The Board’s New Plate
The decision plate of our newly elected Board is undoubtedly overflowing with an array of ACE recommendations to consider, no doubt well crafted by former Board member David Berman. While I have no such list to present here, I would like to share a few thoughts for the Board’s early consideration.
- On the “consent agenda.” Some have drawn attention to the use of the “consent agenda” as an idea that should be discarded. I disagree and suggest that there is no need to throw out the baby along with the bath water. The problem lies not with the use of the “consent agenda” as a vehicle to move agenda items along more expeditiously, but with its potential misuse to avoid or hide items from public scrutiny. Properly used by a Board intent on creating transparency in the governance of the Association, I see no reason to discard an administrative tool that can assist in that very process.
- Recreation Center No. 3. The Board needs to move beyond the obvious perks of the Tennis Club and seek to expand the use of more user friendly court-playing options. One key to a successful community association is to enhance recreational opportunities that meet the needs of the members, in our case, the needs of an ever aging population. There is no better way to do that than by creating additional outside amenities that would address those needs. I believe that as our community ages, which has been plainly evident here, the Community is better served by a Board that is concerned with identifying and providing us with other, less physically demanding court-playing options.
For one example, that need can be met by adoption of the increasingly popular senior sport Pickleball, which typically has four players using a racquet and a slow-moving air-filled whiffle-type ball that is served underhand in a badminton-sized court. With 12 Pickleball courts in play at the recently completed Sun City Grand in Arizona, one would have assumed we were in store for that popular amenity here. But no, that was not part of the plan. Instead, we have more bocce and more tennis courts, plus, new to Sun City, the more physically demanding game of paddle tennis. For more: On Pickleball
Somewhat ironically, the Tennis Club, which with their 8 courts could have met their so called need for more playing time by requesting more than the currently alloted 15 hours per week per court of prime time play from the Lifestyle Committee, is now being provided with six additional courts at RC3. This, at a time when they have difficulty justifying the eight courts they now use. While that disposition might attest the power of the Tennis Club members, it does little to help providing the overwhelming majority of seniors with alternative court-play options, whether that be Pickleball, Badminton, Shuffleboard, among other slow-play options. [Click here to view an architects rendering of the RC3 site. RC3 Site]
It would be a lasting shame if the only slow court-play option available to an aging senior population at Sun City is limited to only one sport, Bocce. It is difficult to understand why so many involved in the RC3 planning process were essentially blind to the future needs of our aging population.
Clearly, it's not too late but time is of the essence. And by the way, according to the Pickleball Association the space occupied by one tennis court can accommodate four regulation sized Pickleball courts. While Mr. West may have been content with addressing the needs of the Tennis Club, is our new Board content with providing the other 12,000 residents with only one slow-play option, Bocce?
- That “missing” $1.375 million. While Favil West has been especailly coy in the past about disclosing the status of that promised $1.375 million for construction of a co-generation plant that it turns out will not be constructed, the Board and the Community need some clarification if not a resolution about the status of Pulte’s commitment under that 2002 Agreement. [To see that Agreement, Click Here.]
Was Pulte's written Agreement to deposit $1.375 million into our reserve account modified in any way, and if so, how? If the proposed solar array project comes in at a net cost of, say, $250,000, is Pulte committed to depositing a check for the original promised amount of $1.375 million into our reserve account, or only for the difference between that amount and the cost of solar power, or $1.125 million, or has Pulte reneged on their prior agreement to do even that? Do we know? And more importantly, what does the current Board know?
Ron Johnson, 13 May 2007