Slade: Fun and games continue in Sun City West

Posted 9/13/21

The fun and games at Recreation Centers of Sun City West continue, much to my chagrin.

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Slade: Fun and games continue in Sun City West

Posted

The fun and games at Recreation Centers of Sun City West continue, much to my chagrin.

In the last year and one half, your RCSCW management and governing board has managed to involve the community in two financial scandals, and preside over a recall election based on very questionable pretenses.

Early in 2020, RCSCW was granted $2,245,716 from the federal government for the payroll protection program. RCSCW did not qualify for the loan based on financial status, and as it turned out, was not the type of “nonprofit” that would qualify for such a loan in any case. The money was required to be returned. What an embarrassment to William Schwind and the governing board, both of whom should have known better!

Earlier this year it was discovered that some clubs were in violation of Internal Revenue Service rules regulating nonprofit activities. This represents a clear case of failure of RCSCW management in its duty to proactively review club activities to assure compliance with applicable laws; and represents yet another public embarrassment to William Schwind in his capacity as general manager.

I also hold the governing board accountable for not requiring management to do its job! A process audit would have revealed this problem and spared RCSCW and the clubs the embarrassment and fast (probably expensive) actions necessary to correct these issues.

On several occasions, I have written to Mr. Schwind suggesting “process” audits for RCSCW programs to assure that the community is in compliance with the many laws that regulate the operation of our “nonprofit” association. Mr. Schwind has apparently refused to do so, and RCSCW suffers as a result.

The association bylaws provide for the removal of the general manager by the governing board for “cause.” Given the happenings of the past year and one half, it is unclear to me what the governing board would consider “cause” to initiate Schwind’s dismissal.

In another development, the RCSCW community has been awakened to the shocking behavior of the current board with regard to recalling a legally elected board member for the basic reasons that they did not like him or his ideas. The purpose of any board is to work together on community issues. The current governing board president requested that Sun City West move forward together. I interpret this to be encouraging “groupthink,” which is dangerous. A diversity of opinion and critical thinking should be encouraged!

A final note about your RCSCW management and governing board. In 2019, Recreation Centers of Sun City spent a little more than $19 million for operation of a much larger community than RCSCW. By comparison, RCSCW spent nearly $26 million in the 2018-2019 fiscal year. I chose 2019 for comparison because of the COVID issues in 2020. The reader should make note of the fact that the RCSC fiscal year is the calendar year and the RCSCW fiscal year is July 1 to June 30, so I made as direct a comparison as is possible given the difference in the community year ends. What the reader should take away from this is that neither the general manager or the governing board is being proactive about controlling expenses at RCSCW. This disparity in expenses should be examined in detail immediately before the budget process is in full swing so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the excessive spending at RCSCW.

RCSCW can be a well-managed, cost-efficient community without the problems that have surfaced in the recent past. I will offer a few thoughts in the not too distant future regarding process improvements that will control costs and increase fairness to Sun City West residents.

Tom Slade

Sun City West

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