Just the facts, Ma’am.
Those who remember the TV character Joe Friday will remember that line. It seems our board is having a hard time dealing with the facts that created the Mountain View Center mess, and some on the board want people to look the other way. Like Ronald Reagan used to say, “Trust but verify.”
So here is what I have been able to verify.
Everyone knows the board dysfunction that this debacle caused. That dysfunction continues to this day.
So where does that leave us? With a $40 million mess of a design that tries to combine a theater and an athletic facility through a huge lobby. A friend of mine who was a lead architect for the Marine museum told me the way you manage this incompatible combination is through scheduling (i.e., close the pool when the theater is in use).
People, in my opinion the garbage in, garbage out principles apply to this mess. The decision-making process was garbage and so are the conceptual plans. But alas, a slim majority of the board wants to pay between $1 million and $2 million to have blueprints drawn up and cost estimates developed for this monstrosity (my words) without considering any other options or the impacts on clubs who are having their facilities taken away. People, they are already discussing in the Budget and Finance Committee how to prepare the members for a large assessment fee increase. As you know, the preservation and improvement fee was already raised from $3,500 to $4,000. To paraphrase George Bush, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it is most likely a duck.
Hello, Board of Directors, read my lips: Put community unity first and for, God’s sake, take the time to get this right. There is absolutely no urgency to proceed with option 2. Mountain View is like most of us, old but still functional. My message to the board is to take a break (not enter into any contracts) and have a nice relaxing summer so you can come back with a fresh perspective. I can assure you Mountain View will still be there when you return and no one will attempt to change it.
Let’s return to the Dragnet theme. The scene is a dingy smoke-filled interrogation room with 1-way glass. Joe Friday asks me, “What’s your motive in fighting this; the proverbial train has left the station?” I say, “Honestly, officer, I just want to see broad membership involvement in making decisions about the biggest capital expenditure in Sun City’s history.” They then shine the hot lights in my face, tighten the handcuffs and deny me water. Finally, I can’t take it anymore and I break. “OK, I confess, I would really love to see Sun City have a standalone performing arts center where members can enjoy plays, movies, musical performances, comedy shows, debates, lectures, book readings, improvisations, host large meetings and do a bunch of other really cool stuff. Is that too much to ask?” I weep. At this point in the show, Sgt. Friday looks over to Officer Danny Williams and says, “Book em Danno; this is a clear case of first-degree honesty combined with inciting membership involvement.” OK, I mixed in Hawaii Five-O.
My fellow members, if this mess troubles you as much as it does me, pick up the phone and call the RCSC board at 623-561-4620 and politely let them know you would like to see them consider other alternatives before spending millions more. You can also email President Dale Lehrer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, if you are having trouble getting through, you can always visit the board office at room 118 in the Lakeview Center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Blvd., to schedule a time to talk to a board member. If you visit, call or write, please be respectful, and remember to thank the board member for their volunteering to be on the RCSC board.
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