Community Recreation and Aquatic Center
Note from RM.com: This user's account and posts have been deleted, so the interaction on this thread doesn't make sense in places. But there are enough good posts here to make it worth keeping the thread.
Hi David, welcome, you must be a relatively new resident. Back in 2010 a color brochure came out describing a community center with pools. A vote was taken by the community and while not many residents responded to that vote, those that did were in favor of taking this to the next level.
So please don't be mad at the RMA for this, they were following the desire for those who took the time to respond to a ballot. Members of that committee spent hundreds of hours (I assume) researching this and trying to come up with the best plan.
Now is the time for the real vote, the one that matters to everyone.
There was not a ballot or a vote. There was a 'survey' asking how we wanted to pay for it. There was no box to check for 'NO'. The GM then took the responses that came in, did a little 'new math' and the results were 75% were in favor. That would be of replies sent in. If you do the true numbers, it came down to a reality of something like 12%. Im on my phone, so ability to pull up those posts from then is difficult, but both local websites have 'discussed' this topic ad nauseum. Join me in voting 'no' to this project.
First I apologize for too many posts this week. A couple topics have been of interest to me. That said here I go again.
Money requirements aside, if I was to walk up to you and say "lets build a toddler area and surround it with three swimming pools" would anyone but me scratch their heads? Im still not sure what this toddler area will be, but if this thing does pass I hope that someone takes the time to consider the safety aspects of proximity, multiple doors, access and supervision of this center. Combining a toddler playroom / daycare with three swimming pools seems to create a bit of a hazard.
If the community aquatic center ballot measure is approved, how will the alleged $1,200 per lot and $12 monthly increased assessment per lot be amortized among all of the foreclosed and short-sale properties in RM?
If one looks at the homes for sale on this website, what percentage are short sales? Will real estate agents be forced to disclose the blank check that prospective buyers will be writing if buying these bargain homes?.
When our homes were still worth what we paid for them, I too was in favor of the center a few years ago--before my pay was cut and my home went into foreclosure while utilities, fees, and dues continued to climb. If I could sell and move away without a huge loss, I would.
The great number of RM residents who are still tap-dancing to avoid losing our homes cannot afford this project. Neither can we afford to subsidize the lot fees of those who have already lost their homes or of those "not in good standing" with RMA.
Vote no at this time, and let's revisit this center when/if the economy bounces back.
Meanwhile, RMA board, please build the promised park on the South and restore our money that you spent for architectural and other studies without an approved project.
It seems that there are more important issues to deal with other than a community center.
What about the lack of deferred maintence in the community?
What about maintaining the weeds in the fields and taking care of the neglected oak trees?
What about addressing our huge tick problem that is a potential health hazard?
What about hauling away all the dead tree limbs, and maintaining what we have?
The weeds in the field are a potential fire hazard. I've left three messages with maintenance asking when the field behind my house would be cut - no return calls. It continues to be an eyesore especially when looking directly onto it from my backyard. I'm tired of spending my free-time doing weed whacking when I pay monthly maintenance dues.
There are many of us who are retired and on fixed incomes. We don't have children, nor do we care about swimming pools. Some of us are happy with our own health clubs that we already pay monthly dues to use. Our annual RMA dues are being increased in 2013, with increased utilities, now a possible monthly $68 fee on top of another $1,200 fee as a FORCED assessment.
This is a horrible time for so many people who are trying desperately to hang onto their homes. For those in the community who want a community center - great.....but, please don't force those who are against it to pay for something they don't want, or will never use just because they live in Rancho Murieta.
The operating cost projections appear to be very optimistic. Take for instance the projected cost of insurance. Three pools, weight room and toddler day care should, and will, result in a much higher insurance cost unless the RM Board is self insuring for a large deductible. Of course, if there is an insurance claim with a deductible it is not the Board that will be paying for it but the homeowners. And, with the vandalism and theft now prevalent within RM, does the Board expect that the Community Center will be immune? A more realistic insurance number would be in the $10,000 - $12,000 range and that may still be low.
In this economy...if this is approved, our board should be ashamed. But it's covered, the home owners that are not up to date are not allowed to vote. They are our neighbors, some are our friends, and some are our children. And they want to call it a "community center" when the portion of our community that can afford it the least is going to get pushed even further. Sad, but since I'm fortunate enough to have a vote, mine will be NO ... a big NO.
Rod, absolutely 100% agree with you. An exception should have been made to the rules of voting when it comes to such a big financial decision. Every home owner, in good standing or not, should have been allowed to vote on this matter.
There are costs associated with living in a community like Rancho Murieta. They are not fixed and they will not go away. The benifits are apparent.
David, what do you mean? I don't understand the analogy.
This is a highly complex issue that should have waited for another time. Our community is seriously out of balance right now, and a fair vote will be difficult to achieve.
* On the one hand, we have a sizable number of long-term renters (many former RM members) and financially burdened homeowners who do not qualify to vote.
* Among residents who can vote, we have many homeowners “living on the edge,” able to keep up with current obligations but not able to take on an added financial burden.
* At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have many non-resident landlords -- who write off their RM expenses and undoubtedly would be happy to justify higher rental rates in the future. (Are they numerous enough to skew the vote?)
• In between are the rest of us…residents who must vote for the benefit of the whole community. If you didn’t care before, please care now. Think of your neighbors, friends, family. We can’t sit on the sidelines.
Aside from the obvious financial issues, I hope you’ll consider the following when you vote:
* Our population demographic is likely to change with the building of a community center. Has anyone done the equivalent of an environmental assessment report regarding such a change? I can easily imagine a younger population, with different needs/demands. If so, what more should we consider when voting?
* I also wonder about the operating budget, which seems small. Consider the salaries and wages line, for example: $124,800. I suppose that low number means existing staff will do much of the work. Hmmmm. What will we give up for that?
David, the discussions of where to locate the community center and how to fund it date back to at least 2002 when the land swaps with the developers under the 1997 lawsuit settlement was being ironed out. This is only news to very new residents or those who blissfully tune RMA out of their consciousness (which I have belatedly learned is the key to happiness).
I expect this WILL fail this time around, because (1) the timing is abysmal with the economy still sagging and (2) I don't see anyone knocking on doors, talking to neighbors and soliciting proxies.
But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea nor that it will never happen.
The Murieta Villages mobile home park across the way has a pool and a clubhouse.
The Villas complex at the Club entrance has a pool and clubhouse.
Our best friends live in a modest middle class neighborhood in College Greens which supports a voluntary swim and clubhouse comlex with a competition size pool.
And here we are putting on all our "upscale" airs behind our gates, yet whining about sixty bucks a month. People I know with top end Benzes and classic car collections, whining about sixty dollars a month People with hundred dollar iPhone subscriptions, whining about sixty dollars a month.
Don't worry, David, it will fail because penny-wise and pound foolish is how we roll out here. And is why we will be the last "upscale" housing market in the region to rebound, because we refuse to invest in our community, our children, ourselves.
The business plan appears to states the fee is $50 a month (for those electing that option) and then drops to $12 a month AFTER the $50 fee ends?
As I understand it the $50 covers the capital expense, this is paid during the construction (approx. 2 years), after the building is completed in 2015(?) then the operational costs of $12 a month kick in. There is no need to pay operational costs (staff, power, water, pool maintenance, etc.) when the building is not even built.
It seems a mis-statement of fact to say "the RMA Board of Directors wants to force me to pay....". The Board of Directors have no such power. It appears the Board of Directors is allowing the MEMBERS to decide if they (as a body) want to have a Community Center? This seems to be democracy at work?? The voice of the people (members) will decide this issue. Not the Board of Directors.
If it passes or fails we only have ourselves to credit or blame (depending upon your point of view).
It appears clear that there are some members that want the facility and some that do not. I think the BOD is doing their job by collecting the info, presenting it to the members and LETTING THE MEMBERS DECIDE.
I agree 100% Dee. We have a long way to go before we can "brag". I believe that our board should concentrate more on rules enforcement and "taking care of business". There are so many houses that are looking "shabby" and so many violations. I once asked one of the board members (name withheld) why they were not enforcing the rules, their reply was that the economy was so bad that it was a "lost cause". Now.....they figure these same people will pay a huge assesment, and additional dues on top of it. Mmmmmm. Makes me think that the ones that obey the rules, are the same people that will end up paying MORE if this passes.
I really don't understand how anything actually passes on a vote in Murieta, it seems as if the minority does the majority of the speaking out on issues. Maybe it is really that only a few dare to speak out in a public forum. I am amazed at the passion this subject seems to produce in some of the posts.
My husband and I purchased a home here with a pool 8 years ago. We pay around $100 a month for pool service not to mention equipment repairs when needed and the extra electric it takes to maintain the pool. A conservative estimate is about $2,000 a year. So, we already pay far too much for something we hardly use. Had a community pool existed when we made our purchase, i am not sure if our decision would have been the same. Unless we can see a positive return on investing in a pool for the community, a no vote it will be.
I know, some will argue what about the good of the community? Sorry folks, we are in survival mode ourselves. Watching investments, home equity and pay shrink over this last 4 years with higher prices for gas, food and everything else it seems, I think a spectulation investment is foolish at this time. As much as I would love to see a community pool it just makes no fiscal sense for us to vote yes. Nce idea, wrong time.
Dave, I don't know you, but i am deeply sorry for whatever trauma befell you to make you this way.
Your venom toward your neighbors is inappropriate, and reminds me why I walked away from RMA politics.
Have a nice day, if you can.
Sorry Wilbur don't see the venom in Daves response. Just another mans opinion. Miss your amusing comments of the past.
Sorry, I don't know what the ballot mailer said, I have not seen mine yet. As you can see from my post, I was sharing what the business plan said. Knowing what the business plan said $50 and then $12, I was surprised to see the $62 figure you mentioned. Are you saying the mailer and ballot said the monthly cost was $62? That's what your post implies, "According to the information enclosed". Is that what the mailer said?
As far as the distinction between the Board or the Members making the decision...I believe that vote will be done as previous votes have been done for the past decades. Following the procedure outlined in the CC&R's wherein members in good standing vote (as I suspect has been the case in all past RMA elections?) and passage required to meet the approval numbers required by the CC&R's.
I would not expect this election to be done under different rules than the past RMA elections. In fact if that were done (rules for this election different than the rules for past elections) then I would be concerned that the rules were being changed to reach a particular outcome. Is that what we want in our elections?
Questioning this project or being concerned on things such as cost, use, availability, safety and affordability in these times does not make someone a selfish neighbor. It is unfair to imply that if someone is unwilling to spend then they are insensitive or self centered towards their neighbors.
Even if I wish to contribute to a project that will benefit others more than myself I still want that project to be affordable, practical, and serve the use it was intended for. Knowing the costs when the figures dont seem realistic is not being insensitive. Questioning if the complex will be practical based on design is not selfish. Trying to get answers as to how the complex will be operated concerning rental time vs public time is not antisocial. And questioning whether neighbors in the community, even if they did move here in better financial times, can afford this project at this time is not unneighborly. Charitable does not mean having to blindly provide funding and ending up with a bridge to no where.
Ive stated my concerns. Are the costs and the budget realistic? How would private rental use such as swim lessons, dance classes, weddings, room rentals etc affect the general memberships assess to a facility they are being asked to pay for. We already know that some want to run swim classes there, others want to bring day care kids there, and revenue will come from rentals. How often will the facility be closed to the public? What are even the hours of operation to be? Will additional resident use fees be collected? I do not want to fund someone elses ability to operate a business.
Im not a designer but I feel this design is flawed. Perhaps in an attempt to make it affordable. The multipurpose room is the heart of the rental complex but appears limited in its use by design. It has no storage for chairs or tables, no utility room, and the kitchen is across the hall with no service windows. This room lacks size and height be used for basketball or volley. Would the future gym in the plan really ever get built? The kitchen also lacks a service/ bar window to the covered rental pool area. The teen room is across the hall from the tot room creating problems. The main pool doors bring swimmers thru the reading area to use the bathroom and vending machines. Gym clothes mingle with wedding users. The tot pool is next to deeper excercise and lap pools with no fence separation, no guard towers and tower view is blocked by a cabana. Having vending machines and the only drinking fountains inside suggests wet carpets or slippery floors will prevail. The pool equipment and chemical room, shows no close direct access the pool area for hoses, chemicals sweepers etc. This plus the aquatics room (swim office??), takes up almost 1000 sq ft of the main building rather than having it separate and closer to the mechanics of the pools. While the lap pool was touted as potentially hosting swim meets it doesnt appear to allow deck space for bleachers, spectators etc. Senior functions such as cards, billiards and crafts or shaded bocee ball were cut out of the project due to priorities however these seniors are asked to pay their share. One intent for this project was to give kids things to do. No b ball, no volley ball, no racket or hand ball, no skate park, leaves them sitting in front of a video game or pool table. I guess they can all sign up for swim lessons!
Already alot of time and expense has gone into researching this project. I just feel that it may have been better accepted if its functionality had been better layed out and explained.
I could not agree more with a previous post, staying out of RMA politics is the key to personal happiness.It is clear that there are a lot of unhappy people because they are not getting exactly what they want. You can be unhappy but I will tell you that all the hate, nasty names and lies that I have seen spread about this project are giving RM a black eye. There has been little civil discourse/understanding and too much active fighting and name calling. As a new resident it is making me rethink my home purchase. Maybe I should move to Anatolia where the association fees are twice as much and they have a pool. And guess what little name calling and lying! We have literately been putting off moving into the neighborhood to stay close to a pool and to stay out of all of this nasty fighting over, whether or not you want to hear it, not a whole lot of money. A pool would drag this neighborhood into the 21st century kicking and screaming. It is starting to look like anything that will bring this neighborhood into the 21st century is meet with out right venom. Maybe we should just rent out our house and stay away. :/
And good luck to you Jen.
I really think that it would be wonderful to have a community center, but another $50 plus dollars for dues is not really in my budget at this time. I have 4 kids including twins under a year old, it's a challenge to pay the current dues and I'm regretting buying my second home in Rancho Murieta when that bill comes in. But I really couldn't see raising my kids anywhere else at this time. So if it passes, we will pay it and stay. But I'd rather not have the extra stress and keep my cell phone. LOL
Hi David - I see a lot of passion in your posts and I certainly do not believe any clarification provided by anyone to you is going to sway you on your vote of no. That being said, if you have been following this process for at least the last 18 months via the numerous outlets availble to RM residents you would know that the $1,200 assessment per membership is for the construction of the community center. If you ammortize the $1,200 over a period of 24 months which you would be allowed to do if the vote passes, you will be paying $50 per month or less than $2.75 a day. Only after the assessment is paid and the center opens up would you incur the $12 a month or less than 40 cents per day maintenance fee of the facility. You will never pay $62 per month at any point for the community center and pool.
I am confident in our board's approach to this wonderful asset to our community and am quite confused by not only your posts but others that nefarious characters sprung this on the community. I encourage you to vote no based on the facts of the project if you believe a community center and pool are either too expensive for your tastes or budget or you just don't want one. To continue to assign alterior motives and ad hominem attacks towards the ad hoc committee, RMA staff, directors and fellow posters is a lousy debate tactic and reinforces why the very best of Rancho Murieta get burned out serving our community.
With great pleasure we voted for the community center and pool!!
You have some insight that the rest of us don't? You say, "You will never pay $62 per month at any point for the community center and pool." How do you know? I've read the business plan, have paid close attention when discussed at meetings, and while it's true that "at this time" dues aren't $62/mo (they are, as you point out, an assessment in full or divvied up over 24/mo at most, and THEN $12/mo after construction is completed), there really hasn't been a discussion about how high the additional costs will be/can go, and no 'cap' has been established. Which, to me, means if there isn't any offsetting "rental" revenue, the sky could be the limit. I can't afford what's projected, and there is NO WAY those numbers are over-estimated.
It seems like the "Board" has done everything they can to assure that this vote passes.
When CSD refused to vote on the transfer of funds......they brought in a developer to vote.
In this Country having the right to vote doesn't have anything to do with being current on your taxes, yet those that are not current on their HOA dues cannot vote.
It seems from all the posts and from talking to friends and neighbors, that this won't pass.
But I don't really have any faith in the vote counting process.
It seems to me that the people who don't want this to pass are the ones being the most vocal so yes, it would appear by looking here that it may not pass. However there are a decent amount of people I have spoken with that do not frequent these forums and are not being as vocal who DO want this to pass and their votes will reflect that.
Also, I think the underlying accusation that the vote count would be rigged or dishonest if it does pass is too convenient. If it doesn't pass, you wouldn't feel that way. So if it doesn't go the way you hope, the integrity of the process must be questioned? No good can come from that kind of speculation, it only stirs people up and not in a positive way.
I read somewhere that the BOD are not allowed to raise the dues more than 20%. 50$ a month is more than 20%, so, how could they make such a decision?
And how can they force me to loan 1200$ for something I don't want? Is that really legal?
Ann, I'm sorry that people have got you all spun up with the wrong information. Here are the facts:
They are not raising your fees/monthly dues. We are voting to see if we want a special assessment of $1200 broken down to $50 a month for 24 months. If this passes and when the project is completed, then and only then will the fees/monthly dues start of $12 a month.
Should the project be completed sooner than the 24 months and you are on that monthly payment of $50, you will still be charged your monthly assessment until your $1200 is paid off. This AND ONLY THIS (David) would be the only time you might have a $62 a month charge.
As a citizen of the USA, California, etc., I have the right to vote whether my taxes are current or not. But, as a member of an association, I recognize that I forfeit my right to vote on governance matters if I am not in good standing. Therein lies the difference between citizenship and membership.
Reading these posts are kind of just BS. One of the reason that I don't like forums is because that people that normally that would not have a voice in person get the chance to rip everyone apart and break apart what people say word by word.
Lots of people that can afford this center and they use use it, will vote yes. A lot of us that can not afford it, or will not use it will vote No.
Unfortunately the people that are not in good standing and can really not afford it will not have there vote counted. So at the end of the day we are all left with a choice...
if the vote ends up as a yes and you didn't want it.. Choose to move forward and find a way to make it work or move on and find a less expensive place to live.
If the vote is NO, and you really wanted this then maybe this is not the neighborhood for you and move to a community that has everything you want. Or wait it out and when things turn around that it may come up again and enjoy RM for what it has to offer.
A lot of new people got in on RM after the market dropped and can afford this with no problem. There are a lot of people that have paid almost triple for the exact same house that you are enjoying. So I just think if the vote is NO, it may be a chance to self reflect and take a look outside the box and maybe we don't live around a bunch of old grouchy people that don't want change but we are not a special little island that is not effected by whats going on in the world. So maybe if you have $50 to spare and it's a no, maybe you can do something good with that money. Just an Idea.
I read posts here and I see how people treat each other in forums and I've looked up who these people are and when I see them at the plaza, summer fest, little league, the lake, etc. I kinda cringe.
I pride myself that I live in a community that my kids can play outside and if they get hurt someone I know or that knows my kids or my neighbor will stop and help and call me regardless.
Just Vote.. At this point, it is what it is.