A recent Facebook post of ours about a proposed Bylaw change has garnered a lot of attention, so we want to be sure to respond to some of the questions and concerns you all mentioned. We are glad to hear there is so much interest in the Governing Board’s meetings, and we hope to see you at those meetings when they resume next month.
These proposed Bylaw changes are not meant to curtail any information making its way to members. In fact, current Board President Tim Hurley brought back the GM Operations meetings last year after they had been on hiatus for a few years. The proposed changes are meant to clean up the Bylaw to conform with modern practices.
First let’s talk about the various meetings we have:
The Governing Board has at least two formal meetings each month – the Workshops and the Regular meetings. These are posted at least 48 hours in advance, and the community is encouraged to attend. The members have an opportunity to speak at any of these meetings before the Board votes on a topic. Voting only occurs at the Regular meetings. The Workshops are designed for discussion and information gathering, including updates on Board business and hearing from the committee chairs on issues that are discussed at their meetings.
Committee meetings – each of our committees has at least one if not more meetings every month. These are also posted at least 48 hours in advance and the membership is encouraged to attend.
Special and Emergency meetings, and Executive Sessions. These meetings are not regularly scheduled. They occur if needed and if they meet state law requirements. They are usually posted unless there is an emergency need, in which case minutes are posted after the meeting. This conforms with state law.
GM Ops meetings – this is a less formal meeting where the General Manager briefs the Board on the work being done in each of his departments every month. Key staff can attend if there are expected to be questions in their areas of expertise. This is not a formal Board meeting, and no votes take place. However, because there is often a quorum of Directors, these are posted at least 48 hours in advance and the community is invited. During the GM Ops meetings, the GM shares a written summary of activity from his staff meetings. Neither the community nor the Board attends staff meetings; this helps ensure the separation between operations and policy making. The activity report from the staff meetings is shared with the community online: https://suncitywest.com/category/news-and-reports/gm-reports-posts/. It is also shared with the Board during the GM Ops meetings.
So back to the GM Ops meetings and the proposed Bylaw changes. The agendas will be posted at least 48 hours in advance. That means the community and the Directors will get at least 48 hours notice. The section about notifying the Directors at least four days in advance “or as time permits,” does not negate the 48 hours, but is a courtesy to give more time.
Committee business and progress on unfinished Board business takes place at the Workshops and Regular meetings. Those conversations were never intended to take place at the GM Ops meetings, since a Board quorum is not required at the latter. Think of it this way: all Board business takes place at the Board meetings (Workshops and Regular), while GM updates take place at the GM Ops meetings.
As for resident Hearings – those may or may not be open to the community. This is for the protection of the member in question. Procedures for hearings are outlined very clearly in Policy M02. Changes to the GM Ops meeting would in no way affect the hearings.
If you’ve read this far into this post – thank you! Learning how the Association operates and what meetings are held for what purpose can take some time, but it is all laid out in our Bylaws, Policies and Standing Rules. If you’d like to learn more, or you’d like to be more involved in the governance of Sun City West, we welcome you! Take the TORCH program to learn more about the ins-and-outs of Sun City West. Attend Board meetings and Committee meetings! And consider taking out a petition to run for the Board. Petitions will be available Nov. 1. We would love to have enough interested to have a contested election; in the past, we have had to cancel the election due to a lack of candidates.
And as always, if you have questions, please reach out on our social media (we do not respond to non-RCSCW social media posts), or through a Member Comment Form.
We hope to see you in September!