Fascinating Applegate article
What a fascinating article you wrote on Libby Applegate (“A teacher of living history,” Sun News, Feb. 1, 2018) and her life in Seal Beach and Hawaii.
My Grandma Jane loved Seal Beach and used to come from South Pasadena on the Big Red Car to swim and ride the roller-coaster in the 1920s and 30s. My dad likes it because of the fun, small town atmosphere. It reminds him of Carmel, with a variety of really neat, quaint businesses, trees, sidewalks and friendly people. I love it because my friend, Norma Brandel Gibbs, the first woman mayor of Seal Beach, told me great stories about the town, and I particularly like the pier, the very friendly business owners like JoAnn (Bogart’s Coffee House), Leo and Lucy (Village Jewelers); managers Manny (Charo Chicken) and Carlos (Athens West). Tourists stream to it because of its uniqueness, walk-ability and joyful atmosphere.
Make their service a little easier
Last Saturday, my wife and I stopped at our local Chick-fill-A restaurant for supper. We were followed by five soldiers stationed at the Air Field. I asked them for the favor of paying for their meals. They were very apprehensive in accepting my offer because no one had done that before. I explained to them that, back in 1945, I was stationed at Camp J. T. Robinson in Little Rock, Arkansas and four of us went to town on a Saturday night and stopped at an old Southern restaurant for supper.
An elderly , white haired, gentleman came up to us and made a similar offer. We, too, were reluctant to accept until he told us that a gentleman came to him during World War I and offered to pay for his meal. He said, “Please accept and if you want to thank me, pass it on and buy a meal for another service man you meet in the future.”
We accepted his offer and I have been doing that since that day. The five accepted my offer and ordered very modest meals. The order taker handed me their bill and I, totally surprised , said, “You made a mistake! This is way too small!”. He answered, “No, we charge service men half price.” I had to write and to compliment the folks at Chick-fil-A for their patriotic gesture.
May I suggest to your readers that when you see a service man or woman away from their base, you might offer even a simple pleasant greeting. I assure you that the response will be worth more than the cost of your efforts.
During World War II, many American cities developed wonderful reputations for welcoming and hosting the thousands of service men and women stationed at or passing through their towns. It seems to me that with thousands of service folks, especially very young people, stationed at Los Alamitos, Seal Beach and Long Beach, this might be a good time to see if we can make their service here a little easier, a little more like family. Hardly days go by when I hear the giant military transports taking off from Los Al loaded with troops bound for places half way around the world. I don’t think they are going to vacation spas. May God Bless and Protect them all.
More examples of Leisure World management
As I wrote in Guest Column (Sun Newspapers, Feb. 1, 2018) for the last four years Golden Rain Foundation management completely destroyed the foundation, on which the Leisure World developer Ross Cortese built the first in the country affordable living retirement community.
Today with skyrocketing growth of administration spending, the Maintenance Department turned into an expensive construction company, where the CEO is at the same time the contractor and customer. He sets the priorities and the cost of the services, and it has become much cheaper for Mutuals to hire outside contractors.
Today I would like to add some more examples of how it works. Mutuals payments for Maintenance Department services consist of two parts. The first one $1,022,025 included in GRF monthly Assessment, the second one $1,496,391 paid after service done at SRO labor cost $42.0 per hr. Based on that number, tje Mutuals’ real labor cost for services is $70.7 per hr. (numbers are from 2018 GRF Budget). But the $70.7 does not include the cost of department’s buildings, equipment, transportation, liability insurance and management services as purchasing, accounting and more, that outside contractors are paying for and include in their services cost.
Below are few additional examples, based on my Mutual 12 Board specific decisions and related to works, which before were done by Maintenance Department:
1. On November 9, 2017 Mutual Board approved contract with Bergkvist Construction to perform dry rot repairs on Mutual Buildings at the hourly rate $42.0 per hr. as Service Maintenance SROs.
2. On November 20, 2017 Mutual Board hired M.P. Construction to repair or replace ceiling heater fans in the bathrooms at the same hourly rate $42.0 per hr. as Service Maintenance SROs.
3. To present the last example, which perfectly describes the tragic situationto which came to Leisure World under current management, I will quote November 9, 2017 Mutual Board Minutes (quote): “Resolved, to ask Service Maintenance to provide the following washer service: replace hose filters, clean out mixing valve screens, inspect all houses, and replace as needed. Dryer service to be: clean out dryer vent, housing blower wheel, check electric cord, and replace as needed. Estimated labor for dryer is (30 hours x $42) = $1,260.00 and washer labor estimate is (20 hour x $42.00) = $840.00, for a total labor estimate of $2,100. The Board will approve materials as needed on a case-by case basis” (end of quote).
The same time the total cost of new washer and dryer with delivery, installation, 90 day labor and 3 year parts warranty, and Tax is $1489.98 or 29% cheaper than Maintenance Department labor cost for machines services.
If using the real labor cost of $70.7 per hr., a Mutual can buy two sets of laundry machines for just labor cost of one set of services.
Uncontrolled spending and overcharging shareholders began normal in Leisure World. The current management way should be reversed immediately.
We cannot afford and should not allow destructive management, which made 9,000 elderly people the victims of financial abuse.