I speak of Mountain View Center, of course. A refined, revered name that has been celebrated for much or all of U.S. musical history.
The one that comes immediately to my mind is Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Was there not a teeny bopper in the 1970s that did not fancy herself as Sweet Caroline? The lyrics are simple “Good times never seemed so good. I’ve been inclined to Believe they never would...”
Here we are in 2022. There have been tons written and issued about what Mountain View Center has meant and will mean to Sun City.
Even as her tiny footprint is assailed and exploited, the Recreation Centers of Sun City board continues to hold out on a plan not one of us wants. Along comes John Fast with his excellent presentation toward restoring the moratorium and slowing down the rush toward judgment and is roundly dismissed. A significant part of his presentation was a return to a 1970s proposal to place our performing arts center where it should have been in the first place — at Bell Center near where the farmer’s market sets up on Thursdays.
I feel fortunate to have access to his PowerPoint presentation (of which board members got copies). He offered a thumb drive with his presentation so everyone in the audience could follow along. That was refused “because I am technically challenged,” a claim made by Sue Wilson. She is sitting right next to Marsha Johnson and surrounded by techie types. Even I, during my old MS Office days, could have done it! So, audience only gets to hear what John is saying. My memory is such that if I see it at the same time I hear it, retention expands by as much or more than 50%.
In the footer of every page of his presentation is this legend, “The effort invested in ‘getting it right’ should be commensurate with the importance of the decision.” This quote is credited to Daniel Kahneman. Thank you, Mr. Kahneman, for giving voice to what I have been requesting from our board. Do the right thing!
Fast lists supporting factors for continuing the moratorium.
1. Prioritization of water projects.
2. Unfavorable inflationary trends: COLA and Construction.
3. The need for a data-
driven master plan with broad member input and support (Long Range Planning Committee 2019 recommendation).
4. No detailed consideration of alternatives resulted in unusual design combining an athletic facility with a theater (an architect’s worst nightmare).
5. No immediate need to address Mountain View as a standalone project.
6. Transparency concerns used in process “MV Option 2” decision.
The six supporting factors are replicated with no editorial comment by me. Even “the architect’s worst nightmare” belongs to him, although I 100% support it. As I view Option 2 again, it occurs to me that the proposed sports pool is placed immediately behind the theater. Who has played volleyball and not made noise? Is it possible, if not likely, that a ball or two could bounce off the outside wall of the theater?
The very best parts of John Fast’s proposal is the retention of pickleball, lawn bowling and mini-golf as well as the landmark pool we all know and love!
Primarily what I heard is born out by Rusty Bradshaw’s reporting. It’s a big slow down! The hurry here is the performing arts center. Why not transplant the existing plan where it will be a visual and far more accessible treat to not only owner-members, but members of the general public as well? The Mountain View brouhaha will have no effect on the theater going forward immediately! That theater could be open before the first shovel touches our Sweet Caroline!
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