Sun City Anthem

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Mary Lee Post

Another Restaurant Decision?
 You Have to be Kidding.

An Opinion by a Recent Former Resident.
Mary Lee Duley

Mary Lee Duley lived in Sun City Anthem from 2006 until her relocation in 2017 to Texas.  She still follows events here in SCA and now has a basis for comparison to other communities. What follows are her comments on the current state of affairs at SCA stimulated with the question of having a restaurant again after multiple failures.

Mary Lee says, “Here’s some info you can digest anyway you desire”.

Let me start with the so-called opinion poll with one question. Yes or No.  Opinion poll? What is the difference when the board reverses a formal vote and a lawsuit is filed when the vote said no? Does that mean a formal vote is also just an opinion poll?  How inconsistent. Now they want an opinion on a restaurant operation that has a history of failure even when heavily subsidized by the board with your money?

What have I learned since relocation?  Actually I knew this but have just reconfirmed my thoughts. The reason that my new association out here in Texas is outstanding is that they have intelligent people on the BOD that do NOT make decisions affecting our community unless the ideas are discussed and the community grants consent for the project or rules.  It is a small country club atmosphere, with a very active and supportive community, and no oversized egos trying to take over. The covenants and restrictions are very specific and they are followed to the T…no exceptions.  


We moved to SCA in 2006 and I attended every meeting until Dan Troia, former president of the board, cut off my microphone at the podium. This was done at the meeting when they changed the name (stupidly, in my opinion) from Security Patrol to Community Patrol. He cut me off at the microphone midway thru my comments. I finished talking and walked out the door.  I then began to build my database of residents as I felt it would be a more “informative” way to communicate. While living at Sun City Anthem, I started writing my opinions on issues that concerned me and obviously concerned many others.  I first sent my comments to a few friends but that quickly spread to others that must have felt as I did and wanted to hear my opinion of association issues.  I created a mailing list of hundreds of residents just to read my emails.  I never solicited anyone to join my email information but it continued to grow over the years as more controversy occurred in Sun City Anthem.  My husband and I moved out of SCA in 2017 to another community.  At the time of my move, my emails were being distributed to a few hundred people.  My distribution was all by word of mouth.

The SAME good ole boy network seems to be running SCA currently and has been since I moved there and their minions are still in place. How sad for all.  David, the owner of Anthem Journal, has negated qualified and smart residents that considered and/or tried to run with his lies, distortions, etc. over the years and, SADLY, it doesn’t seem that man will never change. It amazes me that the BOD, the GM, and whoever “GIVE HIM SO MUCH POWER”.  You can’t fix stupid, I guess.  We have friends in SCA and I read other blogs regularly so am aware of most that is going on and chat with a few friends about it.  It’s the same ole baloney, they FEEL nothing can be done, tired of meetings where decisions were made prior to meetings and said “why bother”.  Heartbreaking. No doubt the Anthem Journal blog owner will, AT LAST, be able to offer criticism of me without receiving a response as I am no longer a resident of SCA and it’s water off a duck’s back.    

What is different at my current community?
At my current community, we are fully informed of everything relating to Barton Creek Lakeside Country Club in Spicewood, Texas and the main Barton Creek Country Club in Bee Cave, Texas, BEFORE it is even up for a vote. The board members have “qualified” backgrounds:  CPA, Construction Company owner, Business Owner, Lawyers with expertise in property management, and other qualified residents. Their experience is invaluable.   How very different and what a refreshing change, no high blood pressure here. Previously I could not attend a meeting there at SCA and watch the board members “talk to each other while residents were at the podium” (how rude), one even dozed off, two were writing something and I doubt if it related to the question being asked. The bottom line is that we have QUALIFIED board members here with appropriate backgrounds for the position that they hold (accountants, attorneys, business owners, restaurant owners, contractor company owners). They do extensive research before making a decision, which is unlike the SCA board (that has flown by the seat of their pants at least beginning in 2006 YTD).  SCA has always been an apathetic community as folks retire to ENJOY and HAVE FUN with all of the amenities (a restaurant is not an amenity). A restaurant that is open to the public is a profit making business, and I have elaborated on this for years at the podium, as did Rana Goodman and others but to no avail!  Gaming, given ALL the casinos and small pubs that offer it with cheap food, would be ridiculous at Anthem Center. It would change the ambience, and the same ole fools would be occupying a video poker machine during all hours. What can I say?  

Since I left SCA a year ago, it seems that nothing has changed for the better.  The same people (board members) are spending foolishly the residents’ money.

I have heard and read that most of the major financial decisions have nothing to do with the residents but are in the hands of the community manager and the high priced connected lawyer.  I followed the fiasco with the recall election where unidentified ballots were sent out and the board blamed the bloggers for inciting the issue. And the cost that appeared to be ordered by the manager with the encouragement of the new lawyer cost the community big dollars.  What is different at our current home is that our board is qualified to direct operations and the manager follows the lead of the board.  Not the reverse as what we see at SCA.  

We are extremely happy to be in a normal environment with good amenities and not watch our dollars being wasted by those that do not have the common sense to think of the community when decisions are made.  My best wishes to all at Sun City Anthem. 


Thursday, November 22, 2018

Welcome

REPRINT OF PREVIOUS ARTICLE
VOTING ON THE RESTAURANT?
(Some had difficulty reading)
by Forrest Fetherolf


The one question opinion poll is nothing more than a feeble attempt to con SCA residents to vote yes to have a restaurant.




The restaurant pros and cons are not accurate and misleading in many ways:


1) Restaurant would likely not pay for rent, utilities and property taxes.The estimate does not include cost for repair and maintenance of restaurant equipment and wear and tear on interior of restaurant by increased traffic. SCA would be exposed to additional liability for non-resident goers.
2) It is a known fact non-residents will not be attracted to the restaurant. No one would drive to the restaurant just for the view with all the competition within minutes on Eastern, soon to be more in the area of the Henderson Airport minutes west of SCA, Rounder’s is an example on Volunteer and Executive.

3) Local real estate agents have said many times the restaurant does not contribute to increased value of home sales. SCA has been without a restaurant most of time since established and home values have remained high with and without a restaurant.

4) Most, if not all, clubs are not willing to be forced to exclusive restaurant catering. SCA’s population is diversified with many nationalities and requires different styles of food. The clubs would not have any control of food choices and the costs. Several clubs have events with nearly 300 attendees, the ball room is the only location to handle that many.

Convert the space to multipurpose room’s pros and cons:

1) The cost to convert is only a guess at this point according to Forrest Quinn. The amount could be possibility less if negotiated properly. If $750,000 is correct, the increased cost is only $105 per roof top as a one-time pay if a special assessment is required.

2) The increase annual operating cost of $22 per roof is inaccurate.SCA residents already pay for all costs to maintain the space out of existing dues.

3) With about 60 charter clubs the additional space would eliminate the constant battle of clubs and residents to plan their events.

4) There is absolutely no evidence of demographics changing to require less space for clubs and events. History will show over the last few years more clubs have been formed and more residents are joining those clubs. An example is Woodchips which has grown to about 265 members with new members joining every year.

Under normal circumstance as a restaurant would be a nice thing to have. SCA has paid for and suffered through 5 out of 5 restaurant failures. Chances are the 6th restaurant will fail and residents will be stuck once again with the expense and back to square one with what to do with the space.


If common sense would prevail, SCA should give up another attempt for a restaurant and convert the additional space for club member events and usage for resident’s activities.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Pro’s and Con’s to Another Restaurant
By Barry Goldstein

Recently, I received the survey regarding the vacant space in the Anthem Center. The authors of the survey listed the pro’s and con’s of each of the 2 choices as they see the decision.  I am not sure of the amount of detail that they used or where it came from.  For example, they made an assumption on the cost of changing the current restaurant space to additional meeting rooms for our numerous clubs.  I am not confident in the assumed costs that they came up with but for the sake of argument; let’s assume they are correct (A big assumption). 
Since I am not an expert on construction costs, I will strictly look at the numbers that they provided.


Using their estimated costs, a homeowner must decide whether a onetime payment of $750,000 to repurpose the current space for the use by many clubs is an intelligent choice. The clubs would use these facilities multiple times and should alleviate some of the congestion experienced in our clubhouses. Currently there appears to be a shortage of meeting space for our clubs.

The second option is to allow a private for-profit restaurant operation. They are projecting that we will have to subsidize the private venture annually to the tune of at least $250,000 in the beginning, with no guarantee that the subsidy won't be increased. As we saw in the last round of negotiations for the last proposed restaurant, the board kept increasing the amount of the subsidy at every turn. We saw no limit and showed no bargaining power as the subsidy kept increasing. But according to the numbers provided in the one page Pro’s and Cons that we were just sent, after the initial cost to repurpose the space, the estimated maintenance cost is $160,000/year, a $90,000 savings compared to the restaurant subsidy. In approximately 7 1/2 years, we would recoup the cost to repurpose the space.  That assumes a capped cost for the new tenant, which has not happened in the past.  If we look at past restaurants that have failed, our board had increased the subsidy on a fairly regular basis as the tenants complained that they could not make enough money.  

To further understand these options, let us look at the recent decision of the board regarding the financial cost of the Liberty Center. The association used approximately $1,000,000 of our reserves for the repair of the Liberty Center. The board then chose to increase our assessment by 10% to replenish our reserves, instead of a special assessment. Remember that a special assessment is a one-time charge and not an annual increase to our dues.  Even if the assessment were spread out over a period of time, it will eventually end.  Then we are done.  A subsidy to a restaurant has no ending point. 

This decision for our Liberty Center now costs our homeowners an additional $770,000 per year, rather than a $1,000,000 charge one time
You do not have to be a financial genius to figure out which decision is the best financially. Having a restaurant after 5 previous restaurants have failed is not a smart move. You do not have to be a financial expert to see which option long term is in the best interest of our community.  

And remember, this simple analysis assumes that the numbers provided to us are in some way accurate and researched properly since this is an important financial decision for our community.


The real question is "If this were your personal money, would you make the more costly decision in favor of a restaurant"?

Got a comment?

Send it to us at:

scaopinions@gmail.com

Sunday, November 18, 2018

ANTHEM TODAY Responds to the "ONE QUESTION OPINION POLL"

Thanks to Rana Goodman for the following commentary.
The original can be viewed on AnthemToday.com
The link to the article is:

Reproduced with Permission
Yesterday I received the association’s opinion poll and at first I was just going to mark my choice, multi-purpose rooms, and then drop it at the Anthem Center.  However, as I then began to read the accompanying fact sheet, I was left with glaring questions on what was written there.
Please read the pro and con sheet and judge for yourself, the misleading information, at least that is my opinion of what I saw there. Starting with the statement that converting to multipurpose rooms will cost SCA $2.3 million per year… Once built, all I see are a slight addition to the current cost for possibly more janitorial and utility costs.  (if you are interested in buying a bridge, I heard that the Brooklyn Bridge might be available!)
Additionally, from what I understand without the restaurant and bar SCA will not pay the property tax charged now because we will be entirely “not for profit”
Option 1 “reopen the restaurant:
“The operator will pay not rent, property taxes, utilities. SCA will pay some operating costs like Janitorial, linen service, advertising etc.” The restaurant operator only pay for staff and food and cost to us (SCA) would be about $250,000 per year or $35 per home. 
Pros offered:
“Provides a unique dining experience?”  That is an assumption without foundation, with no vendor we don’t know that and that idea has failed 5 or 6 times already. 
“Excellent sales and marketing tool for home sales” According to real estate studies done this far, the lack of a restaurant has NOT hampered home sales at all.
Cons offered
1: Our area has many other restaurant choices
2: A restaurant will attract non-residents! … It does not and that is one of the reasons all past restaurants have failed.
3: There will be NO pot-lucks or “drop & go’s (food delivery) in Anthem Center, The restaurant operator will have exclusive catering rights. This will restrict clubs from many food choices for their events o unless they go off campus.
Option 2 Converting to multipurpose rooms “cons” listed:
1: Before bids have ever been announced, they have listed the approximate cost at “$750,000 (or more)” and states that “a special assessment will be required”. However, when the board and GM agreed to $250,000 subsidy per year plus tons and tons or additional perks to the last restaurant asking to take the space, not one word was stated about a special assessment to support the place.
2: “SCA already has many meeting rooms,” yes we do, BUT scheduling is already a problem for the few large rooms that clubs and residents may use for events. One at Liberty Center, one at Independence Center and the Delaware room/grand ballroom at Anthem Center. Many clubs vie for those rooms and perhaps if we had more the cost to use them for residence would be a little less.
3: “As our demographics change, in the future we may have less need for more meeting rooms” In my opinion that is hogwash! Homes are being sold at SCA constantly, as more people move in often the age demographic changes too. Also, just because we are aging it does not mean we won’t want to meet with the respective clubs, our friends, or hold events without fighting for dates and spaces. Currently, for example, when the Women’s Club meets for their luncheons Current Events Club must move to another location so their regular meeting room can be encompassed into the Grand Ballroom.
In the second paragraph of this section it states; “after conversion SCA’s annual cost would be approximately $160,000 per year or $22 per home” I don’t believe that and would like to see the bare cost of operating the meeting rooms in Anthem Center at this point.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

See You in a Few Weeks

Image result for time for a break
&

Image result for And Thanks !

We have some "fix-it" ourselves to do in the next couple of weeks and as a result, we're taking a break.

On November 12, 2012 we commenced publishing an idea.

...and we called it:
Anthem Opinions

...an idea for a community and its inhabitants to be both entertained and enlightened in order to make it a fulfilling and pleasurable experience..

...that...


Image result for we're all in this together

...and that life went well past waking up and sleeping in a retirement community...

... but also embraced a belief that...


Image result for the ride ain't over

Today is our 6th anniversary.

When we first arrived from the Chicago area in 2005, we believed that we migrated here for a fun filledhonest, and happy life.  

After all, like so many of you, as we drove past the Sun City Anthem waterfalls...


Image result for sun city anthem waterfalls

...while seeing the fabulous Las Vegas Strip in our rear view window...


Image result for las vegas strip from anthem'

...this was to be our future...the final chapter !

That was in 2005, but as the years went by, so did much of the "honest" part of the original belief.

And so, we believed that Sun City Anthem needed to rekindle that original spirit, and in 2012 we believed it was time to get it back !

Sadly, that quest appears to be an unending battle...

...a battle those who CARE, must not abandon by complacency or the expediency of accepting mediocrity. 

Over the years we watched many decisions made by individuals who had no experience in making them, and when so many of them failed causing financial loss and spirit in our community, rather than correct them with the voice of experience, instead continued their failures due to a "good ole boy" system of "machine" politics that has brought us the distinction of "The HOA Hall of Shame" on two occasions.


Image result for LAS VEGAS HOA HALL OF SHAME

2018

We spiraled downward from the top retirement community in the United States to not even being included in the Top 55 list in 2018. 


...and though you may not appreciate becoming aware of these issues, ignoring or accepting them as a "way of life" does little other than multiplying them over time.

They must be faced...and...solved...for all of our sakes.

Over the past 6 years, we have averaged publishing 2 articles per day, 5 days per week.  

We now have 2,292 subscribers, and average between 1,800 and 2,000 visits per day on the days we publish new articles...

...and our total visits to Anthem Opinions over that 6 year period are reaching close to 2,500,000.

For that response, we send all of you our sincere thanks.

This is also an opportunity to thank others who have taken their time to assist us in publishing articles and comments over the years.

So many have contributed, it's impossible to thank all of you.

Your input and comments have hopefully opened the eyes of many in Sun City Anthem that would otherwise never be heard through official community publications.

But...there are some who deserve special recognition for their contributions to our publication.

And it's time we recognized them for not just their contributions to Anthem Opinions, but standing out in our community for their unselfish attempts to make life a better experience for all of us.

A special thanks to our "Mr. Fix-It", Forrest Fetherolf, who, over the years, has not only provided our readers helpful home improvement information, but who also has spent countless hours assisting so many homeowners in their never ending home repairs...including mine !


Image result for forrest fetherolf

How Forrest does all this in addition to tending to his own personal properties in Sun City Anthem (8 at last count) plus others in the Valley, is amazing...and if you've seen him in the gym lately, he proves a point...

...as you age, you can look younger !

Thanks Forrest, knowing you has been such a highlight over the years and you've been an inspiration to so many of us for your unselfish community dedication.

We've had so many "tips" ideas over the years, and many of them have been provided by Valerie Lapin.

Thanks Valerie !

Entertainment ? It goes without saying that my former years with the Vegas Voice allowed me to meet a number of wonderful entertainers and columnists, and so much of our entertainment news has been provided by a lady named Jackie Brett.


Image result for jackie brett

Thanks Jackie !

And then there is my friend, Rana Goodman, whose dedication to the political atmosphere in her Guardianship "revolution"has changed life for so many seniors as the years pass.  She and I have collaborated on so many issues over the years, and though she may write Anthem Today, I've always looked at her devotion as a companion piece to Anthem Opinions, not a competitor.


Image result for rana goodman

Thanks Rana !

Our "Nevada Know How" Information Page has quite frequently, had the expertise of a man whom so many in the Sun City Anthem community have looked at and refer to as our community's "NRS Expert", Tim Stebbins.


Image result for tim stebbins
Rana Goodman &Tim Stebbins

Thanks Tim !

Then we have a few individuals who have served Sun City Anthem well in their financial expertise who have composed a number of the best editorial pieces concerning the Sun City Anthem community, former Finance Committee member, Barry Goldstein...


Image result for barry goldstein sun city anthem

...and 4 year Board member, Jim Mayfield.  


Image result for jim mayfield sun city anthem

We've learned so much from both of them and their love for a better community is obvious when such individuals will take their time to write such pieces that explore the "innerds" of Sun City Anthem governance.

Thanks Barry & Tim !

When it comes to common sense issues, hats off to Robert Nusser... 



....for the editorials he's furnished us along with hours of dedication while patrolling our streets as a member of the Sun City Anthem Community Patrol in excess of 1,000 hours since his relocation from New Jersey. 

Thanks Robert !

We have a name whom many of you may not readily know, but without his computer knowledge, Anthem Opinions would have sunk like the Titanic, Allen Weintraub, whom I affectionately refer to as "Techie", and almost 50 years ago, called him Fraternity Brother (Sigma Alpha Mu), before running into him at the Liberty Center 6 years ago to rekindle a friendship that had been lost over time.


Image result for allen weintraub

(He aged, I didn't)

Thanks Allen !

That leaves me, Dick Arendt, who despite constant criticism from some whose motives care more for themselves rather than the community as a whole in which they reside, loves Sun City Anthem more than many realize.


Related image

Yes, I will bring out adverse actions that affect our lives; and yes, I will signal out those who have acted improperly and harmed the financial welfare of our association; but unlike another, I will tell you WHY those actions must be examined and remedied.

In addition I have tried to share my love for the past in historical terms...

...the importance of its knowledge, embracing it for recognizing its successes and failures, learning from it, and making our world a better place as a result of those successes and failures.

I will close this rather lengthy piece by sharing with all of you, our code of morality that we have tried to maintain from day one, and promise to continue until the day comes when Anthem Opinions ceases. 

Morality and a "fair shake" for all, rich or poor, has no boundary in terms of caring for the well being of others you call "neighbor" and "friend".

Fifty years ago we lost the great Robert Kennedy, and his words should be guide for all of us:

Image result for robert kennedy

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

What a wonderful world we would all be a part of, if all of us would "live" his words !

So, on behalf of our "crew":

...Thanks for 6 years of "ups and downs", and sharing a belief that tomorrow can always be better than today.

See you after Thanksgiving.

We'll resume our publications on November 29th as we begin the December holiday season.

Dick Arendt
Anthem Opinions







Friday, November 9, 2018

Association Attorney Utilized by Sun City Anthem Chastised by Commission for Homeowner Harassment & Retaliation Advice to Board Members

Adam Clarkson
(Sun City Anthem Association Attorney)
Rebuffed
by 
Commission for Common Interest Communities and Condominium Hotels

Image result for adam clarkson
A report by
Tim Stebbins
Sun City Anthem Resident and NRS 116 Expert



or

Click on our Information Page

"Nevada Know How"

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Saluting a Guardianship Dedication

Rana Goodman
 &
The Vegas Voice

Image result for rana goodman

A Guardianship Rights Victory

CLICK HERE for Full Information 

or
 
Click on our Information Page...
 
  "Henderson...LasVegas...Nevada...Happenings"

Monday, November 5, 2018

Solving the Brown Sugar Clump Problem



Preventing Brown Sugar Clumps

Image result for brown sugar clumps


or

See our Information Page...

"Why Didn't I Think About That ? ....Tips"

More Pedestrian Safety Planned on South Strip

New Bridge Will Go Over South End of Strip

Related image

CLICK HERE for Full Information 

or

Click on our Information Page...

 "Henderson...Las Vegas...Nevada...Happenings"