Community Recreation and Aquatic Center
Well said. Thank you Heather
Heather I agree with you. Its is just a matter of voting ones choice. In the posts I have made I have only expressed my questions and concerns on the project. In part to try to get some answers or express ways I thought it could be done better. It does seem however that if one does not help their neighbor get this rec center they will be deemed a grumpy, self centered, out of touch, unneighborly person that needs to come into the 21st century. To some of us it is not the inability to pay the extra money. It is the wish to spend the extra money in an efficient, useful and cost projected way. My dad had a saying. Measure twice, cut once and build it right. I hope that everyone realizes that just because a neighbor may be in opposition to this they are still most likely a good neighbor and in their vision still want the best for RM and its residents. Even my wife and I differ in opinion on this project. We will have to see who gets to the envelope first!
A (proper) Rec center would be great. But is the timing great. Some would argue that building cost and interest rates makes it a good time. But has trying to build it in times of economic uncertainty possibly forced a trimmed down version that will serve fewer needs. The multipurpose room lost its ability to be a gym, a concert venue, a theatre, a basketball court or volleyball court. All either great for kids or for making rental revenue. Did the designer forget a banquet room will have 15 or 20 round tables on rollers, 150 to 200 chairs and supplies to store someplace to keep it multi use? String quartets, bands, Christmas pagents, plays,comedians, speakers, all need a stage and a light/sound room. Theres no room to store even portable risers. Even the lap size pool lost the ability for many months use and winter competitions etc with not so much as a bubble enclosure and no seating. Again measure twice, cut once and build it right.
I fear T shirts may show up soon. "No way- don't make me pay", "Only grumps vote no". "Vote yes or I will have to move", "He voted no and all I got was this lousy T shirt", "Gymless in RM" or "RM Polar swim meet 2014" Seriously folks lets hope no matter how this vote turns out we will all still have a smile and a kind word for each other. Signed older but not grumpy.
It doesn't matter what you call it, Beth, it is still the same thing. If I am forced to pay off 1200$ during 2 years with 50$ a month, it works exactely like a loan I have to pay off, or like a raised HOA fee. It is not different because you call it assessment, I still have to pay 50$ extra per month until I have payed off 1200$, and after that the dues are going to be raised with at least 12$ per month.
Do you really think it feels better because you call it assessment?
I don't understand why you didn't form a club for those interested, like the golf club, and built your own aquatic center. But of course! You didn't do that, because you wanted US to pay for YOUR recreation!
Ann, you bought a home within a CID.
CID stands for "Common Interest Development."
It is, by definition, private sector socialism. for better and for worse.
I certainly respect the "we can't afford it" "No" vote.
But the anger at what is essentially the fundamental financial structure of CIDs is misplaced. This is how CIDs function. Those who desire greater autonomy would be better off with rural acreage in a Red county. Don't think I haven't been tempted many a time myself.
Ann, you asked a question:
"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?"
I simply answered your question saying that the money in question has nothing to do with dues, it is an assessment.
I understand, $50 is $50, who cares what it is called. Truly all I was trying to do was clarify/answer your question on the 20%.
If nothing else it seems the community is certainly waking up. The most reprehensible part to me is the taking of our park reserves to try to make the assessment more palatable. When CSD passed on it, those behind the scheme found a " developer " who was willing to show up at his first meeting to create a 3 person quorum to satisfy the legal requirement. This " developer " to my knowledge has never developed anything in Rancho Murieta and almost certainly never will develop anything in Rancho Murieta in the forseeable future. Meanwhile badly needed funding for enhancement of our parks ( primarily on the South ) would be gone. This is in addition to the approximately $20,000 ( I haven't been keeping score ) already spent for " The Brochure " architects, mailing of the voting material and who knows how much RMA staff time.
Another issue I haven't heard RMA discuss. Approximately 200 RMA members have had their vote disenfranchised due to not being in good standing ( owing money ) to RMA. They will however, upon a positive vote, be assessed $1200 by RMA. Raise your hands if you think they will all of a sudden fork up the cash. Failure to do so leaves another $240,000 to be divided amongst the rest of us. Personally I feel many many more will not, or not be able to pay the assessment leaving another unknown figure to be divided. RMA would be very busy for a long time getting judgements and placing liens on already fragile properties. Add in the excellent evaluation of the facility by Doug Lewis and others and the almost certain continued rise in dues as the Board adds amenities down the road this is not the place for the under capitalized to live right now. We are being governed by the elite. Our family can afford it but then there are a lot of things we can afford that we don't want. Or need.
I'm not an expert on this issue so if I've made any errors feel free to point them out.
This should be an obvious YES vote for those who are able to take advantage of what the community center might provide them. On the other side, if you cannot see the community center providing you with much, a NO vote seems logical.
I plan to vote YES, eventhough I think there are a lot of holes in the business plan (Doug, Martha, were quick to point those out). I wish the committee did a better job of soothing those fears and I can certainly see why some might perceive them as hiding something to get this thing to pass. I am voting YES fully knowing that $12 a month will likely increase quickly, but even if it doubles, or god forbid, triples, I think what it can do for the community far outweighs the costs. Someone who can advantage of the swim (I don't swim but I might consider it), workout facilities ( I don't belong to a gym but I might consider using the weight room), teen room (I do have teenagers, though both will be off to college by the time this is built) and are members of organizations that might use the gathering facilities, this structure may actually save them hundreds of dollars if its built, not to mention the fact that its sheer existence will improve home prices in the community (though how much is highly debateable)
That being said, I have no rebuttal for those who think the cost is too high. I respect your choice and I don't think there is an argument that can persuade you otherwise.
What I do not understand is how something that is supposed to enhance the entire community can be so devisive, and spew such harsh words toward neighbors. There is no need to speculate why someone is for or against this project. Everyone gets a vote (yeah, I know, members not in good standing are exempt) and what is determined by the most people that is best for community will win out. Voting Yes does not mean I am trying to get others to pay for my recreation or trying to price you out of the community. Voting No does not mean you are selfish, grumpy, or unneighborly. Attacking one another does not improve your stance or position.
We all choose to live in RM because we think its a great community (to retire, to get away from the suburbs, to raise kids, to show off to others) Just about everyone I talk to is PROUD to be from RM (You don't find that in Rancho Cordova or Elk Grove) likes living here, and brags to all who don't have the privledge. Your vote is simple: Does this enhance the community even further (at a cost) or does it unneccessarily financially burden us? Your call, either way, I am proud to call you neighbor.
I completely agree, Wilbur Haines, this is the way they run things in socialistic countries. I am born and raised in a truly democratic country, Sweden, so I can't help reacting to the way this has been run so far. It would never have been accepted in ANY democratic country or organization in europe.
It surely isn't in a democratic way "When CSD passed on it, those behind the scheme found a " developer " who was willing to show up at his first meeting to create a 3 person quorum to satisfy the legal requirement.". This is exactly like they did in Eastern Germany, the leaders fix everything the way they want it with nepotism. I am surprised how they solved this "little problem", and that people here accept it.
In a democratic society you FIRST ask people if they want it, with the possibility to say NO. If only 15% answer, you don't take it further, especially not when you couldn't say no on the questionaire.
Does anybody find it interesting that we have an excess of monies in our reserves, to the tune of $300,000, as I understand it, to put towards the community center, but the BOD keeps increasing our monthly dues EVERY SINGLE year? Even in 2012? We surely didn't accumulate this great amount of excess since January 2012! Mary Lou Craig
You complain that "In a democratic society you FIRST ask people if they want it, with the possibility to say NO."
Don't you have a ballot now with a nice big "NO" box on it?
I know of no democracy in which the results of a POLL preclude presenting a question to the voters in a binding referendum such as this. Can you name one?
By the way, Sweden's government-run universal health care system makes Obamacare look like Milt Friedman designed it.
I am glad we finally got the ballot so we can vote. Unfortunately the BOD spent a lot of money in vain, on sales brochures, a worthless poll and architect costs before we at last got the chance to vote.
I know of no democracy where things are run this way : "When CSD passed on it, those behind the scheme found a " developer " who was willing to show up at his first meeting to create a 3 person quorum to satisfy the legal requirement.". That is not in my opinion a democratic way to work.
I don't know how many years you lived in Sweden, apparently not long enough to understand how all other western sociaties organize their health-care systems. Whatever that has to do with this aquatic center?
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T WANT A POOL OR CLUBHOUSE IN OUR COMMUNITY I GUESS YOU CAN ALL FLOAT OVER TO THE BEAUTIFUL POOLS AT THE RM VILLAGE SHOWN IN the previous PICTURE. COME ON LETS TALK ABOUT IMPROVING OUR LIVING STANDARDS AND MAYBE HAVING A PLACE TO GET TOGETHER AND EVEN SOCIALIZE- OTHER THAN THE 19TH HOLE (WHICH OF COURSE IS OK WITH ME). I LIKE THAT PLACE TOO, AND I PAY $75 A MONTH PLUS A $150 THREE MONTH SPENDING MINIMUM TO LIKE THAT PLACE TOO.
My wife and I are both in our seventies. We own a swimming pool, bought and paid for. We have no need fo another pool that we would ever use in our lifetime. We also have Grand children in college and are helping fund their education. Now let me see, would I rather pay RMA a twelve hundred dollar assessment and in addition pay a monthly fifty dollar fee ( which will surely rise as all other dues do) or would I rather send the grand daughters the money and give them the monthly fee? A no brainer. Why should we have to pay for something we already have (a pool), so that others (mostly strangers) can go have a swim now and then. Sound fair?
I suggest you re-read Gene Hunter's well thought out discussion. He brings up a few unanswered questions. There are too many of those questions. There are no checks and balances presented. No limits on assessments or monthly contributions. Almost every project I read about goes way over budget. This is no exception. Every year our RMCSD, RMA, CC dues, etc. go up not down. And yet we had reserve funds in RMA.
Excluding those individuals that are in arrears is just plain stupid and unethical. How can they be expected to pay an assessment and monthly dues when they can't make ends meet now? How can they be deprived a vote on something that affects them financilly. Forget the by-laws and all that crap. It isn't fair. Do you people read the paper, watch TV or some sort of media? Times are difficult and may not be the fault of those behind in their bills. And yet you want them to pay out so that you can go for a swim. Well folks, wake up, do what I and others did, build your own darn pool.
Ann, you premise your revised attack upon the quoted opinion of another opponent of the measure, treating it as established fact.
Have you ever read the Parks Development Agreements? They are the governing contract entered into and observed by our democratyically elected RMA Boards. Those contracts define the role of the Parks Committee and define who can cast a developer vote. If that contract has been violated I suggest somebody file a lawsuit. It's easy to just throw rotten tomatoes without doing the homework of learning the realities of our contracts, our governing documents, and the laws which govern RMA.
With the ink not even dry on our home sale we are looking to move. There has only been more name calling and it is CLEAR that the lies propagated by the guys sitting in front of the grocery have only caused confusion. I.E. thinking that you have to pay a $1200 assessment and $50 a month. And I am still incredibly confused about why there is such shock over rising RMA dues. Why would you think the cost would go down over time? Nothing NOTHING goes down with time. Not to mention the dues in this neighborhood are drastically less than in others FYI even with dues increases. We were under the impression that we had moved into an established neighbor hood where people cared about each other. WE WERE WRONG. What we are seeing is name calling and absurd behavior by people who are shocked that things cost money. It's too bad, this neighborhood was better than this when we looked at moving here 15 years ago.
Nice picture by Bill Gengler.
Sparks a question???
I wonder if anyone asked the Village how much it costs them to operate the pool???
They must have the experience and some data.
Is there any way we can petition RMA to add a few more dollars to the assessment and have free beer while sunbathing by the pool?
Thank you for stating part of what I always think about when these very public debates go so sadly south. Since all these posts will be out there forever for anyone to read - I cringe at the impression we make as a community. Aside from all that, I am happy to say that my experience in RM has been 98 percent Mayberry. I don't ever want to move. I don't know why community debates (over even small things) often devolve but I do know it's a negligible percentage of the RM people who create the dynamic. I admire your outspokeness.
Youv'e certainly woven your expert legal understanding of international (Scandivanian), national (Obamacare) and local (CID) politics into this thread. Prepping for another "friendly" lawsuit, are we, Wil, or just making a statement you're still around? Like it!
Once again good luck to you Jen. Suggest you contact Wilbur to find Utopia
In an earlier post, it was stated that someone is so disturbed about the passionate discussions here that they are ready to move. I for one believe and have seen that my neighbors here will agree to disagree, sometimes with gusto. However, when called upon, will step forward and help one another out, no matter what beliefs they have. So, look beyond petty issues and enjoy the good parts of living here.
We voted no on the current issue, however, if it should pass, will graciously pay our share and try real hard not to complain. We moved here to be a part of a great community and will support the process and the outcome. It is similar to how we feel about the presidential election. Hate the man maybe, but respect the position of the office. Now there's a topic if this one ever runs it's course. Ha!
Jen, Sadly, there are a few people, who live here, that believe personal attacks are the appropriate way to have a discussion with someone they don't agree with...This is not the norm however...most of the people here are very nice, thoughtful and considerate even when they don't agree with someone's opinions...so don't base your thoughts about our community on a few disrespectful people...the majority of us are really nice....
This community pool issue has been posted on this website, been discussed at many different board meetings, and probably written about in the River Valley Times...so I'm really surprised that anyone who lives here hasn't heard or read about it until now...that being said David, vote NO if you don't like the idea...
Rod and Beth: I agree that we should include a vote for members in poor standing - that is, an automatic 'No' vote for each and every household in RM delinquint on their association dues. If residents can't afford or otherwise refuse to pay their dues, they have no business voting to commit their household, let alone mine, to an assessment for this project. A Community Board employing common sense would quickly reach the conclusion that members in poor standing are in no position to commit to or be relied upon for increased outlays.
To Beth who said the survey was to determine interest level in the Community Center: As others have mentioned, there wasn't a single question on the initial survey asking if residents were interested in or desirous of a Community Center. The survey wording presumed that the Community Center project was a sure thing and there was no opportunity for residents to 'opt out' with a 'no' response. I chose to write in my comments that we did not want the Community Center but who knows if other opponents to the project did the same. Since there was no formal question in the survey allowing me to opt out of the project I have no idea if my write in comments (or the comments of others) were even included in the reported findings by the Board.
My biggest complaint resides not with community members who ultimately want a Center built but with the way this Board conducts business. If the project moves forward in the future I do think the Center should be funded through a voluntary membership model similar to the Country Club. For those who defend the Board's actions as "representing the community interest" I ask, how is it in our interest for the Board to squander reserve money investigating and planning unapproved projects with an unsupported presumption of community favor? Failure to include a 'Yes, I'm interested' and 'No, I'm not interested' option on the original survey suggests the Board has been more invested in 'getting it done' than in 'measuring community interest' from the start. The Board's actions on this plan may have been legal in the community bylaws, they certainly haven't been sensible. If the vote ultimately comes back 'No' the Board will have spent significant monies that could have been put to better use if they had simply conducted a proper investigative survey from the start.
I totally agree with you and David Moschetti. The survey was a very biased one and only showed that 80% of 12% wanted an aquatic center, which means that less than 10% wanted that, and it has led to a terrible waist of money. But I suppose people will make the descisionmakers accountable when the voting is done.
I also must say I find it very strange that somebody here is telling us that we are disrespectful and not nice, if we don´t share her opinion. This was run in a very undemocratic way from the beginning, and we have the right to express that this is not how surveys are done.
David, you are right that Myrna is saying that some people are less than nice, and your post would only back her up on that.
I don't care if you want a pool or you don't. All that I am calling for is handleing people with some sense of decorum, and SOME of you are not doing that. It is unfortunate that you feel entitled to act this way. I guess it speaks more to that specific person than the neighborhood but it defiantly does not look "good" for either.
As you can see from the beginning, all I have bee calling for is civil discourse and some level of decorum. David you have provided neither.
Jen - you are soooo right.
Tell your friends. Just vote "no". Please."
I read this article, too, ******, and it raised a couple of questions for me: First, is that $115 just for Clubhouse privileges?? If so, then I'm even more worried about our *estimated* $12.00 per month. Second, if it is a voluntary membership, then why can't it be the same here?? I've been told it can't, but what's the difference between them and us that they can and we can't??
(As an aside, I chuckled at the quote from the woman who said about the people who have purchased the forclosures and short sales - "they mostly fit in here". How warm and welcoming is that? Not. Perhaps if she took her nose out of the air she'd realize people are struggling and doing what they have to to get by.)
One other comment on something that occurred to me the other night when I couldn't sleep - No offense to anyone because I understand the committee was trying to make this as affordable as they could, but since people on this forum and dotcom continue to compare our need for a community center to Anatolia having one, have you looked at their community center? It does look very beautiful from the outside. I haven't gone inside, but from the outside it's very impressive. Look at that in comparison to the bare bones look of our proposed center. It is more like something design for a State of California building; very basic and utilitarian looking. Dare I use the word "boring". Let me say again, I understand that this is likely a result of the the committee's efforts to keep costs down, but really do we want to "settle" for bare bones? I continue to hear the word "upscale" used to describe Rancho Murieta. The two don't gibe in my mind - a utilitarian community center in upscale Rancho Murieta. I'm not suggesting this alone is a reason to vote "no", there are plenty of other reasons. However, if this proposal were to pass and you're going to spend $4 million building bare bones (speaking of the exterior elevations), why not kick in another million and make it more attractive?
I also was struck by the logical comments presented on dotcom (I think by Doug Lewis) regarding the inefficient traffic patterns in the layout and the lack of storage for tables and chairs, etc. When I first looked at the plan, I didn't see any of this, but goes to show you what different people will see. His comments made a lot of sense. If this proposal passes, I would suggest taking another look at the plan and see if some of those things can't be rectified at this stage of the game without much impact to building cost. His comments really make sense.
As I've said before I'm not pro-center, not because the concept is bad, but because I am concerned about on going maintenance costs (see Anatolia cost above) and because we have too many neighbors for whom this added cost would be a back breaker. If it was just $12, well maybe okay, but I don't believe it will even start there when all is said and done. And, it isn't just this $12. In my 6 years here our CSD bill has doubled - now $150 per and I'm sure they aren't stopping there. Add to that health insurance going up at least $30 per month January 1. SMUD will go up. Car and home insurance will go up. The rest of the RMA bill will go up. MTI (for those of us in townhomes) will go up and now, because MTI doesn't cover what it used to I have to make sure I have money to maintain my deck and exterior. So I'm not looking at an increase of $12 per month, I'm looking at an increase closer to $100 per month - and, near as I can see the only one I have any kind of control of is the $12."
Two additional thoughts - If the original survey had contained an option to just say "no, I don't want it", the response might have been higher. I suspect a number of people who couldn't respond with a "no" didn't turn in ballots because their opinion wasn't an option. The survey was only meaningful in any degree to those who wanted the center. It was a very clever sales pitch not really created to measure the desire of the community as a whole.
The other thought is that if this proposal fails, perhaps all the "yes" voters should get together and form their own cooperative committee and try to obtain property and build the center outside of RMA's auspices. Then members of the community could opt in or opt out.
Sorry, but I couldn't understand your name, and you didn't leave a phone number for me to call you back. 'Tis true, I am not in favor of the proposed community and aquatic center. It's a 99.9% financial thing, but then when I look at the design of the building (interior and exterior), I'm not impressed.
However, one thing I did hear clearly in your message was about tonight's meeting. The meeting tonight, and I'll give you that I didn't look for the Agenda (nor did I call the RMA office), was a regularly scheduled meeting. The RMA BOD meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Every month. At least every month that I've been here, and that's been 13 1/2 years. Tonight was the third Tuesday. There is NOTHING to talk about with regard to the Center. The ballots have gone out. Please vote. I would, of course, encourage you and anyone you know that is concerned about their money, to vote "No." It's important that the votes get cast. There is always a possibility that the GM will recommend the board extend the voting period. We don't need to drag this out - let's just get it behind us.
As a part of prudent business plan, should Country Club address building aquatic center?