Guest Commentary

Fast: Bringing back member-driven decision making in Sun City


As was shared last month, we can only meet the future head-on if we are willing to take this journey together. I urge interested members to become involved in making Recreation Centers of Sun City the best it can be!

Recently, the board set in motion several very ambitious undertakings that seek to involve many members in a way they are unaccustomed to — partnering with the board and management in the process of determining what the future of our recreation centers will look like. Simultaneously, we have adopted a philosophy of open collaboration between the board, management and members who want to be involved in the governance of their community. Finally, you will hopefully have noticed a great sense of urgency in accomplishing all the work we have before us as we strive to be the best we can be.

We realize we have a long way to go and a short time to get there!

Job one is rebuilding the Mountain View Center, 9749 N. 107th Ave., built in 1968, in a manner that meets or exceeds our members’ expectations and provides attractive, modern and safe standards. In addition, we need to do a far superior job of providing a high-quality facility for one of our oldest clubs, Sun City Players, so they can continue to attract and retain members who are passionate about the theatrical experience. Since the beginning days of our community, the Players have delighted untold numbers of members with their performances.

We must also address the Lakeview Center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Blvd., built in 1970, and constructed near a unique feature not often found in the desert — a lake! It, too, is slated for an update or replacement soon. We believe the current building fails to take advantage of one of the most prominent and beautiful hallmarks of Sun City — our serene Viewpoint Lake.

In order to address these issues, we formed the Strategic Alternatives Committee. The mission of this ad hoc committee is to examine data on current and historic utilization of recreation facilities and trends and then collect, develop and evaluate strategic alternatives to Mountain View project option two and building pickleball courts at Lakeview. The SAC members represent the current and prospective club users of the Mountain View Center, Long Range Planning Committee members, members at large and residents who live near the Mountain View facility. The SAC is chaired by directors Jeff Darbut, Karen McAdam and myself. The committee meets 2 p.m. every Friday in Building B (aka the SAC Lab) at the Oakmont Center, 10725 W. Oakmont Drive. All meetings are open to members, but seating is somewhat limited. The SAC is in the process of establishing 2-way communication channels in order for members to provide input either in person or remotely. The future meetings are also slated for video recording and publishing on our RCSC YouTube channel.

The SAC is charged with using a data-driven, member-centric, decision process to develop one or more recommended alternatives to Mountain View option two with building pickleball courts at Lakeview that will be presented at the September board meeting. Yes, the SAC will be working through the summer! Following the presentation of alternatives at that meeting, the board will gather member feedback in October and November on the SAC recommendations and alternatives through the use of town halls, surveys or other means. We anticipate a vote on a course of action at the November board meeting.

All I can say is, I am very grateful to be a part of a community where members matter. I am proud of our past, I am enjoying our present, and I am very excited about our future!

Editor’s Note: John Fast authored this commentary for Kat Fimmel, Recreation Centers of Sun City board president for 2023.