What should long range planning look like?

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    In another thread i posted today regarding the June Board meeting i talked about my comments. My first was about the reverse mortgage problem and HUD,. The second was about Sun City West's Long Range Plan compared to ours. One of the long range planning committee members was there and stopped to talk to me about my comments.

    It started off rocky, but by the end of the conversation i think we were better understanding one another. I emailed her a link with the Sun City West 90 plus page 5 year plan. Best of all, emily suggested i should post it for all here to see. Duh, why didn't i think of that?

    For comparative purposes, i will post the links for Sun City West and the link for the Sun City long range planning budget. It's really the closest thing i can find, other than the limited minutes available from the long range planning committee.

    And that was my point, you can't run a community effectively by simply throwing stuff against the wall you want done. There should be a strategic plan in place; one that is well thought out based on needs and criteria established by members of the community. When you look at the long range plan for Sun City posted below, recognize, all of it came from board members and or staff.

    I won't belabor it, look for yourself and see which makes more sense:

    Sun City West 5 Year Plan.

    Sun City long range plan budget.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    This wasn't a trick question, but it is a tricky one. Because nothing you see posted above is what most planners would call a long range plan. The Sun City West link is a short term (5 year plan) strategic action plan for the board and staff to use as guidance and for the community/members to get their head around what to expect in that time frame. The Sun City board resolution was a bunch of projected numbers the board passed in conjunction with staff in 2016. If you look closely at it, there need be significant updating. Perhaps the most telling is there is nothing to suggest the reason or methodology behind getting to those numbers.

    The closest thing to what a long range plan should do is in Appendices R of the SCW plan. Even that, at best is just scratching the surface. It's little more than questions stemming from trends that will likely impact them in the coming years. At least it gives them a footprint to begin looking down the road. I suspect a large driver behind the Sun City West 5 year plan was to try and create buy-in when Sun City West dropped the name Del Webb. If you read their marketing sections, they felt they could differentiate from other Del Webb communities by simply becoming Sun City West. Gutsy move, time will tell if it paid off or not.

    The thing i like about their 5 year plan is they included goals to try and reach. As my good friend Ben Roloff always points out, if their are no set goals, how do you know how you are doing? The other thing i liked a lot was how open/transparent they were in every segment of their governance. For example, they showed the numbers of rounds of golf played on a yearly basis since 2000 through 2013. They were down roughly 130,000 rounds in the projected 2014 from the high point in 2000. The good news is they kept revenue steady with increased costs and outside play, the bad news is it is a disturbing trend, especially given they have 7 courses and a third less population base from Sun City.

    No one should interpret my comments that this plan makes Sun City West a better place to live. Both are great communities and each do things that outshine the other in varying areas. That doesn't mean we shouldn't learn from what the other does. Hopefully the RCSC board will look at this in conjunction with the newly established long range planning committee and incorporate some of their efforts to be as effective/pro-active as SCW was.
  3. pegmih

    pegmih Active Member

    Does Sun City advertise in newspapers around the country?
    If so, do you have a sample?
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Nope. The RCSC budgeted 100k for two or three years for marketing, but never used print advertising. Lots of questions on how effective that is? The other argument is, why should we? Sun City has averaged over 2000 home sales per year for a while now, so what would be the point? Besides, there is virtually no inventory on the market now.

    If you read the Sun City West 5 year Plan, you will see they have started a marketing program. It includes a budget for targeted golf marketing. They have bigger problems with golf being a drain on yearly dues and they know they need to aggressively go after residents who do golf.

    If you have read my comments here, that is one of my pet peeves. In spite of what they claim, the RCSC will have pumped 40 million dollars into golf and golf outbuildings by 2020. What we don’t know is the number of rounds played on a yearly basis over the past 20 years. Worse yet, there is no plan in place to measure return on investment or whether it has been money well spent. And, nothing from an aggressive campaign to grow the number of golfers.

    That’s one of the things I loved about the SCW 5 year plan; everything was out there. Nice.
    Emily Litella likes this.
  5. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Thanks for finding and posting the SCW document. It makes the financial easier to understand and it shows they at least are asking the question for a future beyond one of golf-centric. And they are not hiding anything. I always hate to open that SC budget document and see the golf expenditures set for the future. Because as you say, we don't even know the number of rounds played to know where it is. That is not fiscally responsible for the corporation to not know the trend. Or do they know and are just not saying? SC is good now. It would feel more secure with plans and projections.

    Why do you say they have a bigger problem with golf?
  6. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    SCW has a third less population with 1 less course. They do only have 2 private courses, where we have 3. Residents have told me a part of their yearly operating budget subsidizing golf. In part that helps explain why their rates have exploded compared to ours. And, probably why they are willing to look more long term.

    BTW, they have those stats and if you want to see them you have to go sign a release to see them.
  7. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    This is a really important thread. I'll have to come back later to this. Thanks for posting the links.
  8. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I am amazed at the SCW publication. Hopefully, our new LRPC will take a similar approach, especially paying attention to the questions posted in Appendix R.
    SCW was our second choice. It's also a great place to retire.
  9. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Couldn't agree more E, it was a true piece of artistry.Had to love the transparency; the old adage that information is power is one i have always subscribed to. Empowering those in the community interested enough in reading it, only strengthens the bonds between the board and the residents. The leadership, both board and management, of any organization almost always struggles with the question of how much do i share? There's all kinds of arguments for and against, but my position is everything that you legally can share, you should. That's typically not the way most think.

    Like i said earlier, the most obvious is the number of golf rounds played on a yearly basis from 2000 through 2013/2014. I've asked board members to post that information and i am told, if you want it, come in and sign for it. Why? The simple reality is, long before they started the 40 million dollar golf renovations, that information should have been in front of the long range planning committee (at the very least) and part of the bigger picture question: Where is Sun City headed?

    Instead, we told the long range planning committee they had no say in the question of golf course expenditures and once they had completed the Marinette project were disbanded. That's not empowerment, that's simply controlling behavior in doing what you want with no community input. Sun City deserves better than that.
  10. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Ok wth. This doesn't make sense. I thought a couple of posts ago when you said you had to sign to see information that you were referring to SCW golf stats. Why would this be something you had to sign for here in Sun City, and what would you be agreeing to when you sign?

    Why is that not public information that anyone can ask about?
  11. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Anyone that is a member can ask for it, they want you to go into the office and sign for it. They know that limits the number of people that will do so. You are signing a release form that you are requesting the information.
  12. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Do you know if the release form says you will not post/share the information anywhere? And if you do, what would be the ramifications?
  13. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I’m sure it doesn’t. I requested the PIF info and posted it here.
  14. aggie

    aggie Active Member

    RCSC is not the only organization that is closing off communications between its members, Board and Management. It looks like RCSCW in Sun City West is also paring down member participation. I understand that some of the times members bring up trivial or petty issues but come on......at least give the impression that you want member input!

    Here's a bit of the article in this week's Sun City West Independent's article written by Roger Ball:

    A special committee on standing committees was appointed by the Recreation Centers of Sun City West board of directors to evaluate the six groups in the organization’s bylaws and determine whether they were still needed.

    A five-member committee chaired by Barbara Senefeld, governing board member, met July 19 to examine each of the committees and make a recommendation.

    The standing committees currently required in the bylaws are Sports Pavilion and Bowling, Budget and Finance, Chartered Clubs, Golf, Properties and Long Range Planning.

    The committee decided to recommend to the board of directors to eliminate Long Range Planning and the Sports Pavilion and Bowling standing committees. Ms. Senefeld said they seemed to have served their purpose and were no longer needed.

    Jim Young, governing board member, said the Bowling and Sports Pavilion Committee was a waste of staff time as they had to prepare and present reports, and most of the issues brought before the committee were matters that should have gone directly to staff first.

    Mr. Young raised the issue of eliminating some committees might give the perception the board isn’t being as open as it should be in dealing with specific issues.
  15. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Damn Aggie; dumb and dumber. I guess they were so impressed with the elimination of Sun Ciy’s long range planning committee, they decided to follow suit. Oh wait, we brought it back.

    How in the heck do community leaders think the work of a long range planning committee is ever done? My goodness; guess it goes to show the Peter Principle (or is it principal?) is alive and well in the valley of the sun.

    Hopefully this will take a vote by the board and smarter minds prevail.
  16. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Better yet, let's get rid of board members too and install Intelligent Robots. Human board members have served their purpose and are no longer needed.
  17. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Come on C; it's bad enough my dog is smarter than me. Now i want some R2D2 wanna be tell me what should happen in the community i love. Damn, the world is going to hell in a hand basket (what does that phrase me anyway?).
  18. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Fear not. Robots would make intelligent decisions based on what is actually needed in the community for the future. Hell in a hand-basket is where your head ends up after a guillotining.
  19. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the clarification on the hand basket. As far as AI, you aren’t suggesting that boards don’t always make the best deisisions are you? Heaven forbid.

    Thinking about it, perhaps we should give serious consideration to letting AI select our politicians, Is there any question it would look different than it currently is?
  20. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Almost anything would improve the **** show we have now.

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