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Letters: August 21, 2014

Published on: August 19, 2014

Dear Editor,

Many of your readers may wish to know what transpired at the SCCCA Board Meeting of August 13th.

The hot issue to be decided at that meeting was the choice of a lender for the proposed new theater, should it be approved in the December referendum.  Two banks had submitted proposals, BB&T and Northern Trust.

Considerable discussion ensued among the Board’s Directors who then took comments, sometimes overly lengthy, from the Association Members in attendance. The Board then voted 5-to-4 in favor of the proposal from BB&T Bank with whom the Association has had a five-year relationship.  The loan amount may be up to $3,500,000 and will be paid off over a term of up to 10 years.

During the discussion, Director Chuck Collett argued that a vote for BB&T was a “poison pill” against PAC’s theater project, but several other Directors including Treasurer Neil Rothfeld emphasized that neither bank’s loan proposal was risk-free.  It was stated that either bank could get a judgment against the SCCCA in the event of non-payment.

Secretary Director David Floyd reviewed the specific wording to be used in the forthcoming referendum.  He said it would be along the lines of “Do you approve financing of up to $3,500,000 to build a new theater?”

Later in the meeting, Community Manger Lyn Reitz addressed the matter of asbestos which has been voiced by some parties who oppose the remodeling or rebuilding of the current Rollins Theater as an alternative to constructing a new one. She said that the asbestos concerns have been overstated.  This is not a major issue, she emphasized, pointing out that the removal of asbestos-containing structural elements is remediable, and that portions of the Rollins Theater building containing asbestos have already been safely removed in the past.

Edward Feder
Sun City Center

Dear Editor,

Don and Nancy Morse, whose names are on Community Hall, made a significant financial contribution to help retire debt for the building. The Eberhardts did likewise for the beautiful lawn bowling clubhouse. The Potter and Gallant wings were also significant financial contributions. Plus [there have been] additional bequests that have further enhanced our Sun City Center campuses.

The several new buildings popping up on North Campus are there with Community Association (member) dollars. If there are any individuals interested in “naming rights” (getting their name on a building), they should be prepared to underwrite a portion (the percent to be determined by referendum) of the building cost. This needs to apply to all of the buildings without exception!

On another point, at our last neighborhood “cookout”, there seemed to be a general objection to the idea of a new theater. Main concern was that our Community Association could somehow get stuck with the tab if the whole deal falls flat. Why pay for non-SCC residents to play? More and more signs in front yards are pleading “no more SCC debt.”!

A minor consideration — cokes, beer, popcorn, other nibbles OK in movie theaters nationwide, even at times in the plush auditoriums of the Straz Center in Tampa during performances. Why are they verboten in little 200-seat Rollins that at times is little more than half full for performances by mostly out-of-town residents.

Edward R. Greer
Sun City Center

Dear Editor,

CA and Federation Boards of Sun City Ctr: Residents — start looking at those numbers. Congratulations, CA Board, you will take a house to house vote in December to see if your private home residences [sic] are ready and able to plan for a 3 million dollar theater or just wait several years until the world economy says you can be more secure in your theater plans.

The SCC condo Kings Point is at a different stage of debt obligation via the hard and appreciated work of the Federation Board. A $3 million purchase and renovation of a building once used by the developers as real estate offices is being up-coded to today’s building standards and converted to a third club house. Its budget has already begun hitting the monthly maintenance bills — but how much more will be added and when — is beginning “to caution everyone.” Do we stop on building code completion and wait to do the inside; do we revert this separately purchased land directly accessable [sic] to Rt 674 back to “For Sale” and let them get it recoded as commercial, i.e. nursing home, doctors offices, etc. What must we do in the first time ever world economy crisis? What we must do is different  from what we’d like to do (or) are  taking a chance on.

[That] Most of the 100-plus associations that make up KP are not fully funding as of now tells us all we are strapped now to meet the cost of living without this building.

Bob West
Kings Point

Dear Editor,

This refers to the numerous comments published in your SCC Observer (8/14/14) regarding the state of the maintenance of the landscape in Kings Point Community in Sun City Center. Some were praising the new maintenance company’s work so far while many others think otherwise.

The best evidence is to make a thorough observation of the present physical condition and over-all appearance of the landscaping throughout the Community. Just drive around Kings Boulevard starting from the front gate and one cannot miss seeing the overgrown hedges on both sides of the boulevard as well as the growing plants around the houses that badly need to be trimmed and pruned. And to think that Kings Boulevard is supposed to showcase the elegance of the Community! The same sad state of affairs is true as one drives into the interior areas. In our case, I already wrote the President of our Lancaster I Association about this matter, pointing out that the hedges around the houses are now reaching the eaves and they need to be trimmed and pruned before they obstruct our view of the outside.

The new maintenance company, I assume, should have known the magnitude of the work to be done vis-a-vis the adequacy of their equipment and their accessibility to a sufficient work force, before it even offered its contract bid to the Federation Board. I believe that allowing them six (6) months to “get up to speed” is quite unreasonable. Letting the hedges grow untended and the lawn not mowed while the company is still consolidating its resources is ridiculous, to say the least. At any rate, is it fair to the individual communities who foot the bill to wait six months before they can complain about their unkempt grounds.

Besides, we realize that the members of the Federation Board who approved the contracts are “hard-working volunteers” for their job, but having assumed their respective positions of great responsibility to a rather large community, are we not to expect that they administer the contracts they approve with seriousness and just accord to the membership in general? Or do they merely vote as rubber stamps when presented with contracts prepared by those they have hired to do the services? One does not need to have some expertise in “landscaping or contract administration” to determine whether a lawn maintenance company is up to par in its contractual obligations. Just look around and ask yourself: Are the hedges trimmed and pruned and are the lawns mowed as they should be.

What is the catch? Is there really “something fishy” involved as referred to by a resident in Highgate IV? AND SO I HAVE SAID!

Felix B. Valencia Jr.
Kings Point

Dear Editor,

I am totally appalled at the lack of journalist professionalism exhibited by the Observer in publishing information about the mowing of lawns in Kings Point, i.e., the “KP Landscape Maintenance Issue.”  I believe that, no matter how important and urgent a situation, there is no excuse for publishing prior to checking the facts of an article.

Others have commented on the inaccuracies of the article, so I will not further review that issue; however, with respect to the “fishiness” in Mr. Locher’s comments in your August 7th edition, although he did not specifically name “the prior Federation President,” I believe that she is well enough known to the residents of Kings Point that his comments constitute a defamation of her character, possibly opening the Observer and Mr. Locher to legal proceedings.

Also, has the Observer management reflected upon the implications of false statements of fact published in their article about Mainscape that could be injurious to their business reputation and their possible loss of profits?  Even as I write this, Mainscape employees are in front of my condo trimming bushes and trees, in spite of the rain and surrounding lightning, in an effort to stay on schedule during the busiest time of year for the landscape business.

Since I believe your articles do not reflect the view of a majority of the unit owners in Kings Point, perhaps it would be appropriate to print a retraction of the false statements in your articles or at a minimum, issue an apology to Mainscape, the “prior Federation president,” and the residents of Kings Point.

Kings Point is a lovely community (please use a current picture of our gate in your next issue) and articles such as have been published by the Observer tend to diminish our reputation and the value of our homes.  I would like to see this publication begin to show more balanced and factual reporting.

Helen Morrell
Kings Point

Dear Editor,

The purpose of this letter is to thank you for the accurate and informative article written in the SCC Observer, “Kings Point residents say Mainscape is not meeting contract requirements,” dated August 7, 2014.

You are right on target with your observations/information. Of course Mainscape is not meeting their contractual requirements.  They simply are not the size of a company who can perform for the size of the property.  It is my opinion, as a retired senior contracts professional with the Dept. of Defense, subsequent contracts consultant, adequate pre-award analysis would have identified those weaknesses, had anyone taken the time to evaluate the contractor. Those individuals responsible for this oversight should be held accountable.

Thank you for your timely article. …

Sandra Scanlan
Kings Point