The sweet irony of life is always so fascinating to me. Sometimes i think i’m paddling a canoe upstream while all the others are simply going with the current. It’s always easier to accept one’s fate rather than to try to change it. I know, now where the heck is he off to? Just seems when i start to write my mind becomes a bit abstract and pieces of that jig saw puzzle always fit more easily if i can just try to round of some of the corners before squeezing them unto the board. The trouble is it invariably leaves a funny looking picture. Hence, you now know why i don’t attempt to work on jig saw puzzles.
I’ve said this before, i’ll say it again; one of the reasons we moved to Sun City is because we are self-governed. I loved the idea we ran ourselves; if the community was messed up, we had no one to blame but the face laughing back at us in the mirror. We couldn’t blame the guy in the White House, the dysfunctional senate or house of representatives or even the state and local politicians. While almost everyone else can find a mayor or city council to blame, we don’t even have them as fall guys. It’s all on us. Nice.
Another words, we have to be both accountable and responsible. Tha’s a good thing (at least in my humble opinion). The end of 2009, i got in a fairly heated exchange with a board member regarding the change in what constituted having a quorum for the quarterly membership meeting. Previously it was 100 members, while today it is 1250. At one point they said we needed 3600 (to comply with the 10% requirements in the state law), but even the biggest zealot had a hard time supporting that number. Following the discussion the board member went stalking off by simply telling me if i didn’t like it, run for the board and change it: Thanks, i am.
That’s not the irony though. That came today at the board of director’s meeting when i was sifting through documents passed out for the meeting. There was a resolution they are considering changing regarding rec cards. Essentially they want to go back to the old system where they were more liberal in giving rec cards out to Sun City underage residents who were/are on the deed (and in some trust situations, additional cards as well). All in all an excellent change that will help Sun City look more progressive and more community oriented. The board president announced they wanted input from the residents regarding this matter. Refreshing.
What i found ironic was a copy of the minutes from the last quarterly membership meeting held in Sun City in the pile they were distributing. It was dated August of 2009 (more than two years ago). What should be noted is when we only needed 100 members to make up a quorum, we often had enough numbers for residents to have a much larger voice/stake in the community. Now that has changed 12+fold, we not only don’t have a quarterly meeting, we see crowds growing smaller and smaller. Can anyone say “cause and effect?”
Throw that whole speech into the mix about “getting resident input” and we quickly see how saying one thing while doing the other can have a chilling impact. Positions and communications by organizations need to be clear and concise. We need find a direction and then plow straight ahead with it. If we want membership involvement, we need to do things that consistently encourage and nurture it. It can’t be we want some this day and others tell them they just don’t matter.
Personally i think the board is doing a better job. That said, we need to rethink the actions by the board regarding the quorum issue. We need create communications that bring people in, not push them away. We need a wholly new look regarding the community’s values and how and why we are different from other age restricted places seniors look to in retirement. We have the best value for the least money and it is time to make that statement loud and proud. Lastly we need create that sense of urgency in people to want what we have to offer. Easy…no. Doable…absolutely!