Sun City AZ. "The Community That Changed A Nation," Part 2.

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Nov 26, 2019.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I've become quite invested in the phrase phrase i coined; Sun City AZ. "The Community That Changed A Nation." So much so, i went out and had a dozen museum logo'd shirts printed with it on the back. I know, kind of weird, but in part it was to help promote the series i wrote on the Museum website. You can find it here under Del Webb's Sun City Stories.

    Yesterday we went to Tim and Amy Nixon's house for a Thanksgiving gathering of his clients. It's become an annual pie giveaway they do and is pretty cool. Amy's dad just came down and joined the Nixon Group after passing the appropriate state and national certification courses. Nice.

    We were standing around talking with him and i said Sun City was so unique. Of course he asked why and it dawned on me how all of this fits together. I've mentioned before the Nixon's were major sponsors in the US Open Lawn Bowls Tournament just concluded. It was a sizeable amount of money they invested in making the tourney special.

    I told her dad Sun City was built around a premise that everyone involved had to be invested in the community. Didn't matter if it was DEVCO, the home buyers, the businesses or the organizations, if you didn't invest in being a part of it/us, it would not have worked.

    The light immediately came on because the example is so easy to connect with. There are hundreds of Realtors trying to sell homes in Sun City. Most are in business for one reason, to make money. They don't look at "investing" in the community but rather what they can get out of it. It's the new business model that has evolved over the years...what's in it for me?

    Unfortunately that mentality has become pervasive in every aspect of life today. We've drifted from the concept of sense of community. New buyers appear to be happy to "let someone else do it." In fact, newer communities are built that way. There isn't the layers of organizations in them as safety networks or support systems, they just pay other people to take care of problems.

    It is one of the reasons the original Sun City is so different from the rest. The problem is, we are drifting away from that investment mentality. I said to Ben Roloff over coffee yesterday, since i left the RCSC board 5 years ago, we've moved even further afield of those solid tenets and values we were built on. And i wasn't happy then about our drift.

    Maybe i'm just outdated and unwilling to accept the inevitable. For now, i still want to believe those buying here care enough to "invest" in their future. I suspect they just need a push in the right direction. Sadly no one seems to be doing that.

    One question as i leave; Are you invested in your community? If not, why not?
  2. suncityjack

    suncityjack Member

    I agree wholeheartedly. Been here for c. 10 yrs. and my disappointment level have increased each year re: what I've witnessed re: "the investment mentality." Of course I'm appreciative of those who do invest esp. with important governance orgs. like SCHOA and RCSC, but I've gotten depressed re: seeing how many don't. Adding to that, I've seen much more of the "it's my property I should be able to do anything I want with it" attitude. I was drawn to "the city of volunteers" hoping to find more community spirit, but mostly find people self-segregating into clubs or simply electing not to participate at all.
    Part of it is the seeming futility of getting more involved in either SCHOA or RCSC since they do have paid staff that are perceived to run things from a top down model, esp. RCSC, so why get involved if things perk along with seemingly little input weighty enough to change the course of things?
    So what to do? Better perceived representation would help. Just as SCHOA has Compliance Officers designated for the 3 Phases of Sun City (I think it's a shame they only have this for compliance instead of having Phase Designees for suggestions and concerns) I think RCSC should have Representatives for each of the 3 Phases so residents would have a sense of having a point person who could go to bat for them re: concerns, suggestions, activities, etc. A population of c. 40,000 which is subdivided into various condo units, etc. is hard to build a cohesive sense of community, so rather than trying to herd them all, smaller groupings such as the phases can nurture more of a sense of community and involvement which can then lead to bigger things.
  3. IndependentCynic

    IndependentCynic Active Member

    BP, you ask hard questions.

    The short answer for me is yes, no, partly no.

    The Yes is for my neighbors and many residents; we are a community, we care, we share, we help one another. I'm invested fully there.

    The No is for the RCSC which, IMO, is mostly an authoritarian adversary to much of the Yes community. They choose to be independent and often make club life something the club members don't want. I simply can't support them as a positive community force and I'm definitely not invested in their community because they aren't supportive or inclusive of me. Tit for tat seem juvenile, but it fits here..

    The Partly no is for the SCHOA, an organization that attempts to apply a common set of rules across a relatively diverse set of properties built under different circumstances and, originally, adhering to different CC&Rs. I'm invested and have no issue with their age overlay enforcement. The No part of my reaction is to rumors of what the forthcoming revised CC&Rs might become if adopted. I worry about inequities for homes which didn't meet the circa 1998 combined CC&Rs (and were presumed to be grandfathered) which now, two or three or four owners later, I understand will be required to incur possibly extensive costs to bring their property into conformance before they can sell. I worry that those with carports on PI small lots who struggle now to deal with where to park their second car if not on the street sometimes. Will they really be issued parking tickets and have their vehicle towed. It's absurd, to me, to disallow parking on a residential street wide enough to make a U-turn, and even more absurd to allow healthcare and service parking but not residents... all because someone thinks that street parking somehow devalues the neighborhood. These failures of not accommodating the diverse needs within the community causes me to not invest in supporting the SCHOA much of the time.
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the comments guys, especially insightful. Funny thing on your comments SCJ, back in the early days, board members were elected in their own divisions. Not sure why it went away, but obviously it did. It is critical fro the community at large and those living here to take ownership of the process and if you have to break it down to just your neighborhood, your club or local church, that's a start. Moving residents further along would take a commitment from the RCSC and completely reversing the course they have set themselves upon.

    The perfect example can be seen by watching the board meetings, in that less and less people appear to be attending. I have been stunned at how rudely some of the speakers are treated. It almost becomes a hostile environment. My guess is those sitting on the stage aren't even aware of it. They should watch the playback to get a quick tutorial. Being honest, it is a thankless position. In many cases, they have helped make it so. If you watch, virtually every time a question of any substance is asked from the floor, they turn to one of the management for an answer. They have abdicated their authority and neutered themselves to become subservient to those who are working for them.

    If you think not, look back at the softball club, the RV club, the members clamoring for purchasing tickets online, the craft club members locked out of Bell Rec Center with their electrical problems, the questions regarding when the Mountainview project will begin. The board reacts with casual indifference and management becomes clinically cold and dispassionate. It's just a job, while those questioning it are more about the impact on them and the community as a whole. If i could relate it to anything, it would be in terms of a doctor with good beside manner compared to a cold fish MD telling you you have six months to live. If that doesn't change, participation will continue sinking into oblivion.

    Finally, regarding SCHOA. I am intimately involved in the rewrite of the CC&R's. The bullshit you have been reading in the letters to the editor is pure unadulterated tripe. Seriously. They have gone to extraordinary lengths to get feedback from the community. When they were rewritten in 1998/99 they did a great job passing them, a horrible job in writing them. They were confusing, and that's being kind. There is no change from the current parking, it's always been that way. We are meeting this morning to look at taking out the "wood fence" issue. The biggest change will be regarding garage height, and that will simply say no higher than the original height of the house when it was built (and staying within the setback requirements). These 15 or 20 foot tall garages in back yards look like crap IMHO.

    When the community guide comes out at the end of the year, the existing CC&R's will be printed along with a summary of changes that would have to be voted and approved by the 56 individual units of single family homes. It would be a massive undertaking, but well worth it to clean them up and make them easier to understand.

    My biggest problem is we need to get people living here invested again in the process of self-governance. We know what happens when we push people away and just let the paid help do it all.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019

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