Rebuttal to letter about Leisure World
This comment is in response to Anne Walshe’s letter on June 7, 2018, regarding Leisure World.
My husband and I moved into Leisure World three years ago after living in Cypress for 10 years. Residents have fought for positive changes and now if they want to continue to improve how LW functions, they need to take the time to get involved–attend mutual meetings, Golden Rain Foundation board meetings, committee meetings or Town Hall meetings. It takes time and patience to sit through meetings, but if a Shareholder wants to be aware of current issues, and have a chance to speak up on agenda items, they can. Town Hall meetings are more informal with usually time to ask questions or offer opinions.
Mr. Randy Ankeny, current Executive Director of Leisure World was hired in June 2013. He has brought transparency to the Mutual Shareholder’s governance of Leisure World. I attended Town Hall meetings on several issues–Transportation and recently the Pool meeting. At the April 25th Town Hall meeting he gave a Powerpoint presentation on the issues with the pool: fixing the leaks and the necessity to bring it up to current building codes.
Myself and other residents were given an opportunity to address the room and state their wishes for Aquatic Area improvements. The questionnaire results and next steps in the process have been printed in the Leisure World Gazette. This paper keeps residents current on Leisure World issues, concerts, updates like the upcoming changes from Tenet operating the Healthcare Center to Optum, GRF construction projects, pool timelines, GRF meetings, mutual meetings, agendas, minutes and a copies of financial reports.
Mr. Ankeny was not here when prior managers possibly made pool renovating plans. I don’t think the founders of LW Seal Beach understood the incredible increases in cost that would someday require substantial expenses to repair facilities. A comment about funding: Repairs are covered under General Funds that all shareholders pay into. Facility replacements are paid for with New Shareholder’s Amenities fees. My husband and I have had several conversations about why LW has Volunteer boards rather than a paid Property Management Company. His comment was that all the people we know have found that housing entities run by Property Management companies charge hefty fees to homeowners and then they do not have a say in the rules created by this expensive management corporation. Yes, sometimes the process of Shareholder mutuals and committee decisions at LW is cumbersome, but it works, not like I always want, but decisions are made. Most mutuals still find it necessary to pay for legal council so they are not in violation of homeowners rights, violating contruction codes etc.
This week I attended the Concerned Shareholders meeting where Randy stated that he is in communication with several other large retirement communities, similiar to Leisure World, around the US. The managers share Best Practices so they can be aware of what has been successful, and what hasn’t worked well.
Neither Randy or the volunteer LW Board members are blind to the world around them. They have to make decisions based on current laws, generally rules are followed by the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act. It is prudent on the part of LW to give guidance to volunteers with respect to the current written policies that most of us, certainly not me, should know well. Board members need training to be successful. The goal of training is to guide LW Board members so they create policies that enhance the active lifestyle of LW shareholders without creating policies or procedures that lead to expensive litigation. Our GRF Mutual 6 board member, recently created binders to assist new board members. LW needs to be sure they do not create rules or procedures that violate people’s rights and not cause liability issues. The LW board meetings are conducted similar to other city and school board meetings that I have attended. Shareholders are given specific time(s) during the meeting to comment with a time limit on each person, so the meetings are not hijacked by one person speaking endlessly. Current LW practices for transparency include: 1) Financial statements printed in the Leisure World newspaper 2) Board meeting dates are posted in the paper.
3) Meeting dates, agendas, and minutes are posted online in folders according to the committee.
It doesn’t sound like the letter writer attended any of the open meetings I participated in. That was her choice, but how can she know what is actually happening if she chose not to take the time to attend meeting intended to explain, and provide transparency to the decision making process? Information on Leisure World governance and other data is posted at www.lwsb.com. Ms. Walshe or anyone else can read the information posted online.
Re: ‘To tax or not to Tax’
I believe that Jim Brady makes a compelling case for a small sales tax increase in Seal Beach to offset the costs of much needed revenue for additional police officers (“To tax or not to tax ? (That is the question,) Sun Newspapers, Thursday, July 19.).
My concern is whether there is an ironclad guarantee that all the additional funds will be used to hire police officers. My second concern is his support for a repeal of the small gas tax passed by the legislature.
Clearly our roads and infrastructure are in terrible shape and the gas tax is beginning to help deal with this problem. Moreover, the campaign against the gas tax is largely supported by misguided individuals and right wing Republicans who are committed to undoing the progressive agenda of Democrats and a stealth attempt to keep Trump in power.
Back on a bike
I got my first bike when I was 5 years old. I’m 70 now and have ridden every year of my life. Unfortunately like me, peddling got old. My bike course kept getting shorter and shorter. Bought my first electric “peddle assisted” bike from Main Street Cyclery on Main Street. Even though it was $1,400, it got me back on a bike. And peddle assist means you have to pedal to make the electric motor work. So you still get a good work out. It’s like riding a life cycle on level 4 for an hour. But the big difference is you’re outdoors and not looking at a wall or parking lot. Go down to Main Street Cyclery and demo one. Great shop and the owners are the best!