Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 7, 2023.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    It stands for Strategic Alternatives Committee. With that out of the way, i've been pretty quiet as we move towards the summer months. Not that there isn't a lot of stuff going on, but commenting on things while they are percolating (you know like watching the coffee in that little glass top bubble on the coffee maker), until it's finished brewing, there's little point in assessing how good it is. Dang, i hate long-run-on sentences.

    I went to the SAC meeting on Friday May 5. I hadn't intended to get involved but i heard there was going to be a presentation on utilization. We know the former board president who recently quit mouthed the words "data driven" often, but as we watched from the peanut gallery, they were mere words, rather than actually meaning anything. If you think i'm blowing smoke; what and where is the data on an indoor archery range?

    I was disappointed because the agenda in fact was more an explanation on how we got to where we are and the reason SAC exists. I already knew full well the logic but i was fascinated to see and hear the make-up of the large working group. It's large and presents an interesting dynamic for the chairs.

    Some of those sitting in the room clearly want the the project to plow forward, spending whatever it takes to get the Mountain View project completed. Some are more focused on the long term goals for the community and implementing a cohesive strategic long range plan makes more sense to them. I fall down on their side; i've long argued the RCSC functions in the world of being short sighted.

    Let's recap how we did get here; Over the years, the GM became the visionary for Sun City. Before anyone thinks i am ripping her for it, i'm more angered that board members (elected by the community) let her go there. We all failed to limit her ability to just do what she thought was right. She was really, really good at what she did and how she did it.

    To be even more clear, many of her efforts were good. Golf courses needed to be fixed; especially when it came to water. Distribution was horrible, the piping under ground was broken and dysfunctional and wells were running dry and needed to be replaced. She kept yearly assessment fees low with minimal increases to the membership (at least for the couples who were being subsidized by the single home buyers and no that wasn't done by her). I have little doubt she cared deeply about Sun City.

    The problem wasn't regarding the good things she did, it was that when she eliminated members voices (by a vote of the board), she changed the community dynamic. The balance regarding what the community's needs were was gone. All golf, all the time was a horrible choice. Dedicating such a huge percentage of the PIF to one area impacts the community at large.

    If we had been more balanced we wouldn't be where we are today. There's no better example of that than regarding the woeful state of our technology. Playing catch-up has been near-on impossible and it may take years to fix the mess we are in. We already should have a theater here and if we did, Mountain View wouldn't even be on the radar screen other than the updating the center has needed for the past dozen years.

    It would have meant the two golf courses the RCSC was told didn't need to be fixed yet, wouldn't be. Willow Brook and Willow Creek would be scheduled for renovations in 2024 or 2025. Yes it would have been more expensive, but it would have been a far better fit than the wrestling match we are currently caught up in.

    Here's the real point of the SAC...in my humble opinion: You can't fix bad mistakes by making more bad mistakes. It simply will not work. Thank God the new board learned from the dumb stuff done before them and refused to compound it.

    I try and be brutally honest when i write or speak. Some hate my bluntness, others understand it. The now departed board compounded the poor choices of shoving Mountain View to the back of the line and then tried to fix it by shoveling a boatload of money at it. Sure, just reposition the center, plow everything under and start anew.

    On it's face, sounds good...but was it realistic? Does it make sense to destroy a perfectly good law bowling green? Eliminate pickleball courts and then throw a million or two million dollars into pickleball courts at Lakeview that would be noisy and in all likelihood have to be removed when Lakeview was rebuilt? Or better yet, how about a really, really dumb 8 year rebuild plan with a base cost of 40 million dollars that we know is well below the real cost.

    And to be even more blunt, the 3rd phase; a 2 story pickleball building, new lawn bowling green and ADA mini-golf was all BS from the start. Yet at her last meeting before quitting, the former president was still touting all three phases were going to be built. Talk about freaking delusional.

    I really don't give two shirts where the theater goes. Sorry, but i just don't care. What i do care about is we are realistic as to what our needs are. Here's the reality of life; trends matter. If you google theater attendance, lawn bowling play, 10 pin bowling play, shuffle board, and a myriad of other things (like golf once the covid19 bump is over), look at what the trending data shows you. That's our future.

    The question was asked Friday about whether we would be adding pickleball courts for members or for tournament play by outsiders. She gave the perefct answer: Everything we do, should be done for the membership. If at the end of the day, we have availability to hold an occasional tournament and not impact our members, cool. We should never overbuild anything for someone who doesn't live here. Never.

    We've squandered the past 15 years with poorly thought out decisions simply because someone in a position of authority thought it was a good idea. In a perfect world it might have been pure genius. What our history has taught us is we are far from a perfect world and the more the membership is involved, the better the choices.
  2. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    There's a lot here. I can only respond to one thing at a time.
    From what I remember the archery area decision at Grand was made a year? or more before the initial push for data collection and data driven decisions.

    There was a huge struggle for data collection. It seemed to take forever to get a former board to agree to collecting it, then the actual collection of the data from the club's etc. It didn't happen overnight. And if this one board member didn't begin the push for data collection it might not be happening even now.

    She spent hours and hours on spreadsheets and did an excellent presentation that not many people stayed for which was a shame. And even though at least three other board members added to the data as well it was still incomplete because there were no processes in place for data collection for specific clubs. It was like pulling teeth because it hadn't been done before and it's still a work in progress now.

    Anyway, all this to say I don't think Grand Center decisions were data driven because the the struggle for data had not happened quite yet.

    There's a quote by Lily Tomlin that both cracks me up and makes me think.

    "Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past."

    I don't blame any past boards or directors for the decisions they made because I believe at the time they did what they felt was right for Sun City. And that's really all we can ask of any board member.
    Last edited: May 7, 2023
    Linda McIntyre and Janet Curry like this.
  3. Lyoness

    Lyoness New Member

    I'm extremely disappointed in ADA activities being brushed under the table and viewed as unimportant in this senior community. From what I understand the idea of the ADA mini golf came from a lovely woman on the ad hoc Mountain View committee who had been wheelchair bound for many years and has since passed away. She was a very dedicated resident who donated many hours to Sun City and felt like ADA activities were lacking, and the original committee obviously AGREED. Benevilla has picked up our slack and now offers an ADA workout facility.

    Blessed to be able-bodied.
    eyesopen and Janet Curry like this.
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Sorry E, not buying the catch 22 excuse. Here's the meaning of the phrase: "a dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions." That would imply our inability to collect data was because of issues beyond our control. They weren't, not even a little. The decision to ignore or technology needs wasn't this inescapable conundrum. It was a willful choice not to care or even attempt to bring us into the next century.

    It's like the statement the GM made regarding technology: "It was no one's fault." That would suggest no one knew we are 15 years behind the times. That's simply not the case. Before 2010 committees were lobbying for updating. While i was on the board we were arguing for scanners to be used by the clubs and integrated programming as well. They just didn't care. Now all of us are paying the price.

    And lets be really clear about data collection. We stopped doing it at the behest of the former GM years ago. All she wanted was the number of members. Nope, that's fine but realistically for the board president to suggest data was how decisions were made when the push for the collection of it came following the pandemic was a nonsense. Everything was crushed when the RCSC shut every club and activity short of golf.

    I didn't waste my time with more examples of using data, but try these on for size E: What's that data driving a basketball/volleyball court at MV? What's the data an an indoor track at MV, less than a mile away from the other Sun City indoor track? Saying something doesn't make it true, actually using data to make informed decisions is all that matters. This new committee sounds like they actually mean it.

    How freaking refreshing is that?
    eyesopen, Enigma, Cheryl and 3 others like this.
  5. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    This is one of those topics that is probably safer to ignore, but i won't. The largest challenge for ADA compliant activities is the fact Sun City was built before all the regulations and requirements were passed and we were grandfathered. Obviously as buildings were replaced those requirements were followed to the letter of the law. The bigger challenge has been on the amenity side. Clearly people buying here with disabilities have the right to expect the same opportunities as the able-bodied residents.

    I remember clearly the arguments about whether every pool needed to be ADA compliant (with hoyer lifts). They're not and in my limited capacity, they shouldn't all have to be. Providing accessibility in at least a couple of them should be reasonable; unless of course our handicap population grows. Years ago a guy came to the Bell greens in his wheel chair and said we needed to provide a ramp for him to get on the greens. We told him that was reasonable and a couple of the bowlers agreed to build a portable ramp. He left and never returned suggesting we should have permanent ramps on every green.

    Sun City residents have been conditioned to expect many of the centers to have duplicating clubs, sports venues and expectations it remain that way. I think it is safe to say, one of the many changes we will be forced to make is better distributing the options available from center to center. It's already started and i expect it to become more focused as we make better use of available data.
  6. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    As I stated, I was talking about one topic. The archery range.
    You extrapolated everything I said onto all different topics I didn't touch on or didn't even get to yet.
    I never said or implied it was no one's fault. I'm just not willing to constantly point the finger backwards over and over. How is repeating that over and over helping?
    By this time, even those who have paid at least a small bit of attention only over the past 3 or 4 years know what happened. And while I agree with you on many things, it's not always as black and white as you imply. There's always shades of grey.
    The problem is that you take what someone says or posts and then twist the words somewhat to meet what you want to get across even though that's not what the original poster had meant. How can meaningful back and forth occur with that kind of communication? That's not listening. That's pivoting.
    Yes, our ability to collect data was hampered for various reasons, I agree on that.
    Please stay on one topic or idea when I post a reply. Even if I agree on the related tangents, I take one topic at a time.
    It's clear what was done or not done in the past is affecting us and will continue to affect us for years, but we need to move forward to solutions and not constantly point the finger of blame backwards. None of us, myself included, has that kind of time left on the planet.
    I'm not attacking you at all, Bill. Or even saying that you are wrong. Please don't take it that way.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  7. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Attack me all you want or need to E, it matters not. Frankly you missed the point of the entire article i wrote. There's not a damn thing we can do about the past...other than learn from it. Which was the entirety of what i wrote. I tried to be as positive as possible by pointing out the GM did some good stuff. The tragedy was the bad stuff has left us stuck in an ugly situation with little room for error. On the bright side, there's only another 20-30 million dollars we need to commit to golf courses and out buildings over the next 4 years.

    All of which is why i hated the fact the former GM ran from our history. It simply didn't coincide with the vision she had for Sun City. Worse yet, board member went along with it. It's hard to blame them. They looked at her salary and decided she must know what she is doing. Now here we sit with a bunch of members screaming to spend 40-50 million dollars on a single project that will blow any opportunity to address the community's needs over the next 8 years. Does that make any sense to you?

    Look, i'm all for Kumbaya moments where we all celebrate how great everything is in Sun City. The trouble right now is the board needs to sort out Mountain View rebuild, address the outside full play golf passes that are screwing the members out of tee times, try and get the technology mess resolved because until that is done, we can't do a damn thing about addressing our security concerns. On top of that, we have to do a better job with communications, try and draft a comprehensive strategic long range plan and figure out how to get more members involved in the concept of self-governance. And lets not forget the Lakeview pickleball courts they promised and the indoor dog arena/socialization building. There are no magic wands, especially when home sales are down 25%-30% this year already (compared to last year).

    After 15 plus years of telling members to stay home and be happy, it's a long slow slog back. In spite of all of that, i am in a great place because for the first time in a very long time, we are headed in the right direction. For that i am eternally grateful.
  8. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Oh Bill, I'm not attacking you. Not at all. I wish you didn't take it that way. After all these years, I would not do anything to hurt you. I hope you know that.
    I'm not going to argue with you.
    We have a lot of things to fix. But they're working on it. It just takes time. Have faith and be hopeful.
  9. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Dang Emily, you might just be the nicest person i have ever met. Seriously dude. I on the other hand am not, nor ever will be. I write here so as to insure we never forget how we got to where we are. There's no sense of retribution needed, just an ongoing effort to learn from our mistakes. Sun City's history teaches us there were way more stops and starts than were expected. Everything was trial and error. Why wouldn't we want to use them as our path forward?
  10. suncityjack

    suncityjack Active Member

    Some history you may find interesting:
    When my mother and I were members of Handicapables, I suggested to RCSC that water wheelchairs be made available at all the pools. No one with a wheelchair wants to go through a shower with it, and negotiating wet surfaces is dangerous with a cane or walker, so a water wheelchair is safer and handy for the pre-shower, entering the pool, and showering afterwards (personally, I think they are far superior in usefulness and flexibility than the lift chairs, and far cheaper). I was told that since Sundial already had them that was sufficient, and SC is for "active adults" and maybe those weren't able to fit that bill shouldn't be here. Nice, huh? I then brought up that many people become temporarily disabled and want to utilize water therapy to aid their recovery from knee replacements and such. Oh, they should be going to rehab. What insensitive and ignorant understanding of the issue. I believe we still don't allow someone to bring their own PT with them to workout rooms since we're supposed to hire the contracted coaches.
    Anyway, we eventually were able to have them get a water wheelchair for Fairway so those with a disability who want to utilize an outdoor pool safely can do so: works beautifully too since there is a perfectly designed walk-in ramp for all at that pool. Good designs like that entry ramp are great for everyone, so sometimes all that is needed is a sensitivity toward inclusiveness, so we need to ensure that any new designs exhibit that sensitivity.
  11. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I actually remember those discussions scj. Challenging times always as the first thing everyone asks is what will it cost? It's a fair question and one of the reasons i've touted the actions taken by Sun City West when they formed a space allocation committee. They reviewed every location they had and looked at how to best utilize every inch of it. For too long we've tried to have as much available at every location. It's simply not practical these days.
  12. Lyoness

    Lyoness New Member

    I belive the original comment wasn't about having ADA facilities at every center. It was about ADA mini-golf at Mountain View. With 4 mini courses, we can't offer one outdoor activity other than a pool for those physically challenged just because utilization would be lower? It would also attract another group of potential buyers.
  13. suncityjack

    suncityjack Active Member

    True! And one of my points was "Good designs like that entry ramp [at Fairway's pool] are great for everyone, so sometimes all that is needed is a sensitivity toward inclusiveness, so we need to ensure that any new designs exhibit that sensitivity," and well-designed mini-golf courses could easily be made not only accessible for a wheelchair or walker, but increase the safety for able bodied people as well. Ex: level walkways between the holes are safer for all, just as strategically placed gentle slopes ease the entry into and out of the holes without having to negotiate curbing. Adaptations that benefit everyone often just require some listening ears, some education on the subject, and a cooperative spirit.
  14. Lyoness

    Lyoness New Member

    I agree Jack. We hear too often that everyone wants what they want. Someone needs to prove differently by spending some money on something they may never use but could be enjoyed by all. The numbers mean nothing if you don't know how many have a disability. We may never know that number but there are many in our community we could be doing a better job of including. Maybe an ADA pickelball court is what should have been suggested.
  15. suncityjack

    suncityjack Active Member

    Yes. I wonder how many on the board or staff have had any inclusivity training? It would be great to have an activities director that actually planned activities focused on creating events that are community building in nature rather than being merely entertaining, and that introduced some events targeting those with differing levels of ability. Think cruise ship activities directors and the fun events they plan: setting indoor mini golf, "horse races," tourneys like word finds and other puzzles, lotteria and bingo, simple craft projects, etc. Imagination is all that's needed.
    Janet Curry likes this.
  16. eyesopen

    eyesopen Well-Known Member

  17. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Very cool, just watched the video from Friday's meeting and i was impressed with both data presentations. Kudos to both Gary and Chris. Clearly not perfect in detail but great baseline information to start laying the building blocks going forward. It's hard to believe we squandered so much time and money on somebody's best guess on what Sun City needed and wanted; worse yet, what they thought was important.

    The SAC is turning out to be a stroke of pure genius. The only real drawback are those who got on board to try and shove the 40 million dollar Mountain View option 2 down our throat. That "i want what i want" mindset is how we got as far removed from reality as we have. Sorry guys, but this isn't the field of dreams where if we build it, they will come. John Fast is 100% correct, figure out what our needs are and they build something to fit them.
  18. Larry

    Larry Active Member

    Amazing results when sound logic and actual analysis are used in decision making.
  19. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Yup. Could not agree more.
    Linda McIntyre and Janet Curry like this.
  20. eyesopen

    eyesopen Well-Known Member

    Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be no SAC meeting on Friday, May 26, 2023. The next meeting will be held on Friday, June 2, 2023 at the SAC Lab at Oakmont Center. An updated agenda will be forthcoming.

    Strategic Alternatives Committee Meeting Summary– 5/19/2023 https://suncityaz.org/strategic-alternatives-committee-meeting-update-5-19-2023/
    What’s covered:

    • 5.19.23 Updated Agenda 2022
    • Member Activity Use Facility Utilization
    • Data Cost of Theater Alone
    • Photo of Proposed Roof Line Option 2 –
    • CCBG – pg. 12 5/19/2023 Meeting
    • Recap/Press Release 5/19/2023 Meeting
    • Video Link https://youtu.be/TfW7s_RdxrI
    Last edited: May 23, 2023

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