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Interests: Live and breathe for the Boston Red Sox.
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The basis of the reserve specialist's recommendation was that SCA's common walls and fences needed to be provided for in the reserves. Previously, they were not funded because such items thought to have a useful life of more than 30 years did not need to be in the reserves. The role of the reserve specialist was to make this determination and give it a dollar amount, but NOT to tell the Association on what schedule to put it in, such as gradually or all at once. With regard to projections, keep in mind that projections are ESTIMATES only, and are not absolute fact until the hard numbers come in. The overall SCA budget, with its many hundreds of line items, serves as a living demonstration of how projections can work out. Some items in the budget are coming in under the projections and some are coming in over, but when taken in their entirety it usually works out that the overall bottom line is within the projected range. Personally, I am not the only one with a vested interest in hoping that we do have a generous surplus as the year goes along. While a surplus can be returned to the members, applied to reserves or used for new capital projects, or some combination of the three, I represent one of several SCA groups who want to see something done with the dormant bocce courts at Liberty Center. And since the GM is now authorized to consider new capital projects in the 2018 budget, I think all the groups interested in that unused site would like to see a project go in there, especially if it doesn't result in a dues increase. Let me finish this rather lengthy reply by saying this: I have found SCA's senior management to be very accessible and open to member inquiries, and I would be happy to facilitate a conversation with the CFO if you are interested in engaging with him. Not that you couldn't do it yourself, of course.
I'll give you my best answer as a non-financial expert. First, this is where we stand for six months, not for the full year. Though it is unlikely we will need another dues increase in 2018, the CFO did say that there will probably be some additional expenses related to factors such as high utility bills associated with our very hot weather. Remember, too, that a budget is based on suppositions that may or may not happen. For example, home sales are running higher than forecast this year, so there is more money coming in via new member fees on home transfers than were anticipated. The dues increase was not related to the operational budget, anyway, but was attributable to the need for a cash infusion to get more money into reserves due to a reserve-specialist recommendation.
M: Thanks for your comment. As I mentioned, I am taking appropriate steps in this case. There was a person with a similar name who once lived in a different area of SCA, moved away, and then moved back here. I don't know if he is the same person, but I do recall that the first individual I refer to had domestic relations problems and was apparently an alcoholic. I don't know yet if this is the same individual, but I suspect we may soon find out. If YOU perceive his comments as a death threat, can you imagine how my wife feels about it? That's the main reason I can't let the matter lie.
Who are you addressing your questions to, Kenny? It seems to me that you should be sending them in to the CFO. Or, since you cannot attend the FC meeting, maybe you'll want to ask them at the Juky 27 Board meeting.
Marsha: Our reticence in trying any of the meal-kit services is not related to concerns about the services themselves, but is related more to fitting them into our lifestyle. And yes, I'm sure that if and when we take the plunge, we will try more than one service so that we can evaluate them. I've often told people over the years that after six years of planning our move to Henderson, the only major surprise is how often we dine out. We owned more than 600 cookbooks before our move, and we brought a quarter of them with us when we retired. I even won a national baking contest for my lemon-glazed sour cream cheesecake, my recipe for which has been published locally on a couple of occasions. As the cook in the family, I expected to do lots more cooking at home than I have actually done. There are so many options for local dining that it is very convenient to pop into favorite restaurants when we are in the mood for one thing or another, and on many occasions a meal in a restaurant turns into two meals because we take half home to enjoy later. We dine often at the Green Valley Ranch buffet, and our approach to doing so is that we treat it as going to a different restaurant each time. This is because we don't make it a practice to sample every available dish; rather, we focus on whatever type of cuisine we are in the mood for. Even if we just want to have salads and their accompaniments, that is always an option. I also enjoy supermarket shopping, and the diversity of grocery options allows us to vary our home menus as often as we like. Last night, for example, I made a chopped salad with a sesame-yogurt dressing, followed by chicken Francaise in a lemon caper sauce, accompanied by penne arrabbiata. The chicken and penne dishes came from Trader Joe's, were affordably priced, and easy to prepare. With our GE Advantium microwave, I can cook two Cornish hens to crispy deliciousness in only 18 minutes. I spend about 40 hours a week researching and writing my blog, attending meetings, reaching out to sources, etc., doing my volunteer activities, and of course we are Chairman-level patrons of Green Valley Ranch. All of this takes time, though we enjoy how we spend that time, but it means that time in the kitchen to work with the meal-kit offerings is something we will need to plan to accommodate.
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2017 on Meal-Kit Update at David's Anthem Journal
Arthur: If Val was not listed as a contact person for signing the petitions, I'm happy to correct that. I'd also like to share, in a separate article, some of the things Val has written about me, especially recently, if that's OK with you.
Linda: While your suggestion for televising or tape-delaying video of the Board meetings has merit, there are inherent problems in doing this. For one thing, long Board meetings strain the bandwidth available to the station. In addition, please remember that the entire SCA-TV crew consists of resident volunteers, and its not always easy to get them to volunteer for a project such as this, as they are often short-handed as it is. There is an additional complication caused by the fact that the Thursday afternoon Board meetings are held at the same time as the SCA-TV weekly production meeting. Did you know that all the Board meetings are audio recorded and members are entitled to obtain a CD containing the complete audio recording for the modest cost of only $2.00? This would allow you to listen to the audio of the meeting at your leisure on any device that plays CDs. - I've done this many times myself. When listening to the audio recording, it is never a problem to figure out who is speaking. And the quality of the recordings is very good.
Linda, I appreciate the sincerity of your comments. I know our top managers' salaries are a major point of contention, and I want to answer you as best I can. To compare the GM's salary and those of her top managers to the salary of specific individuals in law enforcement is, in my opinion, an unfair apples-to-oranges comparison. A police chief, whether he is in Clark County or Henderson, is aided by an extensive, well-paid staff. There are numerous deputy police chiefs, administrators, department heads, well-paid senior officers, etc.. Sun City Anthem, in comparison, has several well-paid positions: general manager, CFO, CAM, facilities director, activities manager, and probably fitness manager. Anyone who takes the time to study our financial reports and compare them to the finances when we had a management company will see that we are not paying more for our current management and employee structure than we were when we had a management company. And below our top managers, we have a pretty lean employee and salary structure. The hiring and payment of our GM was not done in a vacuum. There were public meetings and workshops, along with reports to the community, every step of the way, obviously with few residents paying attention. In the end, the hiring we did and the pay we offered was not pulled out of a hat; it was based on the recommendations of the executive search firm the Board hired, and I believe their recommendations are paying off. Could we have hired a GM for less? Absolutely, but we'd probably be seeing a resulting performance commensurate with the salary we'd pay. You'd think that after running through 10 general managers in 11 years we might have been ready for some stability and continuity, and I think we were. As I've reported previously, through May we were running a surplus of more than $300,000, so something must be working. And this year's dues increase after five years of stability was not related to salaries in any way. Finally: What is your vision for what you think should happen after a recall election? We've heard precious little from the removal proponents about how much they've thought this through.
I think in order to answer the question, John, we'd have to know whether the person asking for the petition signature actually believed what he was saying or knew it was false. If he knew it was false, then the answer is black. But if he actually believed it, then the options might not apply.
In one way, Carl, my blog is like "Fox and Friends." Everyone knows that President Trump watches that program religiously and reacts, and it's exactly the same way that Arendt follows my blog. When articles and comments appear on my blog, we know Arendt will read them and probably react to many of them. I'm reminded of Jack Twist's famous line in "Brokeback Mountain": "I wish I knew how to quit you!"
I use some specifically colored text, too, but in my case it is not for the purpose of yelling at the reader, but to identify context (quotes, personal opinion, third-party-sourced material, etc.). One of the traits that I think differentiates me from Mr. Arendt -he said modestly- is that I try to be introspective in how I approach blogging and the input from my readers. This is, of course, in addition to the provable fact that he is not a good writer and could use a competent proofreader to correct his chewing-up of the English language. In Arendt's case, he seems to be long past fooling anyone about, as you say, the personal hatred that guides his approach and which has been his hallmark. The fact that he doesn't realize how much potential support he costs himself with this M.O. is, ironically, a blessing to me. And the REALLY BIG LIE which you can take to the bank is his periodic pronouncements that he and his followers should and will ignore me on a forward-looking basis. That pledge always lasts only until I publish the next article that happens to infuriate him. He has no more willpower to give substance to that mantra than a cat has to not chase a mouse. Let me say this about the forum idea that the Current Events Club may consider: Club leaders made it clear at the Monday meeting that the club will not take an official stand on the subject of the recall. The discussion was entirely centered on a process for presenting to the community the pros and cons of the subject, not to conduct a trial.
Carl: I expected that some people might miss the fact that John Burke was being ironic, but I didn't think it would be you!
Tom, there is no limitation on the time the petitioners have to collect and submit their petitions. Because it IS open-ended, that's one reason among several why the certainty of gathering enough petition signatures is greater than the certainty of winning a removal election. In practical terms, this is not a process that would continue for years, because we'll be entering the cycle for the next Board election by the time the first of the year rolls around. The signatures that are submitted will have to be carefully reviewed for validity, of course. For example, one woman who declared that she is moving out of SCA on or about August 1 said she had signed the petitions. There was quite a lively discussion at the Election Committee meeting about the structuring of a removal ballot or ballots when, in fact, a separate batch of petitions will have been submitted for each of the four directors they want to remove. Since each set of petitions would stand alone, the lawyers may have to tell SCA whether all four names can be put on a single ballot or whether it requires four separate ballots. There may already be Nevada case law on that question, which is another thing the lawyers may have to look at. It was suggested at the committee meeting that a time frame from start (receipt of the petitions) to certifying the results of a removal election might be 90 days. Even if the petitions came in this week, that takes us to mid-October, not that long before we begin the next regular election cycle. The committee chair also said at the meeting that the cost of the last regular Board election was $10,000 to $11,000. That is only for printing and mailing of ballots, not for any labor involved in the process. The mailing cost might be in the $4,000 range, but I believe the ballots, specially designed to be machine readable, cost more than the price of postage to send them out. Legal experts I consulted consistently pointed out that the removal process in NRS 116 is designed mostly for much smaller HOAs where the logistics of doing a removal election are much more manageable, especially in the absence of fraud or other types of criminality. If a HOA has 200 units, for example, it would take only 20 people to submit removal petitions and then would require only 70 votes to remove a director as long as fewer than 70 vote against removal.
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2017 on A Stunning Meeting! at David's Anthem Journal
Gene: My expert in-house researcher has consulted her archives and come up with some materials to address your questions. Too much to put into a comment here, so I'll be sending you a personal email message with the information.
Sandy was not the only one. There were several candidates recommended as qualified, and they all were interviewed. As we were told at the time, Sandy stood out so clearly compared to the others that making her an offer was a no-brainer. We will never be told who the others were because they were all employed as HOA managers and the fact that they were interviewing had to be kept confidential form their employers. You apparently did not attend the public meetings where all this information was presented in great detail. Richard, I am going to delete your future comments for a while, because I will not let you cost me readers. If you want to discuss it in person, I told you that I would meet with you to do so. If not ...well, that's your call. When readers start using the word "sabotage" with regard to you, I sit up and pay attention. Think of it what you will, but my approach to this has never changed over the years. Someone who wants to continually use my blog to vent about a subject, but doesn't want to face up to it in person, is not adding value to my readers' experience. I really don't give a flying f*#$ what Arendt might think of my controlling your participation, as my bosom buddy he's not.
Richard, I can't communicate with you privately on this because you elected not to provide your personal email address when you registered. But I'm telling you that I'm getting too many messages from my readers telling me that I'm allowing you to troll me and threatening to unsubscribe if I don't control it. I can't allow that to happen, so I'm asking you to back off. I just can't allow my blog to be co-opted by one person. How about taking a vacation from this for a while? I could easily block you, but it would be the first time ever that I would have to do it not for offensiveness or personal hostility, but for annoying my readers with too many comments that don't advance the conversation. I imagine the wonderful folks over at Arendt's blog will jump on me for this, but I really don't care, as my approach pales in comparison to his policy of not letting any comments appear without passing his personal smell test.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
Richard, I never thought I'd find myself in the position of suggesting that you are missing the point, but here I think you are. The point was not that I was using an extreme example to draw the comparison. The point was that while there may be two sides to an issue, it doesn't always mean that each side deserves equal weight.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
Richard, there may be two or more sides to an issue, but that doesn't mean they always have moral equivalency. For example, a pedophile might suggest that it's OK for an adult to have a sexual relationship with young boys. That's a two-sided issue, but it doesn't mean the two sides are morally equivalent. In the case of the current and, in my opinion, potentially destabilizing effort toward a removal election, I've yet to see any advocates explain why this method of engineering change, which will cost a lot of people time and money no matter how you cut it, is superior to the opportunity to effect that change through our normal election process. In fact, I've yet to see any advocates explain to the community what their plans are for what they want to happen next. They either don't know or they are keeping it a secret, neither of which seems like a palatable yin and yang for our members. In the face of this absence of clarity, the removal opponents may have a comparatively easier time making their case. It would be a mistake for people to think that I have bought into every decision and every policy our Board and GM have made, but I'm certainly not going to burn down the house every time I'm dissatisfied.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
Richard, I take what you say at face value. And speaking of values, I enjoy sharing views, even radically different views, with articulate people who bring worthwhile thoughts to the table. That is why I've suggested it would be mutually beneficial for us to share some conversational time together in a casual setting. Please keep this in mind if you will: I have to protect the "product" that my loyal readers have come to expect, and there is a slowly rising tide of criticism -respectful so far- of our back-and-forth exchanges. Whether you agree or not, they feel it is not in keeping with my stated mission that the exchanges are too accusatory and not focused enough on the issues. So I need your help in understanding that and giving me, as the blog owner, the benefit of the doubt.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
Richard, you are a good writer, so I probably cut you more slack than I should when you go off track. I deleted your last comment, but not the one before it. And do notice, my friend, that I have taken no steps to block you from posting, which I could do with the click of a button. Your question about whether "ordinary folks" actually make up the membership of the Board begs the obvious: If you think ordinary folks are not serving on the Board, why is it over the years that so few have stepped forward to run? They volunteer in the face of very few others running, and so they get elected. - Shouldn't you be thinking of finding some members who YOU want on the Board and then working on their behalf? Or perhaps running yourself so that you can experience the attacks that will come your way when you try to do the right thing? I respectfully suggest that it is scapegoating to blame people for serving on the Board when they are the ones who put a major part of their "normal" lives on hold to serve the community. In general, they should be thanked, not vilified. Breakthroughs can be made, you know. Nona got elected to the Board this year because she organized a good campaign and had a supporting organization to help her. But it takes work, lots more work than getting signatures on a removal petition.
Toggle Commented Jul 10, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
If there is an elite in this community, it is the small group who want to overturn the vote of the majority who elected the four directors the elite seek to recall.
Toggle Commented Jul 9, 2017 on Meet OSCAR at David's Anthem Journal
Assuming they ARE serious, Carl, I suppose it would make sense for those four individuals to come in through the back door, as they have all failed to win as previous Board candidates. As for the water, that comes to about one bottle per week over the course of a year for our 60 full-time equivalents. Bought in bulk, a bottle of water probably costs no more than 30 cents. Maybe we should take away their SCA-paid water and sign them up not as employees but as indentured slaves. We could stand behind them with whips and encourage them to work harder, I suppose. And while we're at it, why should our dues money be used for their medical coverage. It also takes money out of our pockets to give them paid vacation time, right?
Toggle Commented Jul 8, 2017 on Playing With The Numbers at David's Anthem Journal
I'm NOT into censorship. but what I AM into is taking action when my readers start writing me to tell me they think you are baiting me and are going off the rails in criticizing individuals and not sticking to the issues. Talk of chair-throwing and an ACE reign of terror is fake news, as is the fake accusation that my wife had something to do with problems at Liberty Center. I offered to have a personal conversation with you and you did not respond. If you are afraid to do so, just say so. In the meantime, please stick to the subjects at hand. You've made your points and now you are personalizing things. Was there a vote among the petition advocates to appoint you their chair so that when you speak of "we" you are authorized to speak for those others?
Richard, you flatter yourself by suggesting that I think everything in SCA is idyllic, something I have never claimed. I guess you could say that I have a more traditional approach to addressing issues and seeking solutions to problems. Unlike the petition proponents, I prefer to work through the system because I believe in the validity of process. Even if folks pushing a recall think they are sending a message, it is a wasteful and non-productive exercise because it will butt up against the next election cycle. In citing the success of the ACE initiative that engineered a wholesale change in the Board back in 2007, Rana Goodman misstated the facts by comparing it to the current petition initiative. The ACE project, which was intellectually grounded, worked through the system to bring about changes during a normal election cycle, and it was not pursued outside of established process. It should be noted that when I corrected Rana on her serious historical error, she did not acknowledge it. THAT type of non-response is quite analogous to the national fractiousness you previously cited; when obvious errors are corrected, ignore the corrections and move on to the next issue.
Richard, those are interesting observations that I can't say I particularly agree with. I've attended nearly 100 percent of the Board meetings since 2000, and would say the majority of them have been devoid of rancor. Asking questions at a Board meeting is certainly not evidence of disharmony. Labeling two competing factions as "relatively small groups of activists" is, in my opinion, a false equivalency. If it were that simple, I should think the results would balance out, with one small group having some victories and the other small group also having some. It is my belief that if a social scientist were to conduct an analysis of how these two groups communicate with their supporters and to the community through their communications channels, it would be easy to identify a faction which attempts to present fact-based analysis while the other faction incorporates character assassination as a key element of its activities. You posit "similarities to our present national political scene," but my response to that is that those who inadvertently play into those similarities here have never had much success in SCA, but have mostly failed. The reason is, I believe, that our residents reject the harsher, negative approach when it comes to Sun City Anthem. Where the "other" faction has failed is that they don't understand the fact that the vast majority of our residents are not up in arms, for the simple reason that they are proud of the retirement community they moved to and believe we are in good hands. Trying to make folks think they are living in a cesspool instead of in a community they are proud to call home is, in the long run, a fool's errand and, almost by default, it has made the work of folks who share my outlook relatively easy. Obtaining 715 signatures on a petition is an easily attainable task, but watch what happens after that. Since you say you are a frequent attendee at Board meetings, perhaps we should sit down sometime and philosophize.