Some bad blood appeared to boil over during the Nov. 17 Recreation Centers of Sun City West Governing Board meeting.
Board member Ernie Prindle accused board president Wanda Schnabel of stifling his Properties Committee when she refused discussion of its recommendations during the board’s most recent workshop meeting. Ms. Schnabel countered the committee overreached its duties by making demands of the board.
During his committee report at the Nov. 17 board meeting, Mr. Prindle, a Sun City West resident and former RCSCW employee, said Ms. Schnabel’s actions in the workshop were overreaching her authority.
“Why must you micro manage the committees?” he asked.
Mr. Prindle also, during the workshop, questioned actions allowing further development of the Model Railroad Club facility at RCSCW expense. He claimed he tried to obtain from Cindy Knowlton, RCSCW recreation manager, a copy of a 2013 agreement between RCSCW and the club allowing for up to $7,000 of RCSCW funds to pay for work at the club room. He did not receive the agreement until Ms. Schnabel quoted from it at the workshop meeting.
“The president undermines teamwork,” he said.
Ms. Schnabel said she did not intend to embarrass Mr. Prindle during the workshop, and only saw the 2013 agreement with the railroad club when it was on the table in front of her at the start of the workshop meeting.
“I did not intend to embarrass you, and I am sorry that happened,” she said.
However, she pointed out Mr. Prindle should have requested the document from Sharon Schomer, governing board manager.
“If you had asked the right person, you would have gotten it,” she said.
Resident Marion Mosley, a former board president, agreed.
“I don’t like assumptions,” he said. “Mr. Prindle, it is not the president’s job to find that contract, that is yours.”
Ms. Schnabel also said the responsibilities of committees is to make recommendations to the board. For the properties committee, she said the responsibility is to make recommendations about capital expenses.
“Committees do not make demands of the board to report back to them,” she said.
Mr. Prindle believes the board is abdicating its authority and allowing corporation staff to decide matters that are the board’s purview. He cited board member Jim Young’s proposal, on behalf of the Budget and Finance Committee, for a change in the preparation for annual financial plan policy calling for general topics to replace specific items listed. One general item was an annual update of the RCSCW five-year plan.
“Developing the five-year plan is the purview of the board, not a committee,” he said.
That issue was resolved with the passage of board member Tim Hurley’s amendment to have that line item read, “Annual update of the financial portion of the five-year plan.”
But Mr. Prindle said Ms. Schnabel’s actions, and what he perceives as the board’s abdication to staff, is undermining board teamwork.
“(Refusal to hear discussion) says committees are not important and only staff has good ideas,” he said. “So much for ‘we are a team.’”
He believes that board’s responsibilities are to oversee RCSCW facilities operations and to direct the general manager.
“You tell the general manager what you want and it is his job to implement it,” he said.
He also believes there is need for more board oversight of staff. As an example, he said in the first two paragraphs of the 2013 agreement with the railroad club, it references the Automotive Restoration Club, not the railroad group with whom the agreement was made.
An action of the Sports Pavilion Committee prompted a resident to question whether some groups were operating properly. The Sport Pavilion Committee implemented, without board approval, a dress code for the sports pavilion.
While not naming names, resident Jack Snider said some board members needed a refresher course on Sun City West operations.
“Certain board members need to ‘sleep with’ the rules and history of Sun City West,” he said.
He said the board’s responsibility is to set policy, not management of facilities. He added committees have no authority to operate any of the RCSCW facilities.
“The committees are advisory to the board,” he said.