvement. No question, the Del E Webb Development Corporation (DEVCO) took the leadership role, but those buying and living here were intimately involved from the outset. By 1963 there were three organizations run solely by residents. Both rec centers (Community Center and Town Hall) had their own and the home owners association was formed to oversee the governmental aspect. It wasn't unusual to see at least a dozen candidates for board member openings.

    You know DEVCO's efforts were about getting the ownership of those centers in members hands. They paid for the construction with a fixed price on every home and handing them off insured they wouldn't be obligated to continue to run them. The golf courses were paid for by the premiums on lots adjacent to the courses, but the members were reluctant to take ownership because of outside play and the potential for them to being a cash cow. With the building of each new center, they continued the practice of deeding them to the community. It forced residents to take on ownership responsibilities.

    It wasn't till late in the 70's when the courses were finally deeded over to the RCSC. Even then, there were fears they would become a major drain on the assets of the corporation. So much so they made it so ten pin bowling and golf needed to be self-sustaining. While everything else was subsidized by rec fees (now called lot assessments), these two sports were treated wholly different. If you recall, "dues" back in the early 80's was a mere $40 a year. When the RCSC had the chance to take over the Sun Bowl, they voted on the acquisition and passed a $2 per year hike to $42 to cover costs.

    The 80's were an amazing time. There was massive infighting over direction. The battle still raged over incorporation and the challenges facing the RCSC and the elections for board of directors were legendary. Some wanted to remain frugal, while others saw the need to spend money and keep the amenities in great shape. Those living here took an active interest and issues were assessed and discussed at great lengths. Those getting elected ran on platforms with goals and objectives clearly stated. The general manager was a functionary who served at the direction of the board and their job was to run the day to day operations. That was it.

    To say the board took their leadership role seriously would be an understatement. Sun City truly was a community forged by the masses. We were built on an interactive process of self-governance. Committees, elections and participation were the norm.

    I would argue, it is and was why Sun City was as successful as it has been. Clearly we have veered from that path. But why?
     
  3. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Before we move on, let's look back to the genius of John Meeker. When he replaced Tom Breen, Joe Ashton and L C Jacobson in 1965 to lead Sun City into the future, he realized he had a massive challenge. Sales in the other Sun City communities around the country were dead and the original concept was hanging on by a thread. He threw caution to the wind and looked internally rather than externally. He was smart enough to know that salvation would come from those living here and their willingness to embrace the changes he wanted to make.

    It started with a culture of inclusion. He built a lifestyle around club membership. Virtually all of his marketing resources were centered on getting those living here to buy into the concept of community ownership. As smart as he was, he knew Sun City didn't belong to him, Del Webb or DEVCO. Ultimately the responsibility to make it work would fall on the shoulders of the masses. The more residents assumed the leadership roles, the better chance for Sun City to survive and flourish.

    It was never about electing a small number of people to boards, but always about engaging large numbers of owners to believe the community was theirs. He was constantly polling, surveying and questioning those living here what was important, what mattered. From housing styles to amenities to style of governance, he drew people in. It worked as he often said the residents became his go-to sales force when visitors used the Play and Stay. It was simply a matter of getting potential buyers to talk to those living here who absolutely loved their new home.

    From 1965 through build-out in 1978, he never stopped pushing. The energy to create a community based on the assumption of ownership was brilliant. It was what insured Sun City's success. When DEVCO walked away, there was never a question of whether it would succeed. The tenets of ownership, responsibility and value were ingrained in virtually everyone moving to Sun City. Those underpinnings stayed with us for years. The "greatest generation" understood the importance of what it took to create a community that changed a nation.

    So, what changed? Were baby boomers and their values so different?
     
  4. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I don't think the boomers changed anything, but society certainly did. The mergers and buy outs of companies by larger companies, banks eating up other banks, and the Savings and Loan scandal put a new twist on what retirement looks like. At one time it was okay to work for 30 years, get the gold watch, and pat on the back, and head into retirement with a sense of bliss and accomplishment. It was during the 80's and 90's we saw retirements go away and gave way to the 401K. Those ready to retire were not funded in a way to retire, leaving them in the workforce. Many of them still working today to cover for the short comings of an economy that switched modes with nary a moment's notice.

    There is still a desire to have our community and its tenets the way they were, trouble is most folks can't find the time to dedicate to the community they love to live in. The sacrifice of money over time is a big one, and alas, if you need to continue to work, the ability to be an active part of the community is lost.
     
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  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Fair comments Carole; but every generation is a by-product of their environment. The 80's and 90's impacted boomers lives, no question. With the demise of defined benefit pension plans in the 80's and the advent of 401K plans, retirement was changed forevermore. By the early 90's as right-sizing down-sizing and marginalization of workers continued, we saw them losing jobs and cashing in 401k's to survive. Worse yet, Gen X will come with even less. The times truly are a changing.

    Interesting in that yesterday i had coffee with Jerry Svendsen (PR front-man for DEVCO during the Sun City build-out). His first question was "what's changed in Sun City from years ago?" I smiled because it is exactly the theme of this thread. My answer was simple: " we've lost that sense of community." His response was, "isn't that generational?" Of course i replied. Boomers come with a different value set than the greatest generation. They (greatest gen) rolled up their sleeves and went to work. Boomers rolled up their sleeves and hired some one else to do it.

    Think not? It's why every other age restricted community is built on a wholly different platform of governance and structure. It's how and why boards have allowed the GM to rewrite documents where all of the control was centralized. Where the job of governing the community has been shuffled off to the paid staff and their (the boards) role is to rubber stamp it. Less hours, less headaches, poorer results. The entire process of inclusion when reduced to an exclusive decision making process becomes more efficient, less cumbersome and more likely to produce results that may well be wrong-headed.

    No question society has changed and not always for the better. It doesn't mean we can't get back to our tenets, our values. It just means it has to become a defined goal with a defined plan to do so. The trouble is, the board is obviously contented to stumble along with management being the guiding light. More on that later.
     
  6. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Even when I was on the board all of those years ago, the "golf at all costs" contingent was perfectly happy to acquiesce all of the power to the management team, more importantly, to the GM. And so it feels as if successive board of directors has done the same. It is the GM who now runs the RCSC, not the BOD, as evidenced by the last meeting. All of the power was given to the GM at the behest of Hoffer. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth, cow towing to whomever has the wand.
     
  7. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I would be hard pressed to lay the blame on any one director Carole. It has been a steady erosion of power, shifting from board to management. Those early years witnessed residents taking ownership of the process of self-governance, the later becoming an exercise in giving it away. Again, it fits the mentality of boomers being contented to letting someone/anyone else do the heavy lifting. The ugly aspect is the more we give away, the less we care or feel we can make a difference.

    To be clear, it's not all bad. The GM began a program years ago where management and staff would target an organization to be the beneficiary of their annual fund drive. For years they would raise somewhere around 10k each year. This year the recipient is the Sun City Foundation, last year i think it was the museum. Those dollars are desperately needed by the organizations and my best guess is they have generated some $100,000 over the years. They rely on donations and the collective efforts of the management/staff to raise the money and they do a great job.

    That said, the challenge from my perspective is the failure of the RCSC is to get their head around "big picture" Sun City. The tendency is to look small picture; inward rather than outward. Insular has become the order of the day. Closing ranks and minimizing participation comes at a cost. The community is filled with talented and intelligent residents who could add so much value. It was how and why Sun City exploded through near all of the 80's and 90's. As is wrote earlier it was a community built around inclusion.

    To amplify, let's look at the long range planning committee. We were both on the board when they shot it in the head and buried it. We watched in horror, but it was what the GM wanted and the golfing agenda crowd was perfectly contented to buy into her stupid. To Hoffer's credit, he fought to get it back. It's why i supported him. It should never have gone away in the first place. Once back, the first year efforts were abysmal. Then Rich and Dale became the chair's, they added people and i was delighted with the stated end game. There were and still are some really good committee members on it.

    We took to heart the message we were going to make a difference. Everything was going to be based on data, quantifiable numbers and analytical assumptions. To get there, we proposed using technology as the driver. Given Gen X buyers would be excited by a community with the latest technology (not the oldest), we realized the opportunity of killing two birds with one stone. Everyone on the committee, including the chair and co-chair, were on board. Then a funny thing happened; once management saw our direction, the chair bailed on us.

    The point is simply this: If committee's have no real input, no sense their efforts matter, why bother? It wasn't a hard decision to quit; i refuse to be used. It's why i have stopped going to meetings. Pretending they care about what we think or say is an insult. It has simply become management controlling everything from beginning to end. If i believed they were infallible, that would be fine. The reality is i know they aren't and in several instances we are paying the price. Just to keep it interesting, we will revisit some of those poor choices in the next post.
     
  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I mentioned the Sun Bowl acquisition above and it is s story that fits perfectly with this discussion and the differences from then and now. The year was 1981 and DEVCO had left Sun City for Sun City West. Their goal was to free themselves of ownership of any and all amenities. By then they had turned over all of the rec centers and golf courses to the RCSC. There were two remaining properties, the Sun Bowl and the Lakes Club under their control.

    The initial plan had been for the Home Owners Association to take ownership of the Sun Bowl, but it was far more than they could handle. After several starts and stops with lots of back and forth, DEVCO and the RCSC worked out a tentative agreement. The Sun Bowl had played an incredibly important role in the marketing of Sun City and was beloved by many in the community. Rather than just buying it, the RCSC put it out to a vote. It is an amazing percentage of voters who responded, with 27,602 reply's. 15,755 for, 9,788 against and 2,059 no preference. It increased rec fees from $40 to $42 per year. There was a legal challenge that followed, but the RCSC sustained their position in the courts.

    So what you ask? Why does this ancient history matter? Here's why: The second amenity they held on to, the Lakes Club was sold off privately around 2000. It included all the land from Thunderbird Ave to Viewpoint Lake. Like the Sun Bowl, it played a remarkable role in Sun City's marketing and the selling of the community. It was where every potential buyer could be taken to close the deal. Complete with bars and fine dining, the gorgeous setting on the lake was spectacular for visitors who were considering Sun City as their place in the sun.

    Sadly, the RCSC had just implemented the Preservation and Improvement Fund (PIF). The $750 threshold had only been implemented late in 1999 and they didn't have the assets to buy it outright. It sold to an investor who tried to turn it into a private country club without a golf course. It failed miserably. Along the way after that, the Sun Health Foundation purchased the land and subsequently sold the Lakes Club to another corporation who leased out part of the building and it became a nursing school. The land in front of the building was developed by the Core Institute.

    To this day, the Sun Health Foundation has a land lease with a company that owns the Lakes Club. Through much of last year, it has been embroiled in a RICO suit back east. In all likelihood, this is way more information than you need or care about. That said, there is way more to this story and in the next post we will explore why it is significant to this discussion. It does matter and in the end, you will quickly see why.
     
  9. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    It isn't rocket science, building a sense of community comes from creating an atmosphere of inclusion. Meeker was a genius at it. When DEVCO left, those elected to the RCSC boards stayed the course, they understood the community was well served when those living here took an active interest and participated.

    Fast forward to 2011, 12 and 13 when Carole and i were on the RCSC board. By then, things had changed, dramatically. The GM had become the tour de force and the board opted to cling to her vision for a better Sun City. Golf was the end all be all. The majority of board members were golfers and the rest of us were simply acting as speed bumps in the road. Nope, not whining, that's how the process works; what do they say? Elections have consequences. Initially the problem for them was there were safeguards built into the governing documents and committees had some impact on outcomes.

    Then a funny thing happened, documents got rewritten and committees were diluted or deleted. With virtually every rewrite, more control was moved to the management side of the equation. As an example, the long range planning committee (before they were removed) were told they had no input on the future of golf or PIF expenditures. That represented 75% of the money that would be spent in the coming years. Think about that from a practical perspective; by then golf was trending down and there was tons of data to at least question the need to invest that kind of money in the game.

    You have to ask yourself; was it logical to ignore the reality of making decisions based on data? Was it unreasonable to formulate a strategic plan that was cohesive with the needs/wants of the entire community? Did it make sense to shovel so much money at a game where about 15% of the residents benefited? All good questions, none of which were asked or addressed. By then the board adopted a vacuum style of leadership. Once the GM had secured her internal management structure and rewritten documents, those living here became less significant in the decision making process.

    So we are clear, the GM has always paid attention to concerns from residents. The minutia was always important and when people complained she tried to act on the concerns. After watching the last several months of board meetings, even that appears to have gone by the bye. While on its face i thought holding open meetings would benefit the community, it now appears these meetings are more a problem than a solution. Rudeness seems to be the order of the day. Think not? Ask the softball players or the members of the RV club (other than the officers) or those looking to buy tickets online or those hoping to see heightened security with camera's in the parking lots or those clubs locked out of their club rooms at the Bell Center or the long range planning committee where the chair threw the committee under the bus.

    This past year has been amazing to watch. If you think i'm blowing smoke, take a look at the video of the past board meeting. Thank god management, staff and board members were in attendance or they could have held the meeting in a coat closet. We could always fall back on the old standby; "everyone is happy, that's why no one comes." But i digress, the point of this post was to explore how we missed the boat. Rather than dredge on, i will wander down that path tomorrow. Should be fun.
     
  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Interesting; got an email from a friend who follows TOSC on a once a week basis. He pointed out it appears as if Carole and i are the only ones posting these days. Fair point, but i quit worrying if anyone else posts or not. In fact, i read an article on POCKET earlier this week where it said most people write to simply help themselves think and process. I've always believed that for me. The other source of salvation is there are clearly people following/reading this thread.

    I am going to break this post into two parts, because to understand where i am going, it is important to understand how we got here. It's no secret, i am not a fan of the extraordinary amount of money we have pumped into golf since 2006. I'm even more disappointed in how well it's been buried in the financials. If you just look at the PIF distribution it will appear it isn't all that bad. I know it's far from reality, but as i have said repeatedly unless or until we have a forensic audit done, we will never see the true numbers.

    In fairness to everyone involved, investing in our golf courses was always important. It became even more so when Viewpoint Lake developed a leak. For those of you who don't know, the lake is for lack of a better term, a watering system for our golf courses.
    When the lake was well down from its normal levels (circa 2010) there was a concern we would have to drain the lake and patch it. It would have cost a fortune to say nothing of the stink and inconvenience. There was an effort to get the state to accept the idea the water leaking was going into the aquifer and ultimately ended up being used to water our courses anyway. It worked and we were given roughly a 12 year pass on doing anything.

    The "deal" (no one to my knowledge has ever seen it) that was reached allegedly came with the commitment from the RCSC to make an effort for water conservation, especially on the golf courses. Regardless of what it said, saving water made sense. I've never argued against addressing water issues. From wells, to distribution to irrigation, it all made sense. It got out of hand as we did complete golf course remodels and then compounded it with desert landscaping. Much of what was being proposed made sense, the problem was it was never put into a cohesive plan or by incorporating it into the needs of the greater good of the community.

    Golf simply became our default PIF dumping ground. Boards gave the GM virtually whatever she wanted and in some cases, even more than she asked for. Worse yet, with the long range planning committee gone, there was no push back or rebuttal. As one board president arrogantly stated; "we don't need a long range planning committee, we have the board." Genius eh...how's that working out for us now with golf rounds dropping? There-in is the problem, golf is trending down and we are falling short in any number of areas regarding club space and allocation.

    With that out of the way, let me make the case of why a sense of community (a sense of inclusion) could have made such a significance difference in where we are today.
     
  11. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    My friends (and even some that hate me), become turned off when i start down the path of the Lakes Club. Sorry, it is the classic example of how far we have fallen from the origins of Sun City's founding and success. People always better understand when we can use specifics rather than talking about lofty ideals. One only as to look back at the extreme measures the RCSC went to when the Sun Bowl became available. The community was involved and their voices were the deciding factor in us now owning that remarkable venue. Imagine had we not bought it. Those free concerts are a community staple and the one true gathering space we have.

    I will be the first to admit, our recreation centers are exceptional. Even the older ones yet remodeled are beloved by those living by them. And there's the problem. Centers typically cater to the residents that live close to them. There is no one central location, there's no "community center." In my mind, that's the one thing we are missing. To be clear, i'm not arguing i am right, it's just my opinion. What i have learned over the years of running a non-profit and serving on countless boards of not for profits, the best ideas are the ones where the decisions are made for the greater good and with input from those interested.

    What Carole and i saw while serving on the board was just the opposite. A portion of the Lakes Club was being leased by a nursing school. The school decided to move out and the owners of the building (the land was owned by the Sun Health Foundation and held a land lease on it) were looking for potential buyers. They owed 3.2 million dollars on the building and told us point blank they would only sell it if they could make a profit on the sale. Several board members and management toured the massive structure. I was in awe of the potential. Well over 35,000 square feet; the solution to every problem the RCSC would be facing regarding space in the coming years would have been solved with that single purchase.

    Oddly, we had board members wondering what the value would be. Seriously. Worse yet, the effort to pursue it was an exercise in futility. I came away feeling like i was watching a shell game; now you see it now you don't. Carole and i did everything but beg the board/management to bring the question in front of the community. We felt an issue of this importance should be bigger than a board of 9 and the GM. We were told just the opposite; don't say anything to anyone about looking at/buying it. The argument was, it could drive up the price. Really?

    The assistant gm said the cost to remodel would be 3 to 4 to 5 million dollars, dependent on some of the bigger ticket items. That was minuscule, even if we had to spend 4 million dollars to buy it outright. Rather than drag this on, i will finish it in the next post to give you a better feel of why it would have been a bargain. More importantly i will pinpoint why i think it never go off the ground.
     
  12. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I await with baited breath, Bill, as to your assessment as to why the Lakes Club never got off the ground. I have my recollections as to the who, what, why, when and how it all went south, but I surely can't wait to hear how you view the demise of the Lakes Club and how it slipped through our fingers. Our eyes were wide open when it happened, and I, for one, was left feeling gut punched. Not going to take the words out of your mouth, as you always say them much more eloquently than I do.

    The reason it is you and I posting is because we were in the thick of this misadventure, and were left on the outside, looking in. Could argue until blue in the face during those years, but the judge and jury had already colluded to do each others bidding, leaving anyone on their train of action out in the cold who didn't buy in.

    Thanks for letting me have the short byline, but I truly do wish to hear your take on where it went askew.
     
  13. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    [​IMG]


    How about this much footage plus the parking area. Couldn't this help make a great community center directly across from Fairway? Just asking, gotta look to see what's out there
     
  14. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Bill, sorry for stepping all over your thread. Please continue and I will stay off of the thread. Carole
     
  15. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Never a problem Carole, i would prefer people join in on the discussion.

    When i ran for the board, then president Vance Coleman invited me to coffee at Starbucks. He asked me point blank what my "agenda" was for running? I replied; "i want to make Sun City a better place." He smiled and said, "no really, why are you running?" I said, "no really, that is my agenda, to leave Sun City a better place." He couldn't get his head around that response, apparently he felt everyone comes with a hidden agenda. I further explained, i moved here in part because of the self-governance aspect and the idea we could make a difference if we were just willing to get involved.

    I will come back to that in my next post, because it will help explain why the Lakes Club didn't materialize. For now thou, i want you to picture in your mind how different Sun City would look today if we had held town hall meetings where we had blunt discussions about the possibilities and opportunities if we were to buy the Lakes Club. Imagine if the community had bought into the following:
    * We proposed a community center in the middle of Sun City that would have become the central gathering spot and all of the administrative services in one place.
    * We had shown them a plan that included a theater holding some 400 to 500 people. BTW, it's in part already there.
    * We laid out a proposal where continuing education classes with membership of 1000 plus could have easily taken place. BTW, those classrooms are already there.
    * We arranged for a half dozen card rooms with permanent set up for the card clubs. BTW, they are already there.
    * Created a fine dining restaurant, bar and small entertainment area. That would have had to have been added but lord knows there is lots of space.
    * Moved the Visitor Center there for all potential buyers to fall in love with the community the this amazing setting on the water.
    * Created a massive lake front patio with seating to enjoy coffee, meals, ice cream and socializing or just relaxing.
    * By moving the admin offices out of Lakeview Rec Center, we could have doubled club space availability in that center.
    * Upon entering the large foyer entrance, shared historic display photo's of Sun City's development.
    * By tearing down the old RCSC buildings adjacent to it, added the needed parking space and developed more attractive walking trails around the lake.

    There's way more, but this vision was an easy see. One only had to be willing to look. To be open enough to communicate to the community at large about whether this made more sense than dumping more money into golf. And just for the record, here's the real rub: By the time the Grand Ave project is completed, we will have spent more money on it than we would have to buy and remodel the Lakes Club. We will be getting a fraction of the space at greater cost and a far less desirable location.

    More importantly the long range plan would have become far more manageable. We wouldn't be talking about a theater at Mountainview, it could have become a two pool aquatic center and built s gym for indoor basketball, volleyball and fitness classes. We could look long term at the rebuild of the Lakeview Rec Center without worrying about where the admin offices will go.

    If only eh?
     
  16. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Imagine if we had moved in that direction. The sad fact is, the 10 plus million dollars we have shoveled at the Willowcreek and Willowbrook courses since 2009 were well before it was due. The argument was our golf courses were dated, and that was generally true for the earliest courses. The two north of Bell Road were built 16 years after the North course and still had years of life before they needed some work done to them. For whatever reason, we just kept pushing all golf/all the time.

    Which takes me to the point Carole was interested in. When we walked into a work session one day and the proposal was made to dump the long range planning committee, a couple of us dropped our jaw. We asked for a reason and the logic behind it? There were two reasons actually as i recall. The first was they were no longer needed, after the Marinette pickleball pavilion and remodel was made, they were finished. Really? If you thought that was nonsensical, how about the second one; those running for the long range planning committee came with an agenda. OMG.

    Let's put this in perspective; even if 10 volunteers on the long range planning committee each had their own pet project (which wasn't the case), how was that worse than a GM with an all golf/all the time agenda and a majority of golfer/board members who shoved it through. The reality was the LRPC had no power, no authority to push this false narrative agenda through. On the other hand the board simply endorsed the GM's desires even though a couple of us wailed about the shortsightedness. In the end, we made no difference.

    If only we had the wisdom of staying the course of community involvement. We would have had a functioning LRPC who had input into the entire PIF budget; how, when and where it was spent would have dramatically changed where we are today.

    There is the rest of the story yet to come and why i have dredged this up now, But that's for tomorrow's post.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  17. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I will be the first to admit it, this is all yesterdays news. That said, it is pertinent and i will tell you why shortly. First though let me admit my shortcomings; i am direct to a fault. I never come at people sideways or try and backdoor you. I hate that in people and one of the reasons i struggle with passive aggressive styles. I appreciate blunt straight forward honesty. My goal has never been to make friends but to do the best job i could. Some folks like it, some folks hate it.

    At the members only Sun City Museum addition grand opening i was standing talking with Jerry Svendsen. He worked as the PR guy though all of Sun City's development for DEVCO. We've become friends and enjoy talking with him. He knows tons of folks from those early years and has stories in abundance. As we were chatting in the kitchen a guy walked up and said hi to him and they began talking about the good old days. I had never met the man but quickly realized it was Joe LaRue with the Sun Health Foundation.

    Jerry introduced me to him and i was at my usual worst. We shook hands and i said "i can't tell you how many times i have taken your name in vain over the past years Joe." He looked at me shocked and asked pointedly what he had done to deserve that? I told him i was on the RCSC when the Lakes Club had come up for sale and i would have killed for us to have been able to purchase it. You may recall, the Lakes Club was owned by a separate corporation (that wanted to sell it) and the land was owned by the Sun Health Foundation. As board members we were told the RCSC was trying to work out a deal with Joe to secure the land in a trade for some office space in the building for the Foundation.

    It would have been a win/win, but allegedly Joe never followed through on making it happen. I always felt he was in part responsible for our failure to go after it. Shame on me. He told me he had no idea there was any real interest in it. In reality, there probable wasn't, other than from Carole and I. As we chatted, he indicated there was always the opportunity moving forward for that to happen. I explained i had no authority to do anything but as we talked about the importance of that building in Sun City's history be quickly understood why it mattered.

    He invited me to contact him to follow up and after the holidays, i will. Not because i can make anything happen, but because i still believe our owning the one building that DEVCO never deeded us could become the most valuable addition we could make in Sun City. Not my job, but clearly in Sun City's best interest.

    All for now, off to SCHOA.
     
  18. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Well, Bill, if I was angry before over the lakes club and its demise, I am now livid!! We were lied to in no uncertain terms. The trying to reach Joe LaRue for lunch to settle a deal was told to us to keep us quiet, never was there any intent to make the lakes club the RCSC's at all!!!!

    I remember a statement the GM made once, it struck a chord, and with all of my other memory issues, this one has stuck with me. The GM stating "Board members come and go, but someone needs to keep the ship running. That is what I do." NO, she has taken control of the ship, has declared herself Captain and crew, and uses the BOD to do her bidding as she see fit. Just look at all of the power the board has given to her, and it obvious this is a finely orchestrated takeover of power. This is a case which needs to be reviewed by the corporation commission as an abuse of power, and have a strong eye to look at the shenanigans of the GM. Let me guess, she will introduce legislation to make her the official owner of the RCSC and make herself untouchable once again.

    There needs to be a discovery meeting with Mr. LaRue to see what direction the Lakes Club could take, then bring it back to the board, perhaps in the form of a letter of demand of action or in a petition.

    This whole mess with the golf all of the time as well as the blatant disregard for what the Board sought to do with the Lakes Club is out and out collusion with the Presidents of the Board. I am so disgusted with the GM and the management team. They all should be terminated and start fresh with a new willing group to give the people what the want, and stop taking away the member privileges.
     
  19. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    No point in getting excited over it C. The reality is they just circle the wagons when we do that. It should never be an us versus them mentality. Much like the divisive nature in the country today, we gain nothing by more angst. My goals are simple, try and educate readers on how we can try and make it better, not worse. Who knows? Maybe the vast majority of residents would rather have seen the boatload of money dumped into golf rather than a community center that fits our needs. Of course we will never know because we'll never take the time to ask them what they want.

    That pretty much sums up everything wrong with the past 12 years eh?
     
  20. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    I would still seek a meeting to discuss mutual interest in the Lakes Club. One never knows where it could lead to and from there, be of a benefit to the community.

    Getting angry gets me nowhere, but it does make me shed a tear or two for each time I trusted, only to be led around by the nose.

    So this proves the Lakes club is still up for bids, good for you Bill for believing in the possibility for a better future for the members, especially with how the remodeling jobs are being doled out and worked on. This now puts a big "IF" in the middle of all future renovations.
     

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