By Rusty Bradshaw
Sun City residents who were looking forward to a better system of purchasing Recreation Centers of Sun City show tickets will have to wait a little longer — about two months.
The RCSC board delayed a vote on a proposed new system designed to allow residents to buy tickets online and provide for a better system for in-person purchases.
The proposal came after numerous people complained about the existing system that required ticket buyers to stand in line — some as long as 3.5 hours before the box office opened — to get a service number, then come back later at an estimated time to purchase their tickets.
Complaints were expressed in the former member/director exchange meeting prior to April 1 and in the open board meetings after that format change April 1.
Tickets go on sale in November, and often the temperature is quite cold for residents who wait in line.
RCSC officials proposed, and the board passed on first and second motions during the May 30 then June 10 meetings, to move the Events and Entertainment office from Lakeview Recreation Center, 10626 W. Thunderbird Blvd., to Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave. They believe some of the problems will be eliminated by simply having the entertainment office and staff in the same facility as the box office.
The events office is set to move into space currently used for storage by the Sun City RV Club. That decision, however, doesn’t sit well with members of the RV club, some who claimed confusion over the agreement and exactly what the club will receive in return for giving up its storage facility.
Several board members felt the agreement had been misrepresented to them and they began having second thoughts about moving forward with the relocation.
“They use it for storage, and they agreed to move their storage elsewhere,” Jan Ek, RCSC general manager, told the board during the May 30 meeting.
According to Robert McKay, RV Club president, that was not true.
“The club was not on board,” he said during the June 27 meeting. “We were not given a choice.”
He explained the piano room at Sundial was offered as a new site for club storage, but club members were told not to say anything to anyone about it. Club members were then told the piano room was not an option, but RCSC officials would have a shed built in the Sundial parking lot for RV Club storage, according to Mr. McKay. He said club leaders were then told they would have a room in the Sundial auditorium west hall.
Resident Don Thompson wondered who was running the RCSC: the board or management staff?
“Moving RV Club storage will inconvenience a club with more than 200 members that has been here 58 years for what amounts to a staff of four (Events and Entertainment),” he said.
Rich Hoffer, RCSC board member, said the board was not aware of information brought forward regarding the proposal and suggested delaying the decision until its next meeting, which due to the summer recess would not be until 9 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26 in the auditorium of Sundial Recreation Center, 14801 N. 103rd Ave.
Jerry DeLano, RCSC board president agreed with the postponement.
“I have been confused about this from the first reading,” he said. “It is time to reconsider.”
Samuel Louis Lang, a retired Methodist minister, said he was concerned about ethics regarding the board and management relationship.
“You can only vote for what you know,” he said. “You should consider how things are done and how people are treated.”
While the RCSC board voted to delay the decision on the show ticket proposal until the September meeting, the action did go against a previous board decision, according to Dale Lehrer, RCSC board vice president.
To clear up confusion among residents and corporate management, the board voted during its May 13 meeting that space allocation is a management responsibility. While the issue had bubbled up from time to time, it came to a head during discussion about the general layout of a second building at Grand Recreation Center, 10415 W. Grand Ave.
“The board granted management the authority for club space allocation,” Ms. Lehrer said. “We’re now going back on that decision.”
But board members Diana Graettinger and Darla Akins said they wanted to see management and RV Club leaders work the situation out over the summer before they would vote on the matter.
“I am uncomfortable promising space that we do not have,” said Chris Herring, RCSC assistant general manager. “I do commit to looking for shared space.”
He added management could find space in the Sundial west hall for the club’s work activities. Mr. Herring said the shed proposal was for items that would not be harmed by extreme weather changes in that environment.
The decision to grant management club allocation authority came as the board tried to adjust to its new meeting format. Mr. DeLano advocated in several meetings since the April 1 change to have an option to allow for quicker decisions on items that were more routine and didn’t need board involvement — such as club allocation.
Under the new meeting format, when a motion is made it must pass three readings to get final approval. Early board agendas included an “Agenda Items” category for what he believed those routine items would fall under and would not need the three-motion cycle.
The board also has the option to suspend rules and have a motion approved either on a first or second reading if a majority of board members believe there is a time-sensitive nature to the motion and waiting for three readings would be detrimental to the proposal. That option was used once since the April 1 meeting format change.
“We still have a few wrinkles to iron out in this format,” Mr. DeLano said.