Is it a blessing or a curse?

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I will tell those of you reading this, what i am writing is as much for me as it is for anyone taking the time to read it. Yesterday i took 6 people through the Museum on personalized tours. 4 were scheduled 2 popped in. Since November of 2020, when we reopened, i have done maybe 50 of them. I love spending time with people, showing them the remarkable history and answering their questions. Better yet, we get to talk about why history matters and how it could be helpful carving our path forward.

    There's probably a half a dozen of us in the community that have as extensive a knowledge/understanding of how Sun City was built and why it worked. Virtually all of them were tied to the Del Webb Sun Cities Museum. That shouldn't be surprising, as the keepers of the collections, we spent a lot of our time working on it, showcasing it and talking about it.

    I have an added benefit in that beyond the Museum my background with other organizations in Sun City is fairly extensive. Visitor Center (before the RCSC took it over), Sun City Home Owners Association (where we rebuilt it), 3 years on the rec board and 3 years as president of the Sun City Foundation, written 5 magazines on Sun City (3 for the RCSC and 2 for SCHOA), and did all the writing for the 50th anniversary. There's other stuff of lessor degrees of importance but all giving me a measure of what Sun City is and how it works.

    Nope, not bragging. Because if you know the communities history, i'm a piker compared to some. There's all kinds of people who have stepped up and made Sun City what it is. Hell, if anything, those folks have been my inspiration, my mentors if you will.

    But alas, this post has dragged on long enough. I want to come back and finish my thoughts. The header was a teaser because as i look back over my near on 20 years here, i sometimes wonder if knowing what i know is a blessing or a curse. When i come back, i will explain further.
  2. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Good to see we are getting more comments again about Karen getting fired. That said, let me finish my thoughts. When i left the board years ago you can find a thread on here entitled "Free At Last, Free At Last, Thank God Almighty Free At Last." I wrote it immediately following my 3 year term expiring as an RCSC board member. I was so glad to be done with it. I hated how Carole and i were treated (Carole more so than me). In fairness, i didn't get elected to make friends. I had some very specific goals i had hoped to accomplish. Most all died from a lack of oxygen to the brain as most of the other board members were quite content to just play the "whatever she said game." She being the general manager.

    It was never how i expected it to work. I thought board members would be more interested in leading/shaping the community. It should have been no surprise, we were paying the gm a very good wage so i guess they figured she must have all the answers. No one does and the minute you start to function that way you neuter yourself and become vulnerable to group think. Good to see, it's still the way they work (that is said tongue in cheek in case you think i am being serious). Karen and Barbara both found out the hard way, ideas that aren't coming from the gm just are a pain in the butt.

    Anyway, let me cut to the chase. I am toying with picking up a packet and see if i could get a hundred signatures. I think i might be able to get them (said with a smile). Honestly, i don't think i can win because they would rally the bigger clubs to vote against me (as IC suggested they do). Where it would get very, very interesting would be to sit with the other candidates and lay the sticks straight on returning to our roots at the two candidate forums. Going back to a quorum of 100, or 250 if they are nervous, but certainly something attainable. A motion whereby a candidate that wasn't elected would replace anyone who quit, died or was kicked out of office by a recall vote of the members. Allowing recall petitions to be signed on RCSC property. Holding two mandatory town hall meetings a year where topics would be on point about what is going on within the community.

    There's way more but just imagine how refreshing it to be to talk about real issues rather than "better transparency and better communication." Here's another problem; i call these old board members they keep trudging back up to fill openings "retreads." If i ran, i would be a "retread." No, don't mind being called that, but we need new people, fresh ideas not the same old bunch cackling together. There's a new GM, maybe we'll turn the corner but i suspect it will only happen of those of us in the community push.
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  3. FYI

    FYI Active Member

    I say go for it! If nothing else, the comments you make at the candidate forums will be seen and heard by many!

    One train of thought is that "a quorum should be as large a number of members as can reasonably be depended on to be present at any meeting."

    Of course that number covers a lot of ground depending on who you ask!
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    When they did it 2009 they argued that 3500 was reasonable and fair. Then the reduced it to 1250. We never reached it over the years which tells me it was too high. Now i suspect they are crapping their pants that they have angry enough to turn out and when you add in proxies they must just be thinking they are flocked.
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  5. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    Yep, you may a be a retread, but you would be an ELECTED retread!! Quite a difference from appointed as a stage stooge to fill a seat and abide by the status quo. I would love to see you run again, as I am sure your commentary and purpose would surely be engaging and purposeful, rather then the usual "communication" schtick.

    You just made by year! I surely do hope you do it, as it is time for someone of your expertise and caliber to be on the board.
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  6. Say What

    Say What Member

    About time Bill! Standing ovation!!!
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  7. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Don't get all excited yet gang. I really don't want to serve three more years, especially if my role is just to fight with existing board members. There's no such thing as a savior, at least not in an age restricted community. Sun City was built by people who worked together for the common good. Nope, doesn't mean they always got along but it does mean they were willing to accept differing ideas. What we have seen the past two years has been an intolerance for ideological differences, Don't agree? Fire them.

    Barbara Brehm was the classic example of a board run amuck. One of the duties of a board member is to review financials. Most board members are either too lazy or not smart enough to know what they are looking at or for. Barbara did know and when she saw an anomaly she did exactly the right thing and called other board members. It's how it is supposed to work. Rather than followup on the questions she was asking, their solution was to fire her.

    That was pure and simply a breach of their fiduciary responsibilities. She gets fired for doing the job she was elected to do and they pat themselves on the back for getting rid of a troublemaker. Why would i want to put myself in that position? It's the question that pushes me to stay as far away as i can get. That said, i am really interested in seeing several quality candidates who are independent thinkers be elected.

    I am in a quandary, clearly we are at a point where something has to change. The gm will be gone shortly, unless they decide to hire her as a consultant (really?), and perhaps the new gm will be more willing to move to trying to build a better sense of community.
  8. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member

    During your next tenure, the board will have enough turnover to allow for new ideas and mindsets. The appointed retreads will lose the ability to run again, having already served far too long on the board as it is. Your knowledge of Sun City, how it can be run as a membership rather than a limited hierarchy, and you wisdom of the community history would encourage more to throw their hat in the ring. It would make others, feeling thwarted by the way board members have been treated, there was someone of a like mindset available to speak with and possibly build a new purview for Sun City. Your sense of what Sun City can become is enlightened by the retelling of its history and what can be accomplished when there is buy in from the members,

    With a new board perspective in place, new members with a willingness to learn and lead plus an experienced board member such as yourself, it would be the best way to thwart the retention of the former GM in any place of power. There is so much work to be done to restore this community to its former grandeur, it will take some one with you foresight and hindsight to bring about the needed and desired change. I am not trying to work you to the bone in your retirement, rather use your brilliance and tenacity for the benefit of the members and Sun City. Bill, your ability to think on your feet, be eloquent and offer sound advice at any given time is comforting to those of us who are tired of the rhetoric, the BS, and the flagrant violations of the law as well as the corporate documents. You may become loud and foreboding, but you have never lied for the sake of personal gain nor have you ever turned your back against an issue needing immediate attention. Sun City is in need of some immediate attention, and the time to offer that attention is now, more so than in the last 15 years.
  9. FYI

    FYI Active Member

    Personally, Bill would be a great asset having served on the board and with his historical knowledge, and I can kind see where you're going with that, but I still believe he could better serve the community as a leader of an independent citizens watchdog committee/group.

    We all see what happens on the board when you don't "go along to get along" and as soon as you establish any sort of opposition to the powers that be you will either have your idea voted down or you'll get thrown off the board. Too many good ideas are lost and never heard in the small confines of a board meeting and squashed by back door emails.

    Bill needs to be part of an open group who represents the citizens of the community and can rally the troops to show-up at board meetings to express their desires or dissatisfactions out loud! Keep the group independent and unaffiliated with the RCSC. They will want to make the group a new Standing Committee which would mandate that a member of the board serve as chair and co-chair...exactly what we're trying to get away from!

    There's strength in numbers and if the community continued to pack the board meetings I think you would see things begin to change.

    Just my opinion!
  10. OneDayAtATime

    OneDayAtATime Member

    I like both ideas....a Board member or a "leader" of an independent citizens watchdog committee/group. Bill's knowledge about Sun City entitles him to the moniker "Mr. Sun City." And others on here overwhelm this new reader with the history/stories/background you have. Perhaps the "booting" of Karen will get this ball rolling. (And no, I can't run for the Board because I am not here 10 months of the year.)
  11. aggie

    aggie Well-Known Member

    Young at heart but old timer here. 3rd generation and have been a Member for 23 years so have been here through all the changes both good & bad. There was no PIF fee when we bought but we have paid the annual assessment for all of the 23 years. Quite an investment.

    My grandparents & parents set a good example of volunteering so it was natural for both myself and my husband to follow. At a certain point burnout does set in which is hastened by the feeling that RCSC just lets you FEEL like you are a valuable asset on committees. Early on it did seem worthwhile and we both logged many hours. Life, caregiving and aging does slow you down and you have to set priorities. There are so many other volunteer opportunities in/near Sun City which enrich our lives.

    Like you Bill, I would like to pick up a packet just to shake things up. It will be interesting to follow this year's election process.
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Aggie is the classic example of what happens when lip service is all the RCSC is really doing with committees. There was a time in this community when committees served as a valued resource for running Sun City. Not everyone wants to be on the board. Others were more often interested in being on sitting committees and addressing topics they were interested in or had some expertise in. It truly was a win/win.

    When the new gm came along she quickly saw committees as being an impediment to her long term goals. The legal affairs committee was the first to go. She knew they would be critical of some of the actions she would be proposing with by-laws changes. Most of them were long time residents and were knowledgeable on many fronts. They were also mostly a bunch who weren't afraid or shy about speaking up. The argument was some of them weren't familiar with Arizona laws as they came from out of state and had passed the bar in other states. It was pure and utter nonsense but of course the board ate it up.

    Then she went after the communication committee. There were a couple of husband and wife teams on the committee and she claimed they could team up and that wasn't fair or right. She proposed changes that said no relatives on the same committee and we lost several long time people. Then the name was changed a couple of times and the latest watered down version has been pretty well neutered. If there is a good thing, they created the Focus series of videos but it too has simply become a tool for a board member and the president to spout their rhetoric.

    Another ugly maneuver in our history took place while i was on the board. The gm suggested they get rid of the long range planning committee. Carole and i spoke long, loud and hard against it but to no avail. The board president spouted we didn't need no stinking long range planning committee, we had one, it was called the board of directors. Yikes. The gm proclaimed the LRPC's duties were done when they finished the Marinette project. It was idiocy at its finest.

    The simple truth was the LRPC was simply getting in the way of her goal of all golf, all the time. In fact, when i went to serve on the board, i found out the LRPC had no say in anything golf related, which was 75% of the PIF budget. Sure, we have the long range planning committee back, but ask anyone on it and they will tell you how they feel about the countless hours they out in and then their suggestions are dismissed out of hand.

    I can't be more clear than to say, all of this was wrong headed and shortsighted. My only real hope is as the gm leaves us we return to the day when residents beyond the board and the management mattered.
    Poison_Ivy likes this.
  13. CMartinez

    CMartinez Active Member


    I would love to see you on the board, as I feel your insights and knowledge are invaluable. You have such a great awareness of the community needs and are extremely articulate in stating your goals and desires. Your wealth of RCSC experience would be such an asset to this community and to this board.

    I, for one, would be thrilled to see you run for the board, give them the unvarnished truth during the meet and greet with the candidates, then win the election by a landslide. You are a phenomenal speaker as well as strong presence. You would do great with any tasks needed to be undertaken to get the ship righted.

    Thank you for considering this, it would be a great thing.
  14. aggie

    aggie Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the kind words Carole. I wouldn't hesitate to run if I thought I could commit to the full 3 years. Life gets in the way at the most unpredictable times.

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