There may need to be changes made to the Recreation centers of Sun City West Governing Board election process, according to initial findings of a special committee.
Dave Wood, the special committee’s chairman, presented a report to the Sun City West Governing Board during the Jan. 23 meeting. Going back to mid-December, Mr. Wood said the committee thought there was a high probability an election wouldn’t actually take place. Five candidates picked up packets, with two dropping out soon after. Mr. Wood said the three remaining members who completed the necessary documentation and process are outstanding.
Directors-elect include Roberta Davidson, Anne Brown and Sharon Hettick, who will automatically be seated on the board as of July 1, 2020.
“In our last committee meeting we put together a process binder we hope will be used for upcoming elections,” Mr. Wood said. “We went through a presentation on how the process to run for the governing board works and in accordance to the bylaws and asked ourselves why only three candidates remained.”
Mr. Wood said committee members looked at demographics of the community and how they are changing, as well as the different interests people have. He said several residents are still working and some believe a three-year commitment is too long and can’t make the available time commitment.
“It takes a special person to get on the governing board,” he said. “Sometimes it’s a lack of understanding on what the board actually does that turns people away. There weren’t any driving issues this year and in years past when you have one, a lot more people turn out to vote.”
Board member Tim Hurley wondered, with all the technology available, how are the winter visitors being informed there are options available so they too can run.
Board member Jim Sloan said with Ms. Brown’s addition to the board, he believes the dam has been broken and people are aware they can be part-time residents and be a functioning board member.
“If someone is a part-time person and gone for six months out of the year, that’s an issue,” board member Jim Young said.
Sue Fitzsimons was present via telephone for the meeting and said the need to increase capability for someone calling in to be a part of the conversation is necessary, saying it is really difficult to hear what is being said. Bryan Wallus looked into the technological upgrade previously and was told it would be an investment to do so.
Mr. Wood said people relayed the election process being too long and Mr. Sloan said the three members now have to sit until July 1 when they have been working on the entire process since November.
Discussions included shortening the election cycle, which currently runs from November to March, and possibly moving the March election to a later date close to July 1. The current election date is mandated by the bylaws already in place and concerns have to do with the voting process and amount of people voting.
Mr. Young also questioned the need for nine members. However, a change would require a community vote to change that portion of the governing documents.
The board agreed further discussion was needed and encouraged members of the community, including part-time resident who think they may be interested, to find out exactly what is required and learn more about what the board does by attending committee and board meetings and completing the TORCH program prior to deciding to run for a seat.
The next RCSCW board meeting is scheduled 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 in the lecture hall at R.H. Johnson Recreation Center, 19803 R.H. Johnson Blvd.