Building Trust in the Process...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Sep 16, 2022.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Suffice to say, this summer has been interesting. On top of draining Viewpoint Lake, it appears as if the RCSC is attempting to drain the membership of what little trust remained. It's always interesting to watch from the sidelines and question, would they really do that?

    We know early on in the quest to find potential board candidates, they held two meetings where those interested could pick one of two meetings to ask former board members how it worked serving on the board. I attended one of them, and found it curious.

    Don't get me wrong, it was an exercise that had value. There were just some things however i found peculiar. One of them was an answer regarding how many hours a week it took. Of course it's going to vary from person to person and when they served. Times changed after 2005. The general manager became more hands on.

    The other thing that threw me was one of the potential candidates appeared at both sessions. I know i was told, pick one or the other. Not sure why this one person could attend both, but who knows, perhaps there was some kind of special dispensation. Given she was already a board member, i highly doubt they felt she needed two sessions to comprehend what was being said?

    Now another interesting foible has jumped up. We know earlier this year the Election Committee tried to pass a motion whereby the only members who could serve on it had to come from the ranks of "previous board members." Suffice to say, it was an idiotic proposal as one of the stated goals is to include members and try to grow participation. Mercifully, it was voted down.

    However, what that motion did do was draw our attention to this long standing committee. Lots of members have come and gone over the years. Their role is to help attract candidates and help set the rules for the election. Of course we know after the last member/board exchange meeting, that didn't happen; setting the rules for the vote at the membership meeting.

    Turns out, those decisions were made by the general manager and the board president. Whatever eh? The problem was two-fold. One, the Election Committee members were never contacted and the second, one of the committee members read those rules at the member/board exchange meeting.

    So what you say? It really would be no big deal if everything the RCSC did was straight-up legit. These days that's hardly the case. The rules governing elections make it clear that members of the Election Committee cannot be candidates in the election. There's obvious reasons for that, those running should not be involved in setting any of the rules or the decision making leading up to the election.

    Call it a purity test. One would always hope for at least the appearance of a clean and impartial election. It's simply common sense. It's exactly why they spell out how it should work. The committees job should be obvious and above any question or suspicion.

    So, let's watch and see how this works out. Will the RCSC maintain a position that stays above the fray of any suspected bias? Will they be as pure as the driven snow? Or, will they suddenly shove board candidates down our throats who had their hands all over the set-up of this falls election?

    Time will tell eh.
     
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  2. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Here's a few things to think about when it comes to the Election Committee and its responsibilities:

    First of all, the motion that was made in the Election Committee meeting attempting to pack the committee with only current and past directors was totally out of order. "A committee may not adopt its own rules except as authorized in the rules of the society or in instructions given to the committee by its parent assembly in a particular case." (RONR 50:26)

    And what is the main task of the Election Committee? "Election Committee (also known as the Balloting Committee): The purpose of the Election Committee is to recruit a sufficient number of Board candidates, conduct the candidate forums, ensure that elections and recall elections of the Board are conducted pursuant to the Corporate Documents and announce the results." Hmmm? Didn't see anything about making up voting rules there!

    Second:
    So based on the fact that the committee can't make-up its own rules, and the only permissible thing a Standing Committee or any committee can do is to submit a report to the Board, how did those 14 points on voting get authorized as the official voting procedure when only the Board can authorize it?

    Thirdly; Mr. Walczak, the member of the Election Committee who made the 14 point presentation on voting; why wasn't an e-mail sent out to the Committee members to first see who could be available for a special meeting? With 10 members on the Election Committee I'm quite sure they all weren't out of town! But it seems as though the whole list was established by only 2 people, one a Member of the RCSC and Election Committee, and the other a non-member of either the committee or the RCSC but an employee of the RCSC!

    With the Chair of the Election Committee also the President of the Board, perhaps she thought she could simply pass those 14 points by decree?

    Hmmm? Kinda makes you wonder what else goes on behind closed doors!
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
  3. eyesopen

    eyesopen Active Member

    Snippets of dictionary definition…
    • WHAT/WHO AM I??
      • A single person or party that has absolute power.
      • The leader or party has complete control.
      • The rights of the people are typically suppressed.
      • Suspension of elections and civil liberties; (annual membership meeting, unable to get signatures on RCSC property, etc.)
      • Completely disregards the rights of individual citizens.
      • Tries to control all citizens through laws. (bylaws, policies and off the cuff made up rules)
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
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  4. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    And you can't petition anything for a redress of grievance unless it's first approved to do so by those who've created the grievance!
     
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  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I hate that old adage, the slippery slope. The truth is we started down one in 2006 and it's been downhill ever since. Perhaps what is most frightening is, the last 10 years of boards have believed that an autocratic system of governance is better than a democratic one. That's troubling. I know listening to the members is harder than just doing what you want, it's seldom better for the membership.
     
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  6. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Trust in the process would include a touch of integrity when speaking to the press and the membership. We heard announced at the last member/board exchange the general manager and the board president clarify how proxies would work. We were told, same as last year except we could download them online. We read an identical statement in the Independent newspaper, same as the year before.

    One little glitch though; when the gm was asked how long the proxies were good for, he told us through the end of the annual membership meeting. I sat listening, stunned because i knew last year they were good for 90 days from the date signed. I thought that was in the documents, but clearly it wasn't. Some members still had copies of last years proxy and they literally said that; 90 days.

    So, what the heck happened?
     
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  7. eyesopen

    eyesopen Active Member

    Just more shady shenanigans!

    They really waste a lot of time trying to make it impossible for Members to rightfully participate.

    Imagine the things they could accomplish to benefit our community if they expended the same effort, “in the interest of the Members!”
     
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  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    What a novel idea eyesopen; "in the interests of the members." Of course, how would they know what they are? Oh wait, they requested 50k plus to have ASU do a survey. One can only laugh. I opened up my weekly email from Sun City West and noted they included an email survey available simply by clicking on the link and sending it in. Yikes, what an amazing concept; using technology to reach the membership.

    Too bad ours is so far behind the times. Someday eh?
     
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  9. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Building Trust in the Process!

    Yeah, they could start by allowing the Members to vote at their own Membership meeting and too amend the bylaws and trust that we won't screw ourselves in the process!

    I see the agenda came out for the September 29th Board meeting and I can't believe they're not amending the Bylaws to remove Article IV, Section 5, the one that requires ALL VOTES taken a meeting of Members SHALL be by ballot.

    Ballot votes are secret votes that are intended to hide the identity of the voter and how they voted. They are typically only use for elections, in disciplinary proceedings and to accept new members into a Club. They should not be used to approve the Minutes of last year's meeting or to approve the agenda, or even to call for a recess! Absolutely ridiculous!

    If they eliminate Section 5 the voting procedure falls back on what's stated in their parliamentary procedures, which are, first a voice vote, and if its hard to determine those results then the chair can call for a rising vote, and if the results are still unclear the chair can call for a show of hands. There are several ways to determine the outcome of a vote without going thru the ballot process but if all else fails a motion can made for a ballot vote by the assembly. But...will they be prepared with ballots or a procedure for doing so?

    These people are scary but the real scary part is, they will never admit when they are wrong or give the Members the benefit of the doubt!!

    I notified the board regarding this issue back on August 16th but never heard a word about it or even a "Thanks for your comment."
     
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  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    To be clear Tom, we don't know what is in the proposed bylaw changes until we see them after the board meeting. I assume your comment is made based on their not being a motion on the agenda to make that change?
     
  11. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Correct! And I don't expect the revised Bylaws will be approved before the Annual Meeting since they will most likely have to go thru 2 readings. If the first reading isn't until October, the second reading won't be until the end of November and after the Annual Membership meeting unless they call a special meeting before hand.

    They can, however, amend the Bylaws and remove Article IV, Section 5 as late as the October board meeting and waive the second reading!

    We will see! But based on past experience, I don't expect the Board will take any action on any recommendation made from the Members. They seem to think that only their opinion is the right opinion!!!!!
     
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  12. IndependentCynic

    IndependentCynic Active Member

    The RCSC can't possibly be as technologically impotent as they portend. Methinks they purposefully appeareth to be incompetent technology laggards, hoping membership accepts their backwardness as a valid excuse for their inaction. I don't buy it.

    It is far to easy to create/execute a survey (eg, using Google Forms) that the RCSC's foot dragging is beyond creditable to the point it is laughable. Numerous Clubs with average technical competency routinely send out signup and survey emails to their members, with results accumulated automatically timestamped and recorded in a spreadsheet for ease of sorting/totalization/analysis. The hardest part of creating a survey (regardless of the medium) is ensuring the wording of the questions/answer choices doesn't bias the results. That isn't a technology issue -- one only has to follow the shenanigans we see partisan factions introduce into voter initiatives and legislative bills to be concerned with the wording. Given the stalwart lack of transparency demonstrated by the RCSC board/management it might be worth every dollar of the $50+k to have and independent entity create a survey and interpret the results.

    Worth noting, the RCSC has resisted doing a member survey for a long, long, long time -- the first time I supported and pushed for one was circa 2005 maybe? -- what ever the exact year, the LRPC was still quite functional then and ARS hadn't yet begun her tirade. Many believed then that the LRPC had lost touch with the average member's desires and that it was top heavy with committee members supporting boundless investment in golf even though nationally it was a declining sport. Not surprising, the no-survey excuses were: it's too expensive, the RCSC already knows and is responsive to what the members want, etc.

    History has repeated itself frequently on the RCSC survey issue. Maybe this time there will actually be a valid survey, because until there is one neither the RCSC, nor any member faction, has factual data to support that the the RCSC is/isn't acting in the best interests of the membership.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022 at 1:00 AM
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  13. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    The last survey they did may well have been in 2005, and that one was most likely through the Sun City Visitor Center (before they became part of the RCSC). We know historically the Del E Webb Development Corporation (DEVCO) and more significantly John Meeker, was a fanatic when it came to polling the owners. Every step of the way, they were asked what they wanted, what they liked. It was a relationship forged from a mutually beneficial contract all focused on Sun City surviving after the company left.

    Hell, when the RCSC purchased the Sun Bowl in the early 80's, they polled (actually voted) the membership. It was just the natural next step. What better way to know the direction than to ask those living here? Why it became such a foreign concept is shocking. I suspect it was for the same reason they voted out the long range planning committee while i was on the board (2012-2014). The agenda for those LRPC didn't fit the vision or the narrative the general manger was spouting.

    When you shut the voice of the community out, you simply do as you please. I wish i could agree with your technology assessment IC, but alas, they are that inept. They thought it was a big deal to give board members ipads to work with. In truth, it cut down on the hard copy paper they were using. I had to request hard copy of our documents. We also know, they haven't been able to increase their wifi capabilities, it has been an issue as far back as 2009.

    We are all in a very strange place right now. They just released the pending bylaws. Next Thursday they will review them in a planning session, with no member comments available. What does that tell you about the "improvements" they have made?

    The only reason to do surveys is actually if you care about what members say or think. If we've learned nothing else since 2006, with each passing year our voices have become less important. Tragic.
     
  14. eyesopen

    eyesopen Active Member

    “THE” committee succeeded in making it a challenge to look through 26 pages hunting for their proposed revisions.
    AND
    We can only speak on this through social media, letters to the editor and conversation until the next Member/Board Exchange, Monday, October 11, 2022! BE THERE!

    So much for our RCSC president’s inaugural request for Member participation in 2022…

    Proposed revised bylaws, 26 pages

    https://suncityaz.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Proposed-Bylaw-Revisions-8-23-22.pdf
     
  15. FYI

    FYI Well-Known Member

    Roger that. I'm currently reviewing the revisions but will contend, in my opinion, that there are still issues they've failed to address in the proper manner.

    It'll be interesting to hear how they explain some of their decisions.

    As far as I can tell so far, there are really only two wins for the Members. 1. They reduced the quorum to 800 and 2. we're now allowed to collect signatures on RCSC property.

    We still need to go to the Fox watching the henhouse to get their approval to start a petition. The only thing corporate should be allowed to do is record and assign the petition a number regardless of the subject matter. The validity of the petition will be determined if it receives the required 10% signatures.

    I'm sure I'll have more on this at a later date.
     
  16. eyesopen

    eyesopen Active Member

    FYI - Thanks for your expertise, time and dedication on behalf of the Members!
     
  17. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    In fairness to the committee, they did in fact address several of the changes proposed by the membership. The quorum is being proposed to being reduced to 800 from 1250 and they did in fact add "protections" for board members. On it's face, they look like improvements. They also allowed for signatures being gathered on RCSC property for recall and initiative and referendum. That's a really good change. It appears as if they tried to allow for recall petitions on board members without jumping through hoops, but i have my doubts if that is anything other than smoke and mirrors.

    A deeper dive shows that quorum change to 800 doesn't change the larger issue of what members must go through once a quorum is reached. At a member meeting, they can make motions and vote on them; as recommendations. The board then has 45 days to decide if they have merit. If they say they don't, the members then have 10 days to request a petition and another 120 days to gather 3,400 signatures to hold another meeting where they once again have to meet the quorum requirements. To add to the misery index, now the proxy gatherers are limited to 10 per member.

    The second item is just as bad. Last years motion to afford board members protection was intended to give a board member serving in a minority capacity a sense of fairness. The lengthy section now includes language that implies board members who speak out adversely to the majority position are subject to being kicked off the board for saying things they don't like. Compounding that is they can be barred from ever running for a board position again (as Karen McAdam did).

    The worst aspect of this process has been how it was rolled out to the members. They sent a clean copy of the new bylaws, not a working document. Apparently a bunch of sections were returned to the Board Policies (they should never have been moved to the bylaws in the first place) and all of the strike-outs (language changes) were not included. For those of you who have attended board meetings where changes were made to the bylaws, showing both old and replacement language were standard operating procedure.

    I'm hoping we will hear further clarifications regarding the bylaws at the planning session next Thursday. The challenge is i am a fan of clear and unambiguous language where what they write isn't subject to their attorneys interpretation. I've seen too many times where it says one thing and they say it means another. Nothing could be more apparent than when one reads the Articles of Incorporation where it states they can't write bylaws that are in conflict with the Articles. Clearly they have ignored that section, even though quoting it in the opening statement.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2022 at 10:13 AM
  18. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Sorry, i strayed from the topic at hand; what do we want? Obviously hearing what members have to say is a great starting point. While we balked at the method they jammed the Member/Board Exchange through (i think it's called coercion), it's proven invaluable as a place for members to come and vent;

    Of course we now know they (the RCSC) is keeping score on a white board where they stamp "completed" on stuff, is it really? I'm not going to refer to notes or even read back some of the summaries. I'm just going to work off the top of my head to see if i can summarize some of the stuff i heard mentioned. Here's shortlist:
    * Return the electronic signage at the centers to say: "Sun City; The City of Volunteers." Solution: Contract with ASU to run a survey at the cost of 50k plus. When?
    * Stop letting non-residents take tee times from the members: Limited outside tournaments and raised the full play non-resident passes $250. Didn't resolve the problems.
    * Address the safety concerns at Duffeeland Dog Park: Still trying to get key fob access, no security camera capabilities.
    * Additional Pickleball Courts: Working on a plan for courts on the Lakeview tennis courts.
    * Security Measures at Rec Centers: No camera accessibility due technology problems, hired off duty police at a couple of centers.
    * Indoor dog training center: Motion coming (not sure when).
    * Putting air conditioning in at the Vintage Car Club work area: Not in the budget.
    * Get going on the softball field house: Issues with electric to the building; working on. No start date determined.
    * Mountain View Project: Plans out for design. Then to be sent out for bids.
    * New Trial Fitness equipment (proposed and board approved): No report, still waiting.

    On the plus side of the ledger, View Point Lake appears to be proceeding smoothly and lot owners have been kept updated. The ad hoc committee on the bylaws finished their work and will hold an informational meeting this Thursday following the board meeting. Now word yet on the number of candidates for the election, but that will close the first week in October.

    The bad news is, we are watching the infighting now going on as clubs vie for improvements. Sadly, it's what happens when so much of the financial resources (PIF) has been directed in one area. Everything else gets neglected. We should have built a theater years ago, the Mountain View gym is a dump. The softball field house has been broken into 5 or 6 times in the past 4 years, it should have been replaced back when it was identified as a safety issue. The air conditioning should never have been pulled out of the Vintage Car Club work area, now the cost to run it after market is way more expensive had it just been built into the building like it was planned.

    The new needs/challenges become even more problematic. The pickleball at Lakeview won't be cheap; plus they will pose problems when the scheduled remodel starts (10 years). The question becomes will they build around them? Or, plow them under like they are now planning on doing at Mountain View? The indoor dog arena will be expensive. Not arguing for or against it, but it will add to the PIF budget already expansive and expensive. We are still way behind on our tech needs and until those are resolved, we can't begin to enhance the security issues plaguing our centers and the community as a whole.

    Beyond that, we know members are asking for little things like lawn chairs at Marinette (no money in the budget). We know the Life Long Learning Club has either collapsed or is on the verge of closing their doors. That will be tragic as virtually all age restricted communities have aggressive continuing education programs for seniors. Is the RCSC ready to step in and fill the void?

    The point here is simple, the coming years will be difficult. We have the money, do we have the will to spend it where needed to keep Sun City the first class community it was built as? From what i have watched, they have a long way to go to convince me they can get their head around the problems. We'll see.
     
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