By Rusty Bradshaw
Recreation Centers of Sun City officials appear to be on the verge of reinstating the Long Range Planning Committee to permanent status.
The committee, which advised the board on planning for capital projects, was disbanded nearly two years ago. It was brought back last year as an ad hoc group to study the uses for a property along Grand Avenue purchased by RCSC officials. The ad hoc committee conducted town hall meetings earlier this year and has been meeting on a regular basis to discuss input received regarding the new property.
During the board’s regular meeting in April, resident Bill Pearson asked if the board was considering the committee’s reinstatement.
“There is $10 million in the Preservation and Improvement Fund and, after the Willow (golf course) project that should leave about $3 million to $4 million,” he said. “There will be significant cost to prepare the Grand Avenue property, but there is no long range budget for that right now.”
While not directly answering Mr. Pearson’s question, RCSC board President Rich Hoffer dropped a heavy hint.
“I suggest you will be happy in the fall,” he said.
He added his approach to the Long Range Planning Committee has been to see how the group worked in the ad hoc format before encouraging a decision one way or the other.
“I was impressed (with the committee),” Mr. Hoffer said.
More detail on RCSC plans for the committee came to light during the May 8 member/director exchange meeting. When asked about the committee’s reinstatement, Mr. Hoffer asked board member Ida Eisert if she had something to share.
“I asked the board during our work session today to bring it back,” she said. “I am hoping to have a consensus to put it as a motion for the June board meeting.”
She then asked Mr. Hoffer if he had anything to add.
“We will continue to discuss this in work sessions,” he said. “I have supported the Long Range Planning Committee when it made sense. I think the time has come (to bring it back).”
Mr. Hoffer elaborated the board plans to discuss the committee during its May 25 work session and if a consensus is reached then it will be brought forward to the June 12 exchange meeting agenda as a motion for the June 29 regular board meeting.
Mr. Pearson has not been alone in his call for the committee’s reinstatement on RCSC’s permanent committee roster. Gene Westemeier, a former RCSC board member; Greg Eisert and Ben Roloff, both Sun City Home Owners Association board members; and Karen Scheurmann have also spoken out in board and member/director exchange meetings. calling for the group’s return.
Mr. Pearson in the April 27 board meeting called out board members elected in November.
“Three of the four of you (new board members) last year during the forums endorsed a permanent return of the Long Range Planning Committee,” he said.
If the board does reinstate the Long Range Planning Committee, RCSC officials would immediately begin to put the word out for interested persons to apply, and could possibly have the committee up and running as early as the fourth quarter of 2017, Mr. Hoffer stated in a May 9 email to the Independent.
“It’s a little premature to determine the committee’s first task, since that would be up to the chair and co-chair, whenever they are appointed, and approved by the board,” he stated.
The ad hoc Long Range Planning Committee is winding down its task of recommending uses for the Grand Avenue property.
The group met May 5 and voted to send their final recommendation to the RCSC Board of a Directors, according to Mr. Hoffer.
“That proposal is being written as I write this and will be presented to the board on May 25 during the board’s regular work session,” he stated.
Mr. Hoffer speculated a decision on those uses could be made as late as September, if not sooner.
“Depending on the other issues that present themselves,” he stated.
Once the decision is made, the board would have to decide how quickly to move and in which direction, according to Mr. Hoffer. However, any work at the Grand Avenue property would require, at least in part, Preservation and Improvement Fund monies, but 2017 PIF projects were put on hold earlier this year while RCSC officials await the results of a lawsuit filed by Anne Randall Stewart, representing the Sun City Formula Registry, and 38 other Sun City property owners.