Sun City Anthem

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thoughts Reflecting the Concerns of our Community

A Resident's Concern for Her Fellow Neighbors

This article is a result of an email sent by resident, Randy Rutkin.  We are printing it at her request.

The remarks she has made have become prevalent over the past month regarding the treatment given to our resident RMI monitors....yours and my neighbors...and we applaud her for the courage she has shown in allowing them to be printed.

Following the initial petition drafted by resident, Dr. Mary Schramski...
...a petition signed by in excess of three hundred residents...

...this matter has become much more than a simple complaint toward RMI Management; and instead suggests that our board rethink RMI for consideration of a management contract renewal.

I would suggest you read Dr. Mary's article on Page 28 of the April, 2013 edition of The Vegas Voice.  It explains the meeting that took place between her and Community Association Manager, Rob Feldman.

The monthly Vegas Voice newspaper will be in your mail box in the next few days, but here is a link to the article.

States Ms. Rutkin:

"In the time RMI’s new management team has been in power its greatest accomplishment has been to anger and alienate hundreds of members of this community. The “letter of explanation” to the community is an arrogant and transparent attempt to whitewash and dismiss our concerns.  We know the truth as to why so many monitors and fitness instructors have quit recently, and the phony explanations are laughable.

The truth is that it’s the result of Kathy Kline’s lack of management experience, communication skills and personal accountability, plus RMI’s and the Board’s unwillingness to take appropriate and responsible action.

The Board and RMI have managed in a very short period of time, to drive away a great number of trusted and beloved monitors and instructors who understand and relate to the needs of this population.  The real reason they have quit is because they refuse to tolerate the hostile work environment created by deplorable business practices, and an appalling lack of skill on the parts of Rob Feldman, Maurice Talley, and Kathy Kline in dealing with employee relations.

RMI would do well to remember that YOU work for US, and while we so foolishly hired you, we can also get rid of you.

A thoroughly disgusted SCA homeowner".

These and many other similar comments by both residents and current and former resident RMI employees, are now FAR too many; and as a result, the time for change should be NOW.

This company is but ONE of a large number who handle homeowner association matters, and in light of these FREQUENT concerns, it would seem that eliminating them from our choices would solve the immediate problem at hand.

This is not the first concern brought out by residents regarding RMI...

... the most notable taking place in 2008 when an UNLICENSED and UNINSURED contractor was retained by RMI...a day when a shading structure collapsed at Independence Center, following a heavy wet snow.

...a day that an innocent person might have been seriously injured or  possibly killed, as a result....

...of an RMI employee's negligence.... employee STILL IN THEIR EMPLOY

There have been a history of questionable amounts paid for numerous projects in the past; and often, the manner in which competitive bids have been obtained, have been the subject of numerous demands for accountability, demands that have sadly fallen on the ears of deaf boards of directors in the past.

Have RMI management concerns been brought to the attention of our Board?

YES....and last fall, at the direction of our board, an ad hoc committee was formed to explore management company alternatives.

That work was performed by EXPERIENCED and KNOWLEDGEABLE individuals, and their recommendation was that other firms be explored, ranking RMI near the BOTTOM of their recommended list.

These concerns DEMAND action...action which must REMOVE an IMPEDIMENT to good addition to providing the residents of Sun City Anthem, a cost effective and efficient management of its funds, while respecting the dignity of all residents, no matter whether they are in their employ. 

To accomplish that, our community MUST ACT...and if this matter is of concern, by far the easiest way to solve the problem, is REMOVE the INDIVIDUALS who insist on maintaining a deaf ear to this problem.

Who are those deaf ears ?



Neither will consider replacing RMI, no matter what the residential concern or what they might say to be re-elected;  and as a result, if this matter concerns you...

As a GOOD with concern for your fellow residents...

We would ask you to REFRAIN from casting an election ballot on behalf of either of those two individuals.

Doing so, will hurt those who have given many of us a daily smile at Anthem Center and Liberty Center for years.

You NEED NOT CAST VOTES FOR FOUR PEOPLE to have a valid ballot; and in this case, that might be the appropriate action to take to express your concern.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why is it Called Easter ?

Easter Sunday...a Day Celebrated for Different Reasons

It's called Easter, but why is it called Easter? 

Most people in this world would be hard pressed to provide that answer...and most surprisingly, those who practice Christianity !

...and its origin will surprise many of you.

Most people are aware that Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the word actually got its roots back in the 2nd century.

Originally the Greek and Latin writers used the word " Pascha"  in their description of Christ's resurrection, and in most NON-English speaking nations, the day is referred to as "Pascha".

The word " Pascha" in English is Passover...

..and of course, "Passover" in Judaism is known for the commemoration of Moses leading the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage.

Following the death of Jesus, St. Paul, in his epistle from Ephesus, wrote "Christ our Pascha has been sacrificed for us".

Over the centuries the term for the resurrection of Christ in various languages was referred to in different ways; and it is believed sometime prior to the 10th century, the word " Eostre" or "Eastre" was used.

There is some evidence that the word  "eostre" in Old English, may have meant "the month of opening", and as the years past, this "month of opening" was used to describe the "opening" of a New Testament...which in Christian belief, is that Jesus Christ was the messiah, and the fulfillment of a prophecy in the Old Testament.

"Eostre", over the centuries and languages of the world, eventually become known as EASTER.

..but as always, there is more to the story.

Today, we also tend to associate Easter...with a rabbit...

The Easter Bunny !!!!

How did that ever happen?

It actually goes back to the days of the England, to a pagan goddess named "Eastre" who was worshiped by them prior to the era of Christianity.

" Eastre" was the goddess of fertility, and her earthly symbol was... guessed it...a RABBIT.

And...because the rabbit is perhaps the most fertile animal known to man... also represented the symbol of the opening of "new life"...

...during Spring...the "month of opening" ....

...which was believed to have eventually become associated with the "opening" of a belief called Christianity.

But who managed to call it an Easter Bunny?

That credit is given to the Germans, and can be traced back to the 1500s, who eventually brought it with them when they migrated to the Americas,  believing that a white rabbit would leave brightly colored eggs for all good children to discover on Easter morning.

...and we owe the Germans for bringing an Easter treat to America...edible Easter bunnies, first made in Germany during the early 1800's.
And whether you celebrate this day as the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, or eating a chocolate Easter bunny and chocolate eggs while watching your grandkids look for colored Easter eggs scattered over your home...

Allen & I wish all of you...

A very Happy Easter.

Dick Arendt

Monday, March 25, 2013

It Took 20 Years...But It was Worth It !

A Catholic's Journey to His First Seder  (Part Two)

Yesterday I tried to explain the path of my "unofficial" roots to my first seder.

Today, this is what happened at my first one !

For those of the Jewish faith, having your only daughter bring home a Catholic...was bad enough....but wanting to marry him...well...

Watch  this sniglet from "Fiddler on the Roof" and you'll see a 19th century example of what it was like during those "dating years" !!!!

Nevertheless, it finally happened.  My future wife's Aunt Karen, finally invited me to my first seder, and...well...being the "new boyfriend"....I had to go.

As I walked into this small abode they called a home, I saw approximately 30 people standing on top of each other, waiting for the ceremony to commence.

All of the men were wearing ones. 

I'd only seen that once before....on the Pope's head...and his was white !

OK, we had some common ground, at least both Jews and the Pope wore them.

Someone handed me one and in the spirit of the occasion, I donned it with pride, only having it slip from my long blond locks again and again....and that too, made me curious as I was examining the crowd of people.

I was the only one with blond hair, or for that matter, ANY HAIR AT ALL ! that moment I believed I was beginning to understand the meaning of the word, TRADITION.

It was obviously part of the Jewish heritage for men to be without hair...that is, with the exception of Uncle Abe, who obviously had recently purchased his from a carpet wholesaler; and cousin Seth, whose head looked like a cornfield with little plants growing out it every few inches, that I subsequently learned were "plugs". what ?

We sit down, and immediately to my right, is sitting Sister Anita...a Catholic nun, who was a close personal friend of the family. 

Ah...I was in my element !

....but...that too caused some curiosity, as I was being seated next to "those people," the ones who were obviously "not of the faith"...

...which I might add.....reminded me of my childhood when my parents would entertain relatives, and the kids were placed at a special table so as not to bother the adults.

No the seder begins and in the center of the table I see this small plate with some "stuff" on it I'd never seen before.

Was this the meal all 30 of us would share?

Oh boy...there was no need for a knife & fork, toothpicks would do the job.

But what was on that plate?

First, a shank bone.....a bone that looked like it had been sitting in the backyard that the dog refused to eat.

Second, an egg....OK, I'd eaten an egg...but never split it with 29 others.

Third, bitter herbs (maror)...Huh ? What the H _ _ _L is that all about?  I decided that I'd give my portion of that to the others.

Fourth, haroseth (a paste made of apples, raisins and nuts, mixed with cinnamon and wine)....something that looked more like dessert than a mainstay. 

Fifth, a green vegetable (karpas) this case parsley....yum !...have to  have a balanced diet to enjoy the dog bone and the herbs.

And...on a separate plate...a pile of  Matzo....unflavored crackers, with no butter in sight !

Now...they all want to pray in thanks for this "feast"  !?!?

And so, after hearing the words "baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha-olam" about 25-30 times, we did get few glasses of Mogen David, and then I got the best surprise of the evening.

...the stuff on the plate wasn't for eating, it was for show, and the real feast began !

And the brisket made its way along with all the fixins' and I was all set to dig in, when it hit me....

This might be the first night of Passover, but was also Friday....Good Friday, and do you know what Catholics DON'T EAT on Good Friday ? in NO BRISKET !

This mouthwatering beef on a plate fit for a Roman god, was in front of me and I couldn't eat it.

I pondered, I prayed. I was tempted...but the Catholic part of me was ALSO sitting next to Sister Anita....who I also unfortunately informed...I was a Catholic !

I looked at her, she looked at me, and we both put our hands together in prayer and said, God would never allow man to waste what he placed on this earth to eat....

And...we both dug in

We succumbed to the temptation these Jewish people had subjected us to !  It was their fault !  After all, guilt was supposed to be a part of their upbringing according to Sister Anita, and not to blame them...well, just wouldn't be "Christian".

I have to live with that moment, because there will be a day when Sister Anita and I will be forced to plead our case to St. Peter in order to open those gates.

But was it over ? way !

We eat...and the prayers start all over again...lasting forever, until a part when someone got up and opened the back door. 

It was March, and it's cold in Chicago in March, and this guy opens the back door !

Why ?

....because we were to have another guest who obviously was late for the meal, someone named "Elijah".

And low and behold... as that door opened, in walks this young man with olive skin, black shoulder length hair and dressed like a hippie  !

I looked at Sister Anita and said,  that's not Elijah, that's Jesus....and he coming to punish us for eating the brisket.

Turns out it was neither.  Aunt Karen's youngest son, who had been away for college (I believe entering his 12th year after changing his major 5-6 times) was late for the seder, and he just happened to get there as the door was being opened.

Now...all of you have to understand....I married this beautiful lady....and over the years I began to more fully understand the religious significance of a seder, the true meaning of Moses and his pleas to Pharaoh  to "let his people go" from the bondage they had suffered for years...

...the real TRADITION associated with that time, the devotion Jews around the world hold preciously in their beliefs....

...beliefs I might add...that are the foundation of Christianity.

Never forget...Jesus was also Jewish, and was sitting around a table having a Passover meal, when the foundation of the Christian faith commenced.

And all of our Jewish friends and readers, let me join with my Jewish blog partner, Allen Weintraub, in saying....

"Good Pesach"

Dick Arendt

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Somehow No One Ever Asked

A Catholic's Journey to His First Seder  (Part One)

As Passover approaches, my thoughts, other than to wish all of our readers of the Jewish faith a "Good Pesach"  (Good Passover), are to share a story that took place MANY years ago....the journey to my first Seder.

This is the first part of how that journey began.

How does the product of a Catholic school upbringing even know what a seder is?

It goes back to 1965 when I met a great bunch of guys who were looking to start some kind of social club on a new University of Illinois campus that had just opened in Chicago....all of which...with the exception of two of us...
...were Jewish.

And...ironically, it was there that I first met my blog partner, Allen Weintraub, who some 40 odd years later, I would bump into again one morning at the Sun City Anthem Liberty Center.   (He got old, I didn't)

...and after three years of "tearing up" that Chicago campus, having a ball after we rented an old deserted mansion and renaming it a fraternity house,  we were approached by a national fraternity to become one of their "official" chapters.

...that frat's name....Sigma Alpha Mu (affectionately known as  Sammies)...a predominantly Jewish fraternity.

During that time, while getting my degree in Business Administration,  I became quite involved in that "club" (I make no excuse for freely admitting that the main objective was meeting girls), but because we had become a "national house", someone had to learn their rules to pass it on to succeeding generations. 

That became my job when I was elected the first Pledge Master. Yet in my mind, incorporating the local culture of the guys who were responsible for establishing it, was every bit as important as learning the rules of Sigma Alpha Mu.

Those were fun days, and perhaps my proudest accomplishment in meeting that objective was writing a song that included our original local Chicago name, Sigma Delta Pi, that whoever would become a member, would be required to learn it...

...never forgetting it was started by a group of lower middle class guys, almost entirely Jewish, and later including Christians, whose parents were unable to afford out of state college tuitions, rarely had any advanced formal education, yet would work their fingers to the bone to make sure their kids had opportunities they never had.

...a song that to this very day, has been passed on through succeeding generations for almost 50 years !

But during that time and in succeeding years, despite a great number of my friends being Jewish....

Somehow....I never got invited to a Seder.

It took meeting my wife, Marla, 20 years later,  for that to take place !

And that will be explained Part Two.

Dick Arendt

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Having Fun with the Best of Las Vegas

The Vegas Voice Show
Join Dick Arendt, the host of the weekly radio broadcast of The Vegas Voice Show on Saturday at 7:00am and again at noon on Sunday for The Vegas Voice Show on  KLAV radio, AM 1230, on your dial.
Dick's Special Guest this week is Steve Lott, president of the Boxing Hall of Fame, located in the "Score" exhibit at the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
You'll take a trip down memory lane to the "greats" of the boxing world past.
And don't forget to read The Vegas Voice, the largest Age 50+ Senior newspaper in the Las Vegas valley.

Saturday Morning in the Garden

Acacia Park...right here in Henderson...A Gardeners's Delight

Love gardening, but need help ? 

Acacia Park offers a demonstration garden with FREE seminars to give you ideas on how to keep your garden looking like a million !

In "The Garden Wizard" Information Page.

(located to the right of the Welcome Screen)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Something New on Anthem Opinions...The Garden Wizard

Welcome.....The Garden Wizard

In our "Tips for Homeowners" Information Page, we received an email from a reader saying ....You help us with the Inside...


What About the Outside of the House ?

And that reader had a good point.  Trouble is that Dick & Allen, with recent help of Forrest Fetherolf, don't know a whole lot about gardening !
The Answer ????

Find a Master Gardener.

And with that introduction, we want to introduce you to a new Information Page entitled...

The Garden Wizard !

And...we did find that Master Gardener who will be writing articles for all of you to enjoy...and keeping the outside of your house "spruced up" during the four seasons.

...and I want to introduce our newest addition:

Carol Van Camp

Carol's bio reads like a "Who's Who" in gardening.

Living in Sun City Anthem since 2002, Carol is a retired Graphic Designer from Rochester Hills, Michigan and a CERTIFIED MASTER GARDNER (retired) with the Master  Gardeners of Southern Nevada.

Quoting Carol:

"While with the Master Gardeners, I was the marketing chair for the International Master Gardeners Conference here in Las Vegas. This was a 2 year project from introduction to completion in March 2009.
I think your garden should reflect your locality.
I strongly advocate using native plants for water conservation and container gardening for ease and texture.
...and...I am not inspired to "trick" the desert into looking like Iowa."

And...we even have her first article entitled...

"Pruning for Improvement

(just click on our new information page "The Garden Wizard" located to the right of the Welcome Screen.)

Welcome aboard Carol.   Allen, Forrest & Dick...NEED YA !

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Let Us Entertain You

Everyone Should be Irish Today...even the new Pope !

St. Patrick's Day is special.

As a matter of fact, a  law should be enacted making it a WORLD holiday, not merely an Irish one.

Because the IRISH are HAPPY, and HAPPY should be THE LAW OF THE WORLD.

And what better man to start it off?

The new POPE !

Catholic doctrine says the pope is infallible when on the Papal throne, and that means, as long as he's sitting in that chair, he's THE MAN...what he says, GOES ! a Catholic, I'd like to ask him to make a few changes at his earliest opportunity.

First, what's with the name Pope Francis I ????

It's not too late, timing is everything, and being the pope-elect, he can still change his mind about that "Francis" moniker...

(Note:  We have a male reader named Fran...this entire article is in jest, and we hope he takes it as such)

...and if he REALLY wants to bring this world together...

...on this day, he should start... by changing his name to.....

Pope Patrick I...(a.k.a. PP1)

We've never had a Pope Patrick,'s time !

When you think of the Irish, you think of the word HAPPY,...and what better way of stressing "HAPPY" to the world....than starting off with a name change to reflect the theme of his new reign ???

Pope Patrick I...nice ring to it !

I can picture it all now !

...the new head man of the Catholic church appearing on that balcony with a smile, a green beer in his hand, and a blessing to those in St. Peter's Square that began with...

"Hi, I'm Pat, Top of the Mornin' to Ya"?

And a coronation the world would never forget !

The princes of the church, the Cardinals, would be given a special outfit that day...gone would be the RED caps, and instead, marching in procession in a bright Kelly Green...

... with Michael Flatley at the head of the parade....

 while the good sisters, the bishops...all of the clergy....joining him in a Lord of the Dance celebration.

And Pope Patrick wouldn't need the Popemobile either....No one would harm a man staggering through a crowd with people offering him a green beer every few steps of the way...dressed in his new Papal garb.

And...Church policy would be radically changed as well....

The new pope would dictate that henceforth every saint would forever be referred to with an... O'... in front of their name.

Sermons during Sunday mass would include Irish jokes !

...and communion would include soda bread and a glass of green creme de menthe combined with a bit of kill the evil spirits !

Going to confession and receiving absolution for your sins would involve a penance of reflecting on your evil ways by...consuming a a case of Guinness...with your parish the confessional...while confessing.

Confirmation ceremonies would no longer involve a slap on the cheek, but would be changed to a congratulatory SLAP on the back !

And combining all of that with a WORLD AMNESTY DAY to bring not just Catholics, but the entire Christian world into harmony as a token of saying "WE'RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER"....

...and the 266th pope, an American, (OK from South America, but still American), would forever change history by demanding a smile be part of each and every day of one's life.

Happy St. Patrick's Day !

Dick O'Arendt

Allen O'Weintraub

Friday, March 15, 2013

Something New for an Anthem Opinions Author

Our Newest Entertainment Venue...Vegas Voice Radio

We have something new...and...exciting...and...A First for our growing blog.

Dick Arendt, our dedicated writer of so many of the articles published, has taken on another avenue of his retirement...

...IN ADDITION to continuing his columns here at Anthem Opinions.

As of March 16th...

...The new host of The Vegas Voice Radio Show 

... that airs on AM1230, KLAV radio each Saturday morning at 7:00am and repeated on Sundays at noon.

It's a 30 minute show, something Dick has never done before, and in his words, "scares me more than my wife when she's in a bad mood".

"I want to thank Dan Roberts, publisher of the Vegas Voice and current radio host, for the opportunity to succeed  him at this newest challenge, KLAV radio, and the advertisers who support that show."

"I'll do my best not to disappoint you." 

His first show will air on Saturday, March 16th at 7:00am, and repeated again on Sunday, March 17th at 12:00pm.

As his partner, I hope all of you will wish Dick the best, as he interviews some of the most fascinating people in the Las Vegas Valley.

Allen Weintraub

Fitness Center Meeting...A Commentary

Fitness Meeting Answered Some Questions...but...
Left Many Unanswered

I don't go to meetings very often, because ordinarily they are populated by the same people whose life revolves around rarely leaving the secluded boundaries of Sun City Anthem, but I did attend this one.

I have to say, it was packed by perhaps 3-4 times the number of people who normally attend board meetings.

The topics ranged from the fitness machines to the employees and independent contractors, and commenced with what was promised to be a 10 minute introduction by board member, Mike Carey, that turned into something closer to a half hour.

Mr. Carey's ability to "wing it" was superb, and frankly, the amount of experience he obviously has in the business world closely resembles his stature. His comments, in my opinion and those who sat closely to me,  demonstrated yet another lack of business experience that exists amongst SCA leadership.

It was obvious that Mr. Carey was more concerned with defending board actions and RMI than caring for the people he supposedly represents.  His speech was concerned more with "perhaps we rushed things" or "we can't tell RMI how to run their business because "we can get in a lot of government trouble if we did".

Obviously, Mr. Carey's "vast business experience" does not include the meaning of an "at will" contract, where, according to the current agreement, we can cut RMI loose with a mere 30 day notice FOR ANY REASON.

In my opinion, his commentary sounded more like SCA WORKS FOR RMI, not the reverse.

Following Mr. Carey's comments, he opened it up to discussion, and I have to say, it was about 50-50 regarding those who liked, and those who disliked, the new exercise machines.

But in addition to the actual comments made, I'm the type who looks carefully at the individual making the comment, and those who did like the new machines, seemed to be those who were younger and in much better shape than the general populace.

Nothing wrong with that...we all pay dues, no matter what the age...and the "kids" deserve the same treatment as the "ancients".

Most...except a gentleman named Greg Kevorkian.  Mr. Kevorkian has quite a bit of PROFESSIONAL experience, being a former bodybuilder, personal trainer, and fully knowledgeable about training equipment, since he did that for a living.

As he began to speak, it was obvious that he knew what he was talking about, and since he was the first resident speaker, it appeared that he greatly irritated  Kathy Kline, the individual who apparently is the one who authorized the purchase all of the new equipment as an RMI employee.

She would interrupt him again and again, until he finally told her to "PLEASE allow me to finish".  

What caught my attention in this discourse was a reminder of the criticism she supposedly received about her being confrontational toward a number of the current older resident monitors, three of which have described her to me as creating a "hostile work environment", while pleading with me to not mention their names.

She "chilled" pretty much after that while others made their comments.

Most of the remaining resident statements were what I would call boilerplate...

"I like the new fitness equipment because of this, I dislike it because of that".

Intertwined amongst all of that were occasional comments from the Community Association Manager, Rob Feldman, and his assistant, Maurice Talley, who obviously, were defending their firm's actions.

After about 45 minutes and taking diligent notes, I made my way to the microphone to ask a few questions.

...but mine were not so much concerned about the exercise machines, but about the people who have made me aware of the "hostile" work environment...

...combined with perhaps the MOST CONCERNING COMMENT I was previously told by one of our resident monitors....

"The Board & RMI sold us out".

Having been in business for myself for years prior to my retirement, this subject greatly concerned me.  My belief as a former employer as always been...

A Happy Employee Makes for a PRODUCTIVE firm.

Though it was stated in the meeting that of the 28-29 monitors that are employed by RMI that only 4 have been replaced;  it was obvious that NONE of the monitors that are currently employed (the old ones who are residents), were a part of the meeting...or... did not acknowledge they were in the audience.  

And most concerning, if any were there, NONE asked to speak. my opinion, demonstrated FEAR of losing their jobs in light of the "hostile work environment" comments.

After what appeared to be a paranoiac moment on the part of Mr. Carey and some woman who I could hear say, "Is that a microphone in your hand?", I,  in a bewildered state, looked at Mr. Carey, and told him that, yes, it was a microphone, it looks like any other one he might have seen, but not to get "hyper", because nothing was being recorded.

After he and a few others calmed down realizing this was not a "security breach", I was allowed to continue with my questions.

Having heard earlier in the meeting that it was Ms. Kline who made the determination to employ the new fitness firm last fall shortly after she became employed by RMI, I looked at Kathy Kline, and asked her to confirm or deny a rumor that was floating around our community.

As I looked at her, I saw two big eyes staring back at me in anticipation of a confrontation.  She appeared nervous and getting ready to "strike" as had been the case with Mr. Kevorkian and the discussions I had with some of the older monitors regarding her mannerisms.

I had no intention of confrontation; but nonetheless, I had a few questions I thought were important...questions that were of a BUSINESS nature, having been in business for myself for 35 years....

...questions that were obviously well above the head of Mr. Carey...still being concerned about the "dead mike" in my hand.

And with that in mind, I asked her:

"Did you work for that fitness firm before you were employed by RMI?"

She answered, "NO."

I asked her again, "So you did not work for them?" 

She answered "YES".

Next question...."Are these trainers independent contractors or are they employees of RMI?"

She first stated they were independent contractors.

I responded, "but they are also employees of RMI, is that correct?"

She said, "Yes".

Again, I pursued this line of thought asking, "Are they allowed to solicit their private wares while working as an employee for RMI?"

She responded in a very defensive manner, saying  RMI allowed them to do so. it was OK to be an employee of a firm, yet solicit privately for other services? 

That didn't make sense, because as a former employer, if that had ever occurred in my business, that employee would have been immediately told to refrain from such activity.

It left open the possibility that the client had the belief they were acting on behalf of the business, and potentially create an undue legal liability if a problem took place...a problem enhanced in our association's case, since the training activities would take place ON Sun City Anthem those who ALSO happened to be RMI employees.

I don't believe any employer should pay an employee to solicit for their own private purposes....and applying that same principle to RMI; we should not finance RMI...our "hired help" allow that practice to continue while "on OUR clock".

Before I asked another question, she added that they clock in for 6 hours per day as an employee, then are allowed to perform their independent contractor duties.

"But these people work during the day, don't they?", I asked.

She said "Yes".

Common sense told me something did not add up in that answer because had that been the case, I assume these people clock in and out during the day, as they perform the trainer "independent contractor" duties. 

A previous comment in the meeting mentioned that some of these "employee/independent contractors" are often seen lollygaging around the fitness center in the early morning hours, while our resident monitors are diligently performing their functions.

A Concern ????

No one from RMI responded to that comment, as I recall.

I would suggest someone on our board examine those time cards or whatever they use, to verify that information documenting a full 6 "employee" hours, during the course of normal working day....on a day they also are being an "independent contractor".

Then I asked, "Are these people licensed?"

She responded, "Yes".

I followed up, "Are they insured?"

She said, "Yes".

I asked, "Have you actually seen the certificate of insurance coverage for each individual?"

She said, "Yes".

I thanked her, and gave the microphone to the next speaker.

I am glad that I received the answers I did, but quite honestly, I question if the FULL TRUTH regarding these matters was actually disclosed, particularly the insurance question.

I would strongly advise any of you who are considering employing these "independent contractors" to ask to see that insurance certificate PRIOR to utilizing their services.
...and when you see the insurance certificate, make sure it states the TRAINER'S NAME, not the name of the fitness company or RMI, because it is a rarity that ANY INSURER would cover an INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR as part of their operation. 

If a firm name or  RMI certificate is provided, MAKE SURE YOU ARE DIRECTED TO THE LANGUAGE IN THE CERTIFICATE that specifically states any independent contractor providing those services IS covered.

Without that verbiage, your only legal recourse should you sustain an injury is a PERSONAL suit against the trainer (who probably is personally uninsured), a suit against Sun City Anthem for allowing that activity to commence on their property, or against RMI and their representatives for publicly providing false information.

As far as the rest of the meeting, I left having a feeling that "there was more to the story".

...and I certainly, if I were a RESPONSIBLE board member, would VERIFY the accuracy of the answers to my questions, before consideration is given to continuing any relationship with this firm.

Dick Arendt