There's volumes written on the differences between the "Greatest Generation" and the "Baby Boomers." Perhaps the simplest way to is explain it is silly, but on point: The greatest generation grew up with radio series that ran from week to week, month to month, year to year. Their life's satisfaction was earned through hard work and constant saving to eventually reach their goal. Boomer's grew up in the era of the 30 minute sit-coms and murder mysteries that were solved in an hour long program. Gratification was instantaneous and expected. We were entitled while the generation before us, learned patience and investing in the ownership responsibilities that came with a community like Sun City. They were willing to invest the time and effort to make it work. It should come as no surprise to many when the GM hired in 2006 tapped into that mindset and suggested we stop recruiting volunteers and label ourselves the "Fun City." Even down to the Hawaiian shirts it was intended to create a more relaxed less committed atmosphere. It also perfectly fit the mindset of many of the boomers looking to buy. In the immortal words of Alfred E Neuman, "What, me worry?' The problem was Sun City was built on a wholly different platform of every other age restricted community. They are typically much more expensive, much better run because of their higher costs. We have always been the poor man's Grand or Sun City West or most of the 1000 others around the country. We were always better run when the community was involved (1960-2006). We had brilliant people living here and we asked/begged them for their help. We stayed inexpensive because of those who volunteered and offered to keep us that way. In 2006, everything changed. The new mindset of just let us (management and some of the board) became the mantra. With each passing day we transitioned to become newer age restricted community lite, but without the professional management capabilities. The good news was we stayed cheap. the bad news was, we stayed cheap. It truly was a two edged sword. On one hand we kept fees low for couples and screwed the singles by making anyone buying here as a single subsidize a couple. On the other hand we exploded PIF fees from a starting point in 1999 of $750 to its current $4000. The good new is the massive number of home sales (more than 2000 a year) brought in gobs of money. The bad news is the GM and a handful of board members had absolute and total control over how it was spent (after 2012 when the long range planning committee was disbanded). Did they spend it wisely and in the best interests of the membership? Far be it from me to be the judge, but from a practical standpoint and worse yet, the shitstorm of problems we find ourselves in today, i would answer no. Let me be more emphatic, NO. The Mountain View remodel speaks volumes to us. The arguments we are hearing are basically from those wanting the performing arts theater. I get it, i truly do. You've been screwed 6 ways from Sunday. I would argue you did virtually nothing to help your cause beyond whining a lot. but that's on you. The former GM had zero interest in a theater, NONE. Golf will be inscribed on her tombstone and i will never be able to explain why? The board, while i was on it, was mostly (6 of the 9) golfers and they swallowed her pitch hook, line and sinker. I could and have argued the push to invest and subsidize golf was a quest to drive the 3 private country club's out of existence and create another 1000 or more high-end housing units, but she never articulated that to me/us. Let's get back to the theater. Did you know the DEVCO performing arts theater proposed for the corner of 99th and Bell Road was to seat 1800 people? Did you know the plan was to deed it to the RCSC immediately upon completion? Did you know the RCSC was terrified of accepting that kind of a project and the expenses that came along with it? But alas, the Bell Rec Center was 5 million dollars over budget and that was before the theater was built. The plan was scrapped and it became a shopping center. Since that time, performance groups of all stripes lobbied for something they could perform in that was comfortable for residents to sit in and performers to share their talents with the community. It was a reasonable expectation. It just never got board support and management had no interest (did i mention that before?). their best opportunity was between 1999 and 2006. Sadly the money was never there with the PIF just starting in 2000. Worse yet many of the amenities were in trouble as they were aging poorly. Several iterations of drawings appeared before the long range planning committee, some really well done and not very expensive. Seems to me back then the average projection was in the 5 million dollar range (some less than that).. They never made any headway as the Bell renovation, then the Fairway rebuild got a higher priority rating. Then around 2012, after the Marinette pickleball pavillion was built (as a recommendation by the LRPC), the board/gm voted to get rid of the long range planning committee. The GM was mad their proposal to the board took away from her planned golf course rebuilds. It was roughly 6 million dollars plus. With them (the LRPC) gone the theater was out of sight, out of mind. Whenever the idea picked up a little steam, another need was identified and bypassed the theater. Around 2015 there was a push and for some strange reason, the decision was made to spend more than 10 million dollars on Willowbrook and Willowcreek golf courses, even though the PGA expert who reviews our courses every year said they were good till 2024/2025. These courses were newer because they were built 14 years after the North course. Once the PIF budget was pissed away on that project, the Mountain View rebuild really picked up steam. An ad hoc committee, two town hall meetings and lots of interest was generated. If we are to be totally honest, the two things that took center stage (pun intended) was keeping their community pool and building a theater. The odd one offs of a basketball/volleyball gym were distractions with virtually no data supporting adding them. The indoor walking track was never mentioned, why should it be? There was one less than a mile away. Everything was on track to get the members living around Mountain View's needs/expectations met. Then a funny (not) thing happened. A small piece of land became available on Grand Ave. A couple of the board members started salivating over the property and walla, we bought it for 750k and plans began as to who would get space there. Another ad hoc committee was formed just for this new Grand center and it was jammed through and Mountain View was kicked to the curb...yet again. No idea how much money was spent on the Grand Center but i would guess a safe bet would be in the 10 million dollar range. Way more than enough to have done the Mountain View theater, pool and mini-golf renovations. And more importantly to have done them at reasonable prices and completed in short working order. Grand was the vision for a board who wanted what they wanted when they wanted it and the massive golf course expenditures were the vision of the GM who wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. No one ever bothered to ask the community what they wanted...they were just done in spite of the community. Fast forward to 2020 and 2021, we found a board who got sideways with the firing of Karen McAdam and were desperate to buy their way out of the nightmare they found themselves in. New theater? No problem. New gym? No problem. Multiple pools? No problem. Indoor dog arena? No Problem. Pickleball courts at Lake View? No problem. New softball building that should have been built in 2018? No problem. Reline the lake? No problem. Finally fix the Marinette Clay club? No problem. Finishing the room at Grand? No problem. I suspect you get the picture, the promises became bigger than their wallets and now with home sales stalling, we've promised everything to everybody. It's no surprise my new best friend Tom Swenson is freaking out all over social media whining about the Players getting screwed. They are. The problem is more about the fiduciary responsibilities of the previous board than not having comfortable seating for residents and a decent stage and and off stage areas for the performance groups. As i said before, i get it. Those of you who are members of the Players simply want what you want when you want it. Who cares if it cost 4o million dollars? Who cares about the long range success of the community? The argument that a theater is somehow Sun City's future success story and why we will survive is ludicrous. If the board gives in, we simply continue the long tradition of just giving whomever whatever it is they want without any kind of strategic or comprehensive plan in place. You'd think a community with a 25 million dollar yearly budget, an asset value of roughly 140 million dollars would have the capacity to do better than flying by the seat of their pants and just doing whatever whenever because someone moans the loudest, or there are people in high places who think they know better than the community at large. We need to do better as a community. More on that later.