Upcoming Virtual Meetings
Proposed FY20-21 Budget documents
Q: Bill Weaver
I think you missed an opportunity to do something positive for the residents of Sun City West. I did not agree with the closing of the golf courses but that’s not the point of my concern. You closed the landscape to everyone when you could have left the cart paths open to residents who continue to walk the sidewalks and streets. This is an “active” community and residents will continue to be active or die another way.
The cart paths could have been safely open to anyone wishing to walk and also the restrooms should be open for use (golf courses and rec centers), monitored and kept clean. As has already been stated, staff will be patrolling the courses. Why not for a positive activity that will serve the community.
Who will use the cart paths? Likely many who still want to walk and hike. You might note that the hiking club continues to safely hike outside SCW.
Who will not likely walk the cart paths? Likely the resident golfers who only drive golf carts and those like to congregate drinking beer or wine. Walking does not normally appeal to that segment.
Will you need to provide instructions to walkers? Probably to non-golfers who do not understand “cart path only” rule. It’s not difficult to stay safely on the paths in either direction. You might even post cart path maps (or print from google maps) There should be no carts on the paths, no bikers on the paths. (BTW:bikers and carts are not allowed on the sidewalks, either)
What about social distancing? The paths are wider than a sidewalk and if not wide enough it would be easy to walk on a little grass rather than the middle of the street as I observed today. There are also a few benches, water fountains, restrooms to facilitate residents.
I’m sure you can come up with a few more positive ways to help our active 55+ community. You still have staff on duty. Give them more to do. Not enough for this effort? Hire a few back so they have salary. Works for them too.
A: Rec Centers:
Thank you for your comments. Your idea makes sense on the surface and it’s one we looked at. However, there are safety and maintenance hurdles. During this closure, we are maintaining the golf courses – that means all the dangerous golf equipment is out there and the crews cross the paths on a regular basis. When the machines are on, the crews are working and not looking for random walkers, bikers, dogs, etc. A dangerous combination. Additionally, if golfers are out there walking and playing a few holes, where are their balls going when they hit them? Golfers know the direction of play during regular tee times, but walkers and bikers can be going any direction. And of course dog walkers will want to join in. So now we have heavy machinery, flying golf balls, walkers, dogs – what about those on the grass having picnics and tossing a ball around? The clean up in preparation for reopening would be challenging (damaged turf, dog messes, etc) and detract from the regular maintenance which will ramp up for reopening. We have talked to our insurance providers in the recent past about allowing mixed uses. This would not be allowed under our liability coverage. It sounds like a great idea and we have looked into it, it’s just not feasible. Please note we are planning a May 4 golf reopening.
Q: Michael Marting
I have a couple of quick questions, and apologize if the answer is on your website, but I don’t see it there. We just received notice our association fees are coming due for the next year. Given the Covid19 impact, is there is any extension of the deadline? Also, with all recreational facilities being closed, will there be any credits or refund to SCW property owners (i.e., will SCW itself be assuming any of the cost of this virus event)?
A: Rec Centers:
Hi Michael. Thank you for your questions.
We did answer your question in part at this webpage: https://suncitywest.com/gbvideos/
Check the bottom of the page for the explanation of rec dues from General Manager Bill Schwind.
I see that your dues are due in May. That means they were already set by the Governing Board during a meeting last May, for the FY19-20 fiscal year, which ends this June 30. Next year’s dues, which you won’t pay until 2021, are being discussed during meetings this month and next, with the Board expected to vote on them May 28. We are recording those virtual meetings and showing them on the website I gave you earlier in this email, so feel free to check that out and if you have questions, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are always welcome to email me directly if you you’d like as well.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate these interesting times.
Q: Marshall Wozniak
Something to think about.
We are a destination center, SCW and Maricopa County, the “envy” of the nation.
People are bringing the virus from LA, San Diego, Las Vegas, easy day trips. Perhaps the East coast, NYC, etc. There is currently no national restrictions on travel, so anyone can get in their car and travel here or anywhere, to their second homes. If the opportunity exits, people in NYC, I’d wager, are traveling here to hang and ride the virus out if they own second homes. Same thing for other hot spot cities. We should be doing what San Francisco did, but now it’s to late. Insufficient testing, makes us blind to what we can’t see.
Be safe, stay safe. We are all in this together.
A: Rec Centers:
The Governor has recognized the potential threat of residents traveling here from high case load areas and has instituted mandatory self-quarantine for those coming from designated states.
Q: Suzanne Feris
I am a resident of SCW since 2011.
I have questions regarding the Press Release (PR) on 4/6/20:
- Why did the Governing Board of SCW choose 4/14/2020 for the closure of the golf courses? What science is this date based on and why does it directly contradict what was reported on Friday, 4/3/2020? What were the facts presented to the Board and where did this information originate?
- Why does General Manger Bill Schwind’s actions to close golf courses VETO the Governor’s recommendation to keep them open? He states “we believe the time has come” even though all requirements to stay open were being followed. Does he have information the Arizona Governor doesn’t have?
- The PR (press release) says a “Player Assistant” will be tasked with a role to “patrol the courses.” Arizona is not on a shelter in place order, and the Board should not be giving duties that sound a lot like “enforcement” to SCW Player Assistants . Didn’t the Posse situation with Maricopa County teach our Governing Board anything?
- My research indicates the “walking trails and sports fields” have been closed for as long as the Recreation Centers, yet General Manager Schwind indicates “we are not going to police those areas at at this time.” Why do you feel the residents in SCW need this level of authority (policing areas in our community) and who is making these decisions?
- The PR (press release) indicates SCW is waiving late fee dues after 4/1/2020. It also indicates golfers with “pre paid discount cards” will be “taken into consideration” suggesting some kind of compensation. I go to the Rec Centers for my main activity, am I going to get compensated also?
- Again, my main question. The PR (press release) says the “Rec Centers …working closely with AFMZ, CDC, ADHS” are making the decision to close golf courses. Yet, the Governor says they can stay open and surrounding courses can stay open… so why is the General Manager and the Governing Board and Recreation Centers of Sun City West INC, a private golf community, closing SEVEN revenue producing courses?
Please post and answer my questions on your website.
A: Rec Centers:
- This was a management decision, and the Board was kept informed. April 14 was chosen because it is estimated the peak of Arizona Covid-19 cases will be in one to three weeks. This gives golfers one week’s notice, and allows us to close in time to keep residents and employees safe.
- Our courses are not a municipal operation. The Governor’s order applied to other governments, not private planned communities.
- PA’s regularly patrol the courses during play to ensure golfers are keeping up and adhering to rules. This is similar, with the PA’s ensuring no one is using the courses in ways they shouldn’t.
- A little unclear on this question – we are NOT patrolling the outside amenities but ask residents to adhere to the closure and use community sidewalks instead. We will patrol golf courses because the potential for injury if people do trespass is enough to warrant patrols by staff who already patrol courses when golfers are out there.
- “Rec dues” is a bit of a misnomer; these fees do not guarantee access to any facilities. They pay for a whole host of other costs required to run this Association. See the response to that question elsewhere on this page.
- The Governor makes his decrees for the entire state. Our situation and our demographics are a bit different. We are not municipal; our average age is 74; the majority of our golf employees’ are of the same demographic. And most importantly, if you watched the governor’s press conference on April 7, there is much pressure to release area-specific case information as that information is not currently released. Many SCW residents did/do not realize there are SCW cases because the state reports them as “Maricopa County.” In working closely with some of the other local agencies, aside from the governor, we realized there was an uptick in local cases – even if the state is not reporting them – and we reacted to keep our residents and our employees safe.
Q: Carol Higgins
This first video presentation was very interesting and informative. Could we please see the details of proposed capital expenditures. Karl showed one sheet of details, but it didn’t look like everything. (I had seen the details on the website before but it doesn’t seem to be there anymore, or at least I can’t find it, would appreciate having access to it there again.) Thank you in advance, Carol Higgins
A: Rec Centers:
Carol, the proposed capital plan can be found here. Please note, this is subject to change as we continue through the budgeting process.
Q: Gloria Lincoln
Is there any way of knowing how many people and Sun city west have contacted the disease
A: Rec Centers:
Gloria, unfortunately, no. State officials are reporting the Sun City West cases under “Maricopa County,” which is quite broad. We can tell you we have confirmation that there are several cases in both Sun City West and Sun City, and in both area hospitals. Stay safe!
Q: Marshall Wozniak
Dear SCW Management,
After reading all the questions and answers to date, the reduction in staff, operating hours, utility usage maintenance, etc., of our facilities implies a reduction in operating costs.
We understand what we signed up for when we all purchased our properties regarding the annual recreational fees, including a lien on our properties if not paid when due, but in basic fairness, if we are not getting what we paid for, we should see a reduction in our fees. I have to believe the fee structure was set up with the operating costs of the recreational amenities included with all the other costs you outlined in your response to other property owners. Have you not reduced costs by closing the facilities? (That was a necessity and should continue until we are safe from spreading the virus.) If so, should not this cost saving be passed on to all the members who can not use what they are paying for? I’m not trying to be difficult, it’s a question of fairness.
The Covid 19 infection rate in our county may go well into Summer, possibly Fall. I hope not, but I’m watching the spread across the country as reported on television. I hope all my friends and neighbors continue to be safe. We are all in this together.
A: Rec Centers:
Hi Marshall. It would seem at first blush that costs would decrease dramatically during this closure. In fact, utilities have only gone down a little, and the rest of the costs are fairly fixed at this time as staff continues to work (mostly from home); insurance, chemicals, fertilizer, supplies etc, are still being purchased and used. There is much work going on behind the scenes, with staff readying for golf course aeration, the Kuentz project under way, and staff dealing with a variety of new Covid-related issues such as ticket refunds, cleaning/sanitizing, new payroll guidelines etc. We are taking guidance from national and state authorities as we make these difficult decisions where no road map currently exists.
Q: Sadie Payne
We are overall pleased with how you are handling this situation. Thank you!
I do have a question. Assuming Rec centers are able to reopen, will the pools end up closed for maintenance this summer like usual? Or are you able to get that work done now? Hoping it is being done now but see no evidence of work being conducted.
Have you considered fencing off properties to keep violators off track and lawn bowling? Not only are SCW people there but Sun City residents are coming over because their facilities are fenced off and being patrolled.
Just needed to express my opinion. Thank you.
A: Rec Centers:
We are doing as much maintenance and work as we can, but the vendors also are being affected by this virus so it’s not as simple as just taking advantage of our closures. We need to consider when the money is budgeted (new fiscal year doesn’t start until July), the vendor schedules, and everybody’s safety. But our intent is certainly there and much work is being done behind the scenes, particularly at Kuentz and soon on the golf courses during the closures.
We have not considered trying to fence off the outdoor properties as most people will park nearby and walk over anyway. We will fence golf course parking lots when they close because there is a higher danger of walkers/bikers getting hit by golf balls if people trying these mixed uses during the closure. No uses will be permitted on the golf courses after April 14! Thank you.
Q: Marty Broaddus
I have several neighbors that are not on social media.
Could we have emails sent out as communication to what is happening like the Press Release and Closure of Facilities?
They tell me they have to go and look for news. If we have email addresses on file could we not use this form to education use that lives in SCW?
A: Rec Centers:
Thanks for your question Marty. Our membership office does have many emails on file, but we use these for billing and voting. Not everyone wants to receive an enews letter. For that reason, residents are encouraged to sign up for enews and they will receive the weekly email from the Rec Centers. Have your neighbors sign up here: https://suncitywest.com/enews/
Be sure to note, they will get an opt-in email sent to them that they must respond to in order to finalize their sign up. Thanks!
Q: Jodie T Lawrosky
I believe it is important to spin our Dues issue in a manner that the community can get behind. I know we want to have money in the bank to accommodate emergencies…but don’t think it is necessary to burden our community that is already starting to experience issues due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
A: Rec Centers:
Thank you for your comments and input Jodie. We understand everyone is concerned about finances right now, second only to our concern about health and wellness. We have modified the budget to cut some of the capital budget. However, dues are used to pay for the operations of the centers – and those costs have changed very little even with the closure of the centers. Much of the increase is going to cover state-manded minimum wage. Cutting dues at this time will make it very difficult to keep up with basic needs.
Q: CS Cooper
Any virus in SCW?
A: Rec Centers:
Yes, our understanding is there are several cases in Sun City West.
Residents, we wanted to clean up some confusion we have been seeing on our social media pages. There has been a lot of back and forth about whether or not there are any cases in Sun City West, with some people believing there are no cases because the state has not reported any “Sun City West” cases.
We want everyone to know that all the SCW cases will be reported as “Maricopa County” cases. Do not expect to see a number for SCW. Additionally, we know that the lack of testing availability means some of our Covid-19 cases are not reported in official numbers and some of these people are caring for themselves at home.
Local emergency personnel have confirmed they are responding to and treating an increased number of Covid-19 cases in Sun City West. Because of our populations age, this is especially concerning.
Please do not let this period of silent spread lull you into a feeling that you do not need to social distance. Steps already taken in this community to keep residents safe HAS made a difference and our community is seeing fewer Covid-related calls than some other areas, but that doesn’t mean it’s not here and spreading. It is.
If you are having a medical emergency, whether it’s related to Covid-19 symptoms or something else, call 911 (let them know if you suspect Covid so they can take proper precautions). If your symptoms are mild, care for yourself at home.
Be safe. Stay home. Share this information with your friends and neighbors. Please give this a couple weeks to play out and we will have a better handle on the extent of the problem. Listen to the CDC and heed their advice.
We’re all in this together. Thank you.
Q: Roberta Davidson
If a renovation or construction is not related to health, safety, repair, or State mandate, why are we continuing with renovations as the Metal Shop?
A: Rec Centers:
Hi Roberta. This is a safety issue and an easement issue. The area floods in the rain, meaning we must close it whenever it rains to ensure our members’ safety. The current roofing structure is attached to the car wash building, which is an easement violation. The Rec Centers originally requested $500,000 to rectify this problem; it was fast-tracked as an urgent project by the new General Manager. The Board was concerned the project was expedited, and the Board ultimately approved only $250,000 of the original request. That was not sufficient to rectify the problems. No funds have been spent to date. New funds are being requested to bring it back up to an adequate amount to address the safety and easement issues.
Q: Hugh Martin
Since nothing but the GOLF COURSES appear to be currently OPERATING at SCW, is it not reasonable to assume that there will be a corresponding reduction in the costs of operating facilities and activities that are not, in fact, operating. Therefore, shall the members reasonably anticipate a reduction in their membership fees for the next fiscal period? Certainly, there should be no expectation that we members should pay for operation costs when there must be a reduction of the current costs due to the present situation at SCW. This is not a request for a refund; it’s simply a question pertaining to basic fairness.
Q: Robert & Mary Clifford
Certainly you don’t expect any of us to pay full rec fees for services WE CANNOT USE due no fault of our own. If you reopen at expected time it comes to $65.96 per person or $131.92 2 person household. We’re not the only ones feel this way.
A: Rec Centers:
We understand this pandemic continues to be stressful and inconvenient. For the safety of our members and our employees, we had to make the unprecedented decision to close many of our facilities. We will reopen as soon as we believe it is safe to do so, following guidelines pertinent to our age group from the CDC, local Fire Authority and the Arizona Department of Health Services.
We appreciate the question about a refund or proration of annual dues. Please understand that every resident signs a “Facilities Agreement” when they purchase a home within Sun City West, wherein they acknowledge the obligation to pay the dues regardless of whether they use the facilities or not. In this case, you aren’t able to use the facilities because of a health concern that is certainly beyond all of our control. We believe it is in the best interest of everyone, to close our facilities recommended by the health officials particularly because we are a 55+ community.
One thing to keep in mind is that the term “recreation dues” may be a bit of a misnomer. They are not a health club access fee to get into the facilities. Annual owner-member dues are used to support the overall operation of the Association.
Per our Articles of Incorporation, the Association exists:
• To provide for the acquisition, construction, management, maintenance and care of Association
• To provide and maintain certain civic and community services not otherwise provided for.
• To coordinate the various recreational, cultural and social clubs.
• To promote cooperation in all matters of interest and benefit to the members.
• To contract, coordinate or operate, with other organizations, associations, corporations or individuals, in carryout out and conducting activities and endeavors for which the Association is formed.
Annual dues go to support those efforts. We also have a few other funding sources besides annual membership dues: Golf Revenues, Interest Income and Asset Preservation Fees (APF). We are carefully balancing the need to keep golf open with social distancing protocol and minimizing person-to-person interaction.
Your annual membership dues also finance the following areas of service:
• Administration, Membership, Human Resources, Finance, IT, Facility Maintenance and Library
• Golf and Landscape Maintenance: Currently fully staffed and working daily operations
• Facility Maintenance: Currently fully staffed and working daily operations
• Golf Operations / Pro Shops: Currently partially staffed and operating daily
• Insurance, Accounts Payable
• Fertilizer and chemicals for golf courses and aquatic facilities
• Electricity to run the pumps on the golf courses and HVAC units
• Equipment repair and replacement
I hope you understand our predicament, and this sheds a bit more light on our situation. This has been a difficult time for all of us, but we will all get through it together and get back to enjoying life here in Sun City West. Thank you for your understanding and support during these trying times.
General Manager, RCSCW