Setting the record straight...

Discussion in 'Sun City General Discussions' started by BPearson, May 10, 2018.

  1. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Sometimes when i write of all things Sun City, it may come across as being critical. I learned a long time ago of the importance of careful self-evaluations. Without looking at both our good and our bad, we fail to see clearly where we are and where we want to go. I tend to do that organizationally as well.

    In another thread, i said the GM has done an overall good job. I meant it, she is strong, decisive and well versed in running the community. My biggest problems with her were regarding an employee who impacted Sun City and she left run pretty much unfettered; the good the bad and the ugly of his work. The other aspect was/is more a board problem. They need be strong enough willed to run the organization., not the other way around.

    In that thread I said my recollection was there was a point where the Rec Centers of Sun City (RCSC) and the Rec Centers of Sun City West (RCSCW) had rec fees within dollars of one another on a yearly basis. Sometimes that's scary because my memory isn't always that good.

    Our GM was spot on when she got here and one of her first observations was a flat rate fee per household assessments would make the budgeting process far more effective. It was a challenge because the per person rate was included in the facilities agreement and it couldn't be changed. The board grandfathered those with it, and it clearly created some resentments in the community. With grandfathering, only time cures those inequities.

    And for singles buying into Sun City, there is always going to be some feelings of being short-changed. But most of the animosity came because neighbors were paying a singles only (when grandfathered). The good news is if they don't like it, they don't have to buy here...they have that choice.

    Imagine my surprise today reading some old newspaper articles from 1999 and i found these numbers: Sun City Rec Fees single rate; $130, two people $260. Sun City West rec fees; single rate $133, two people $266. That is a three and 6 dollar difference per year.

    Fast-forward to today: Sun City; lot assessment fee: $496. Sun City West new rate this year: Single rate: $460 and two person rate and two person household $920 (actually i think it's a tad higher but this amplifies what has happened in the past twenty years).

    Kudo's to the GM for her forward thinking and to the board for taking the crap they did to get there.
     
  2. CMartinez

    CMartinez Member

    Many more kudo's offered to the GM as well. She works hard to get the things done and very seldom gets any kind of "Good Job" recognition. Jan has worked tirelessly to learn her craft and is an invaluable resource for property management. She has reached the pinnacle of accreditations for her profession, and because of this, is excellent at her career choice.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  3. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I've always agreed with the per property assessment because it just made more sense, IMO.
     
  4. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    It does unless you are a single buyer looking at your neighbor with spouse getting two cards. I've mentioned before when we bought here we were 51 and couldn't get cards. When we would visit, we could use punch cards they gave us. At the time there were twenty punches per card ($1 at the time per punch) and we each got one. While it wasn't the same as having your own card, it was a recognition we were paying the fees and not having to dig. seems to me it would be a positive gesture to do something along those lines without breaking the bank.
     
    Emily Litella likes this.
  5. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Maybe it makes more sense to those who do not make the single payment. Fine, one payment per property. Then two cards, or punch cards if you want, because it's actually tied into services we use. And before you say it's like property tax, or trash pick-up, no...it's not. Because we are not charged extra for additional residents or visitors on those bills.
     
  6. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    I wondered how long it would you take before you jumped in C. Here's where your argument breaks down: People buy in Sun City every day who never use the rec centers, go to the golf courses or attend any of the free concerts. They pay rec fees and get nothing for it and they choose to do that knowing full well they will pay whether they go or not. Perhaps it's because they like the clean streets, the safety or the idea they live in quiet neighbors free of children. Maybe they understand that without a school district to support, it is less expensive living in Sun City paying rec fees and lower taxes than in Glendale, Peoria or Phoenix.

    The point is, they know coming in they will pay the fees regardless; much the same as a single person does when they elect to buy here. Whether your situation is fair is another discussion and one i have been in agreement of some kind of allowance with punch cards when you have visitors. The problem would be more along the lines of monitoring use rather than the cost. My mother was the classic example. My parents owned a home here and were grandfathered under the single payment. After dad died, she sold the house and lost the grandfathered rights. When she bought a quad she was stuck with the full lot assessment and never used any of the amenities. Fair? Hardly, but it was how it worked. When the kids would visit she would buy a punch card so they could work out, had they given her one it would have saved her a couple of dollars.

    While it would be easy to complain about the unfairness, the ability to hold costs at bay is quickly realized when you look at what happened from 1999 through 2017 in Sun City and Sun City West. The cost increases are staggering in Sun City West compared to Sun City.
     
  7. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Actually I didn’t know it was different when I bought in. I knew the fee but I thought it was two per property. As you know, there are quite a few papers that must be read and signed. So a misunderstanding on this item should not be chalked up to “they knew when they bought.” And even if we did, that’s still doesn’t make it fair. Woman enter fields of work where they are discriminated against, knowing it, but still chose to do because they wanted that work. The same line was/is said about that. “They knew it and they still chose to do.”

    I’m not going to bother combing through the documents I signed, but it definitely was not obvious. And certainly no way to know that many neighbors still enjoy the per person rate.

    It’s irrelevant if people use the facilities or not..they have to right to use them or attend events for the fee they pay. It’s the inequality of the situation, not the need. And it is definitely not equal.

    As far as having enough money you will have plenty when married pay double...I don’t see the difference.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018 at 7:58 PM
  8. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    The difference is simple: In 1999 Sun City lot assessment fees were $3 less than Sun City West and $6 for a couple. in 2017 those differences had exploded. Today the single rate difference even with a single paying a full lot assessment in Sun City is now they are paying $36 more while the couple in Sun City West is paying more than $430 per year than a couple in Sun City. In part, it is due the budgeting process and having no idea what their yearly revenue stream is.

    And so we are clear, it is not irrelevant if people live here and don't attend anything. It's still $496 for what they argue is nothing. We can debate this all day and you won't feel you are being treated fair. Reminds me of all the times over the years residents argued everything should be a pay for play scenario. That way we could reduce everyone's rate's. Nope, bad idea then and still is.
     
  9. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    How do you know their problem is because they can’t know their revenue stream? In part? What’s the other part? All I know is if other communities can do it fairly, and most do, there is no reason to give such a big break to married people who in many cases have two incomes as well. And the “easy accounting” reason still doesn’t explain why we don’t get what we pay for. Two passes per house. You say it’s a few hundred dollars when the kids visit, but it’s a lot more than that. If take in a family member, roomate or even a partner at $3 a day that’s about $1,100 a year. So then two of us in the house are paying $1,600 per year.

    When I say irrelevant its because we pay for upkeep of the community, if we use it or not. I doubt if people want to drive by decrepit buildings and grounds. And they might attend a show or something else the fee pays for.

    One question, if you might know it...if four people are on the deed, do they all four get passes for the $496?
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018 at 10:56 AM
  10. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    At the sake of being argumentative, do you know how many age restricted communities allow a single rate and how many have a flat rate lot assessment? I don't, and i am not even sure where you find that kind of information short of contacting individual communities and asking. The one thing i do know is our rates are so far below others we must be doing something right. I said in part because i am not that familiar with all things SCW and the point was simply their rates have exploded compared tou ours over the past 18 years...some in part to the single payer/lot assessment issue.

    There is a max of two people per lot assessment even if there are four people on the title. Two would have to buy cards.
     
  11. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    But $1,600 for two people is not far below the average. And that will be the cost for two people in my house.

    I could easily accept paying the $496. I do have a problem with getting less for my money than other get. If two is considered the norm (no more than two per property or pay extra) than two should be given for each property.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018 at 2:38 PM
  12. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    Not sure what kind of math you are using C; once the initial lot assessment has been paid ($496), then additional privileged cards can be purchased for $248 per person or $496 per couple. If you were just given a second card, who would be entitled to use it? Could you sell usage on Craig's list? Literally, that's why i said there would be issues monitoring it.

    As far as getting your money's worth, once you move here and join clubs and do things, you will be getting way more than your money's worth than those who never use any of the facilities, and there's a boatload of those out there.
     
  13. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    My math was based on $3 a day for the guests. Ok if you want to figure it with the resident privilege card then it’s $744 for two people. But those are for residents. And still wrong when others get the same thing for $496.

    My guests would use the second card of course. The idea that people would sell it on craigs list is rather crass. Why don’t people sell their own cards if they never use the facilities? No different. Identification could be that as is required for guests. It’s already in place. Are there problems monitoring guests?
     
  14. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I skimmed this and it's similar to a thread awhile back (maybe years now.) Hopefully, the law suit settlement can put all this to rest once and for all.

    Cynthia, our rec cards have photos on them with numbers and bar code scan so when you check in to an activity they can confirm who you are.

    I laughed about the crass comment about selling the guest cards. Wait til you live here. You have NO idea lol.

    When we bought we were told that it was a per property assessment. We were told also that we would not get rec cards until one of us (me being the old bag qualifier), turned 55. Not entitled to use the facilities or participate in any of the reindeer games. Neener, neener. (Ok, they didn't say reindeer games or neener, neener.) So we knew that going in.

    Except for eating in the rec center restaurants and occasionally using the bathrooms, we did wait like obedient little sheeple, and did not break the rules. Did it seem fair? Yes and no. We knew up front though so it was what it was and we accepted it.
     
  15. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    Back to the original topic, (or am I in the wrong thread now?), I think we have a very good GM. I think mostly everyone has good intentions,.and they do try hard to listen to the card holders. I watch all the meetings, mostly on the phone, I am amazed at some of the stuff they have to put up with. The letters and comments in the Independent are a hoot sometimes as well.
     
  16. Cynthia

    Cynthia Well-Known Member

    Yes I knew it was a per property assessment but I thought I would get two for the money. Most do. So those who don’t get the same...I see it as unfair. Simple as that. If you think it’s acceptable for you to get double for the same price I pay, then that’s what you think. If people can’t cheat because of the ID card then neither could guests with an ID. My point exactly. It’s not rocket science.
     
  17. Emily Litella

    Emily Litella Well-Known Member

    I'm only talking about the member cards. I don't even know what a guest or a punch card looks like. Not even sure if you have to be with a guest all the time at a rec center. I probably should read the rules - once every five years, lol.

    It will be interesting to see how it is all settled. I wish it would be over soon.

    I went back to Sun City Carolina Lakes web site. We had looked at them, but decided to pass in 2012.
    SCCL HOA charges $212 a month for single family homes and that includes landscaping and the rec centers. Looks like they have two now and are completely built out. The HOA monthly fee is more for the carriage homes and duplexes (attached housing with roof maintenance included), but they don't say how much more. They also don't say if they use cards or how they treat guest access on their website. Still glad I didn't stay on the East Coast.
     
  18. pegmih

    pegmih Active Member

    I'm confused.
    If a couple purchases a condo in SC do they pay one (1) PIF, get two (2) cards, and pay one (1) annual fee?
    If a single person purchases a condo do they do the same except only get one (1) card?
    Single people are cheated. I think couples should pay more for water because needless to say, they use more.
    And on and on re single versus couple.
     
  19. BruceW

    BruceW Member

    That is what they said when we took the tour. It was explained as you get 1 card per deed holder, up to a max of 2.
    It did get a few raised eyebrows and grumbles from the attendees.
    I guess you have to look at it as a per deed usage fee, not a per person usage fee.
     
  20. BPearson

    BPearson Well-Known Member

    We bought in Sun City at the age of 51. We paid the PIF and then rec fees for 4 years without being able to use the centers. Was that fair? Of course, because those were the rules and we knew them when we bought here. When we bought the home we were going to downsize to, we paid the $3000 PIF and while we didn't like it, we paid, because those were the terms and conditions in place when we bought. While C says it isn't the same, people who buy in Sun City and pay their lot assessment but never use any of the amenities say the same thing; "it isn't fair." The reality is they should know that before they buy and factor it into the decision to buy here. It's the contract they enter into when they elect to buy in Sun City.

    Over the years we have beat this topic to death. There's no way single owners will ever see this lot assessment as "fair." I get it. In fact i have argued any number of different equations that are more"unfair" than this one. So much so when i ran for the board, i tried to change it, but with little success. That's the beauty of Sun City; if you don't like something, think it not fair, run for the board and try and change it. Recognize this though; anything you want to "fix" will come with resistance because there's almost always a cause and affect from whatever you want to do.
     

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