Garden Club kicks off new season on March 26

By Peggy Hughes
Be sure to mark your calendars for the 1st Garden Club meeting in March.  The March meeting is always held the 4th Thursday rather than the usual 3rd Thursday of the Month.  March 26 will be our first meeting at 10 a.m.  Be sure to come early for coffee and a chat before the program begins.
Our Vice-President, Jeannie Gardner, is hard at work putting together exciting and informative programs  for 2015 (much more to come on that, so stay tuned).  I am looking forward to working with our executive committee in creating a fun and rewarding year with Garden Club.  We hope you will join us as often as you can for creative programs and delicious lunches! Hope to see you in March.
Executive Committee Members: Peggy Hughes, President; Jeannie Gardner, Vice-President; Linda Cruse, Recording Secretary; Kathy Steinegar, Corresponding Secretary; Becky Merwald, Treasurer.

A highlight of Photo Club’s upcoming year is Flint Hills field trip

Photo Club members at the annual holiday party and planning meeting. Photo by Ron Bower

By Leslie Treas and Susan Hidalgo
With the reopening of the Clubhouse in January, you might have also noticed another new photo exhibit by the LQ Photography Club. With so many fantastic submissions to choose from, it’s amazing the Clubhouse Exhibit Selections Committee could make a decision about which ones to display.
The February meeting on Tuesday, February 10 (7pm)  will cover the following topics:
•    What’s Good About This Photo? -  Anne Simms has volunteered to choose a half dozen photos from LQPC SmugMug for discussion.
•    The Month’s Photo Assignment -   The assignment for the month is Winter or Winter Reflections.  The photos will be uploaded to SmugMug, Monthly Assignments Gallery.
•    Camera Groups-  As many of the group have questions/issues that come up from time to time with our cameras and would benefit from help, we will network with each other  based on camera types.
•    Field Trip: We will discuss field trips in the future for LQPC members
In January, the club met at the Gill’s home for the annual holiday party and planning meeting. We came up with the following proposed list of educational topics for 2015: Composition tips; Equipment (lens, lighting, tripods, stuff in your bag); Postproduction photo editing; Black and white photography; Water reflections, splashes, waterfalls; Google photo mapping; Sports and action shots; Wildlife/animals; Flower photography; Macro photography; Smart phone photography; Street photography.
A field trip is planned for spring — a Flint Hills Photo Tour, led by a guide from Crick Photo. Participants will have the opportunity to photograph the Konza Prairie landscape with wildflowers in bloom, an abandoned church, old stone farmhouse, and sunrise/sunrise on the prairie.
If you are interested in learning to take sharper shots, improving your composition or simply enjoying the company of a group of really nice people, come try out the Lake Quivira Photography Club meetings on the second Tuesday of each month, 7 – 8:30 p.m. in the Clubhouse Great Room. At each meeting we discuss an educational topic. Monthly photo assignments are topical and often serve as practice for the educational topic of the month.

Now let’s see what you know about the LQPC!
1. What is the name of the website where LQ Photo Club members upload photos to share views with other club member and the community?
A.    iPhoto
B.    Picassa
C.    SmugMug
D.    Lake Quivira Country Club website

2. How many views of the LQ Photo Club website occurred January through December, 2014?
A.    1,051
B.    10, 518
C.    100,518
D.    1,051,856

3. How many members have joined the LQ Photo Club?
A.    12
B.    24
C.    54
D.    112

Answers:
1. C. SmugMug
2. D. 1,051,856 views
3. C. 54 members

Photo of the Month - Sharp Shinned Hawk by Carol Neill

Welcome! by Aline Zimmer

Robert and Shayla Hammeke, 415 Hillcrest East (Hamilton)
Bob and Shayla moved to LQ last fall amidst a whirlwind of activity. As Bob was in the process of changing jobs, they bought the new house, sold their old house, packed while eight months pregnant, unpacked while nine months pregnant, then welcomed the arrival of their baby boy. Moving from Lakeview Estates, they were drawn to the community—others from Lakeview have moved here for the same reason—as well as the activities. “We’ve met more people in two months at Lake Quivira than we met in five years at Lakeview. There’s a great sense of community here,” Shayla said.
Bob grew up on a farm in Larned, Kansas. He attended Fort Hays State University on a running scholarship, then went on to Oklahoma City University Law School. He continues to be an avid runner and competes in half marathons when he can. He’s also a golfer who plans to golf more often now that the course adjoins his backyard. Shayla, formerly a non-profit fundraiser, stays home with Hartley, age two, and Sullivan, age three months. Originally from Wichita and a Kansas State graduate, Shayla enjoys movies and books. She volunteers for Junior League and will be co-chair of this year’s Holiday Mart, overseeing a committee of fifty-five to put on the annual event in Bartle Hall that is attended by 22,000 people.
A favorite spot for daughter Hartley is the stables, a must-see destination on every golf cart ride. She rode Dreamer at the Pumpkin Patch event and now bestows the name Dreamer on every horse she encounters, including her hobby horses and the mechanical horse at Hy-Vee. The Hammekes inherited a boat that came with the house and look forward to using it this summer. They attended the New Years’ Eve Gala at the clubhouse and complimented the staff for being on top of everything. They enjoy travel but have already planned to alter the timing of their customary early summer trip to Mexico to take advantage of the slate of warm-weather activities at LQ. Welcome to the Lake, Bob and Shayla!
David and Katie Schleicher, 270 Hillcrest West (Deegan)
Katie and David thoroughly enjoy the outdoors so it is only natural they would be drawn to Lake Quivira. David has wakeskated and wakeboarded on the lake with friends for years, and having grown up on a small lake, he wanted the same experience for their son, Charlie, age one. In addition to water sports, David likes bicycling, ultimate Frisbee, snowboarding, and skiing.
David owns Prairie Design Build, the only certified Passive House company in Kansas City. Passive House is the world’s leading standard in energy-efficient construction. The Schleichers are in the process of converting their house to meet those standards with new windows, lots of insulation and other efforts to make the building airtight. They expect to move into it in early April. They are videotaping the details and process involved in the renovation; videos can be accessed through Prairie Design Build’s Facebook page.
Katie works in consulting and business development for the engineering firm Trekk Design Group. When not working or looking after Charlie, she sits on the boards of several agencies involved with dog and cat rescue. She coordinates with Animal Control to divert pets from kill shelters into foster homes. She and David have two dogs, Brody, a Shepherd mix, and Gus, a Labrador. Katie looks forward to exploring the trails around LQ with the dogs.
“It will be sad to leave our current house and neighborhood where, after thirteen years, we know everyone, but we’re excited to meet people out here,” Katie said. Given their propensity to spend time outdoors it will be easy to meet their new neighbors.  Welcome to the Lake, David and Katie!

Addendum to LQ Men’s Fellowship Bellringer Information – Letter to the Editor

Addition to January article re:  LQ Men’s Fellowship (Bible Study Group). Our group meets on the 2nd & 4th Friday each month in the clubhouse from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. We are a non-denominational group and open to all. Please come for a cup of coffee and meet some of your neighbors!  In addition, Randy Treas’s name was omitted from our recent very successful Salvation Army bell ringing day at LQ.
Any questions give me a call.
~Leo DeSpain

Maintaining Quivira’s Capital Assets – Letter to the Editor

Buying a home at Lake Quivira is a lot like buying a condominium where the savvy buyer must evaluate the status of the attached assets. “Does the roof leak?” “Is the furnace working properly?” In our case, “Does the lake need dredging?” If these are problems and the homeowners association has funds to do the work, there is no worry. If not, the buyer can expect either further deterioration in those assets or an increase in assessments to repair the deferred maintenance.
Quivira, Inc. addressed these issues over twenty years ago when it established a Capital Equipment Fund and a Capital Reserve Fund. We currently contribute $30.15/month to the former to replace things like mowers, vehicles, computers and clubhouse furniture when they wear out. We contribute $70.45/month to the Capital Reserve Fund to address the deterioration in our longer lived and more expensive assets such as the lake, clubhouse, roads and golf course. The integrity of these funds, particularly the Capital Reserve Fund, is critical if we are to replace and maintain expensive assets without experiencing wild swings in our assessments.
When we established the Capital Reserve Fund in 1991, we knew we couldn’t make up for past depreciation of our major assets. For example, we knew the clubhouse would need work much sooner than we could reasonably collect enough in assessments to make the needed renovations. Further, the project turned out to be more than just a restoration of the old clubhouse; it was a major expansion. Thus, had we had fully funded the Capital Reserve Fund, it would not have been sufficient to cover all the work because of the expansion. How could we have known in 1991 that we would expand the clubhouse nearly a decade later, and by a one vote margin? How would we have known how much to set aside?
Determining how much to contribute to capital reserve funds is a relatively simple matter. If you know the useful life of an asset—a golf course green, roads or even the lake as it fills with silt—and how much it will cost to replace or restore it, you know how much must be set aside annually to restore or replace the asset when its time comes.
Only two things can go wrong: First, the original calculations are wrong. Inflation causes the replacement cost of assets to be higher than anticipated. Or, the assets didn’t last as long as expected. For example, excavations for a new upstream development might cause the lake to fill with silt faster than expected, thus requiring dredging sooner than expected.
Second, reserve funds are used for more than simply restoring assets to their original condition. It’s easy to see how this can happen. It’s tempting having large sums of money sitting around waiting to be spent on some distant renovation projects. Why not make that green on the golf course bigger or expand the dredged area of the lake when we can promise members it won’t cost them a dues increase today?
If we take funds from the Capital Reserve Fund to improve existing assets, we will invariably leave the fund short of money when it comes time to renovate or replace other assets. How could it be otherwise if we haven’t been setting aside funds for these improvements?
The integrity of the Capital Reserve Fund depends on it being used strictly for the restoration or replacement of assets, not their improvement. If we want to improve an asset we should treat the improvement as we would creating a new asset: (1) identify the cost of the improvement; (2) vote a dues increase to cover that cost, and (3) increase contributions to the Capital Reserve Fund so that the asset can be restored to its improved condition when it wears out.
Lumping capital asset expenditure votes together as we routinely do at our annual meetings makes sense when we are simply maintaining existing assets. It doesn’t make sense, however, for asset improvements. When we improve existing assets we are reshaping Quivira, and each time we direct funds to special projects we should make this clear to our members via a separate vote
Capital reserve funds are great tools for assuring financial stability. Following the guidelines described here would fulfill the original intent of the Quivira, Inc. reserve funds, assure their financial soundness over time and avoid funding crises that could affect home values.
~Larry Meeker
[Editor’s note: Larry Meeker was Treasurer, then President of
the Q Inc.Board of Directors when the Capital Equipment Fund
and Capital Reserve Fund were first established. He has also
served as Mayor of the City of Lake Quivira.}

Dog Registration deadline is May 1

City Clerk Report by Diane Newton
Just a friendly reminder that the dogs tags may be purchased at the City Hall during regular business hours.  The fees are as follows:
$15.00 for the first dog in each household.
$25.00 for second dog.
$50.00 for third and each additional dog in household.

These fees shall be due and payable on or before May 1.
Please provide a copy of the vaccine shots from your animal clinic.
Penalties on overdue license fees are:
$10.00 for each dog registered within 10 days following the date required.
$25.00 for each dog registered within 30 days.
$50.00 for each dog that is registered within 60 days of required date.
$100.00 for each dog that is not registered within 60 days of the date required.

The annual Pet Immunization Day will be scheduled in April at the Fire Station.  Date will be announced and published at a later day.
Please stop by City Hall for your 2015 tag accompanied by a piece of candy-always available. City Hall is also known as “Candy Hall.”
Special thanks to the Mayor & City Council for all their hard work.

Mayor’s Report

By Wayne Hidalgo, Mayor,City of Lake Quivira

April 7 will be election day in Johnson County and for the City of Lake Quivira. You will be voting for a mayor, who serves a two-year term, and for three council members, who serve four year terms. If you are like many of us, having two governing bodies can be confusing.
Quivira Inc. has an election for board members in of March every year. That election is held at the annual Quivira Inc. meeting in late March, and each foundation member gets one vote, or put another way, one vote per household. At the City election, every registered voter in your household is eligible to vote: three registered voters, three votes, etc. Please vote!
More dog talk: You may register your pet with the City from now until May 1 without a penalty. After that there are fines for late registration that are progressively higher the longer you wait. Last year we had fewer late registrations and hope to eliminate them this year.
We anticipate work to begin on the Emergency Exit this spring.
Enough city stuff; Susan and I went to the Far East in January, and here are a few impressions:
• We visited Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore. Without exception, the people in every country (we learned that Singapore is a city-state) were friendly and helpful to two Americans who stumbled around, got lost and speak only English (I also speak Southern).
•  All the countries are upgrading their infrastructure; construction cranes everywhere.
* Singapore is clean and flashy. But follow the rules: signs at the airport let you know the penalty for bringing illegal drugs into the country is death.
Will try to end next month’s report on a happier note.

Proposed Changes to Rules and Regulations

Penalties for Violation of Rules & Regulations
The first four paragraphs of the current rules (Penalties For Violation Of Rules & Regulations) read as follows:
The penalties for violations of any rule or regulation of Quivira, Inc. unless specifically stated elsewhere in the Rules and Regulations are provided below. These penalties are to be applied in conjunction with Article V, Section 5 of the By-Laws; Article Ill, Section 2 of the Restrictions and Covenants and all other penalty provisions provided in the Rules and regulations.
Reports of violations that cause a notice to be issued will normally be made by the guards, however, they may also be made by Security officers and members of the Board of Directors as well as any member of Quivira. All reports are to be in writing.
These Quivira Rules and Regulations and the penalty system included herein does not negate in any way the privilege of Quivirans to use the City of Lake Quivira Police Department or the County Sheriff’s Department for situations that should properly be handled by them.
The new sections would read [added words in bold type]:
Quivira, Inc. will notify each member by mail of each violation of the rules and regulations, by the member, family member, and their guests.
A. All violations will be accumulated for all members of the family and their guests for a 12 month period dating from the date of the first notice.
B. The first violation of a rule or regulation may result in a fine of up to $250.00 at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
C. A second violation of a rule or regulation during a 12 month period may result in a fine of up to $500.00 at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

D. The third violation of a rule or regulation during a 12 month period denies the family of all Quivira membership privileges except for ingress and egress for a 30 day period. The violation may also result in a fine of up to $1,000.00 at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
E. For notices beyond the third notice the Board of Directors may impose an additional suspension of membership privileges of 30 days or greater for each violation. Further, the Board of Directors may at its discretion impose a fine of up to $2000.00 for each violation.
F. If the Board of Directors determines that a violation constitutes a threat to persons or property the Board of Directors may immediately impose penalties provided for in subsection D. above regardless of the number of prior violations and may at its discretion impose such further penalties as may be appropriate to the circumstances.
G. Action by the Board of Directors to reprimand, suspend or cancel a membership for failure to obey the Rules and Regulations may be taken only after the member shall have an opportunity to be heard at a meeting of the Board of Directors. Written notice of the time and place of the Board of Directors meeting shall be given at least seven (7) days in advance of such meeting and shall include a statement of the facts and allegations to be considered at the meeting.

From the Chef’s Table – February 2015

Greetings, members! The calendar quickly turned over into 2015, and I noticed it only took me a week (this time) to stop writing 2014 on all of my documents. This is either from my years moving more quickly, or from my just getting older. I guess it’s a combination of the two?
This New Year brought with it a welcome change. My staff and I provided the complimentary hors d’oeuvres for our new General Manager’s welcoming soirée on January 24. The members appeared to have a great time, and my culinary team also got to meet and welcome Dennis (and Lori) Nighswonger. Welcome to Lake Quivira, Dennis! Also, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Johnson for winning the special $500 Saturday Night Fever drawing. The atmosphere was festive, and I especially want to thank the members who filled our Dining Room following the reception. A full Clubhouse is a happy Clubhouse!
While thinking of gratitude, I also want to thank John Welter and Bridgett Schmitz for all of their help during the absence of a permanent General Manager. I am pleased that I continued to learn (and grow) as your Executive Chef, and I honestly could not have done this without their help. Thank you, John and Bridgett! I have enjoyed this time going through all four seasons here at the Lake.
Speaking of time, Dennis wasted little of it getting acclimated to the Clubhouse, especially in my area. From visual and tastes to consistency of execution, I’ve learned three key things from our collective discussions. (Dennis went so far as to taking John and me to an area restaurant to discuss concepts, presentations and everything else we could talk about during the three hours we allocated to “getting outside of our comfort zone.”) Back to my notes, I wrote down the following:
1. Everything needs to be watched–“like a hawk”–when food leaves my kitchen. All three of our names (Dennis’, John’s and mine)are on each dish, and when it is placed in front of a member, consistency of product is, first and foremost, the most important thing we do.
2. Embrace change and evolving expectations of our membership. What has worked in the past may not work today. And some things we’ve tried–without prior success–may, in fact, work today.
3. DEPEND on constructive feedback, and do not hesitate to make necessary changes (which include the tough choices). When members provide feedback, we understand there will be those who experienced the same lapse in quality, but voted with their feet (ouch), and chose to dine elsewhere for their next hospitality experience.
We also discussed plate presentation, serving vessels (i.e., china, bowls, etc.), menu design and many other issues. I would be remiss if I left out the most important topic of our discussions. We need to take personal pride in what we do because “branding” (marketing) the Clubhouse cannot be fully maximized if we are not taking the necessary steps towards getting it right nearly every time! If the culinary and service staffs meet this challenge, then we will succeed–leading to members once again referring to the Clubhouse as their “first choice” dining destination. If we do not take pride in what we do, we know there are many competitors anxiously waiting to compete for your hard-earned dollars. After my first meetings with Dennis and John, I have concluded that the future of Lake Quivira’s Clubhouse is now. And I accept the challenge to continue to raise the bar.
On the subject of our “future being now,” John Welter shared with me there was discussion at a recent Board meeting about enhancing the Terrace dining area with accent lighting. During this same conversation, he also showed me the evidence of a dining “membership shift” from 2013 to 2014, both literally and financially. There has been much discussion about the considerable uptick in banquet business (weddings) this past year, but there has also been a sizable paradigm shift in member usage. John provided me with the following:
Food and Beverage Revenues:  (2013, 2014, Variance)
Dining Room/Bar:  ($400,022, $412,693, +3.2%)
Sunset Terrace/19th Hole: ($98,428, $142,809,  +45.1%)
Banquets: $449,125, $591,402, +31.7%)
Clearly, the fastest growing area of our Clubhouse (in just one year) is outdoor dining. This is not a coincidence in terms of membership dining trends across the country. John also showed me an article Dennis gave to him. It was scribed by Bill McMahon (of the McMahon Group) and was entitled “How to Save Today’s Country Club.” It referenced a recent survey of over 1,300 clubs across America, and the top two fastest growing segments in today’s club amenities?
#1 Very Casual Dining;  #2 Outdoor Dining.
Noting the two year analysis above, does it sound like us? I do hope we can take full advantage of this ideal space on the edge of the most beautiful lake in the area! With nice patio furniture, additional umbrellas, live entertainment and the new patio heaters, we should continue to find ways to capitalize on this shift in member expectations. If it takes better lighting? Wow, how cool would that be to be able to see my food presentations after the sun goes down! (I’m all in on this idea.)
I do hope you join us for the Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dinner for Two on Saturday, February 14. When I can feature foods such as Lobster, Sole, Strip Loin, Baby Carrots, Chocolate Ganache and Champagne-soaked. . . (well you get the point); I guarantee I am going to do my best to dazzle four important senses; visual, aroma, texture and taste. Heck, I’ll toss in the “sound” of the cork popping out of the half bottle of bubbly Richard will have waiting at your table for two. . . and that will take care of all five senses. Now I’m hungry again. . .
Bon Apetite! I look forward to seeing you at the club!
~Chef Michael

President’s Report – February 2015

By Kent Best, President, Q Inc. Board of Directors

Greetings, Friends & Neighbors:
“Anybody here seen my old friend Bobby
Can you tell me where he’s gone?
Thought I saw him walking up over the hill
With Abraham, Martin & John…”
~Dion,1968

About four years ago when I was really starting to delve into things at the Board level, it took a couple of months for me to talk to my wife about the fact that I was certain there was something not jiving with the way Lake Quivira built our budgets and the process we used. Of course it mostly looked fine, and we had done it this way for many years, so who in the heck do I think I am to be questioning any of this.
The more I asked questions of fellow committee members and board members, the more I received the answer “We have always done it this way.” Many times when I would think, “There it is; I found the crack in the wall,” somehow we would miraculously sell a few houses or the huge tax benefit that Martha Leonard-Voight worked on arrived. Then we’d have a couple of great operating months, so we would appear to be in great shape. All the while, we were compressing 100 lbs. of potatoes into a 50 lb. bag. We had practiced scrimping and saving for so long and become so darn good at it, it became the norm. . . or our culture, if you will.
As we would cruise gently around the lake on a Tuesday evening or on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it was prevalent to hear someone sarcastically say, “I wonder what the people in such and such a place are doing this afternoon or evening?”
“Can you believe all of the beauty we have here at Lake Quivira? Gosh, we have a private gated community, a gorgeous golf course, a beautiful clubhouse and our own lake, not to mention a stables area.”
Our Badge of Honor:
* Must be the most affordable community like this in the area.
* We wonder what kind of community we will become when we grow up.
* Wonder what other communities are doing this afternoon–should we care?
* Have we conditioned ourselves and grown to accept some level of mediocrity?
* Or less?
* Or are we a changing culture in a changing time where the members desire more?
* Is it a sign of the times or a sign of competition or a sign of satisfaction or dissatisfaction?

The “T” in the Road: In 2008 Lake Quivira hired the McGladrey organization to conduct a study for strategic planning/master planning/or at the very least GET the members OPINION on planning. Two days ago I had a respected member of the community really backslap the selection of the organization that executed the study. I am that person who does not just disagree, but I have thought about that for two days and am very concerned about the criticism that was leveled. The claim was that McGladrey was just a golf company and the study couldn’t have been what Lake Quivira actually needed.
Folks, we need to stop selfishly looking at what “I want” and immerse ourselves in the TWO most important points that Patti Banks from Vireo Community Planning told the Strategic Planning Committee three years ago and that is: “The MOST important issues facing especially resort style communities or country club style communities like ours are Sustainability of this type of community and Competition from other types of evolving communities ARE the two largest challenges to protecting our way of life in this type of community.”
Six or seven years later, we cannot start espousing that someone didn’t really like the opinions or the survey answers we received, so we should ignore that study or chastise it! We know what we are, who we are, what we like and what we are not so fond of. I will take a shot at clearing up three or four things.
From the G.S. Robins report we have at minimum an outline of our asset valuations. We can give ourselves leeway from 3-5-7 years of depreciation schedules and specifically put our fingertips on approximately two million dollars of fully depreciated assets. We use our home sales and the $20,000 membership fee to support our capital asset budget. As long as we had an average of 15-16 new foundation members annually (which comes through real estate sales–not the resident swap and shop that goes on here regularly), we would receive our $320,000 or so to replenish the coffers.
Since 2007 we have a cumulative $760,000 shortfall to our capital asset funding due to those years where there were fewer than 15-16 new foundation members. From the Robins study (a professional firm hired to do these studies for communities all over the United States), we know that no matter how we evaluate–this way or that way–our assets’ lifetime useful value, we come up short. We are behind. Can we catch up? Absolutely, with a plan that can be held accountable, BUT MUST have flexibility as specific needs arise. And yes, we must have a capital dues increase since we have woefully fallen behind for some 20+ years. Mr. Terbovich, Dr. Johnson and Mr. McCamish have served for many years on the Board, and we consistently hear that not funding depreciation has always been an issue. It still is.
ROADS: Just like you would plan to change the oil in your car every 3 to 4 thousand miles, we could plan on replacing 1.2-1.5 miles of our 11.2 miles of roads every year or every other year from now on, including parking lots or any additional streets added due to any strategic plan or perimeter property that may come our way. From two different long-term economic financial studies and the actual cost of what LQ did this past year, the annualized costs for the 1.2-1.5 miles would be $155,000-195,000 per year. Unbeknownst to many, we actually had Shafer, Kline & Warren do a study of our asphalt depth, underground compaction and actual contents that make up the base under the streets. This was done when questions arose from the new JOCO water line installation. While things were dug up, this was the perfect time to validate any questions.
Your Board of Directors have completed three meetings where over 75 percent of the meeting content was operating budget, capital equipment needs, and capital project expenditures for the next five years. We have scrutinized and eliminated “wish lists,” leaving us the necessities to properly maintain and replenish our assets.
Clubhouse: From this past year’s experiences I can authenticate TWO very specific issues that five very similar clubs have. Please, please don’t fall for that line that Lake Quivira is different because we have a lake and a golf course, three dams and a city and blah, blah, blah blah. . . Blah! We have more components. Yes, that requires a more extensive analysis to many areas. Regardless, every club espoused to that once they committed to manage all aspects of their clubs as a business, the vision for each of them became much clearer.
If we think we can execute twenty more large events than we’re doing, manage a full-service dining facility, have “on time food service in the 19th hole AND the Sunset Terrace and the Beach Grill and the Half Way House WITHOUT committing to expanding our kitchen facilities, then we have our heads buried you now where. Through all of the investigations, I have yet to see a profitable clubhouse. Therefore, I guess we should just close it down. . . NOT!!
Our new General Manager Dennis Nighswonger provides us with an expert set of eyes on dining and club facilities as these are his passion, i.e. “members’ experience!”
Fellow Lake Quivirans, Gayle and I are part of you;  don’t shoot the messenger. We get what we pay for. We should aspire to “enjoy our club, our facilities and our amenities.” We may not have to replace every item of our HVAC system, but we must find the solution to creating more cool for upstairs and downstairs, and this is not negotiable if we are going to enhance the member’s experience, not to mention the visitors who elect to entertain here. We have a large expenditure on our hands to fix our HVAC problem, which could easily be $200,000. What we cannot do is shortcut.
I will personally guarantee to investigate this situation to find the best solution and bring to the Board for approval. Dennis, Gary and I are currently working with a firm with their own engineers on staff to help identify the problems and the potential solution.
Golf Course: Here is what I have heard once we made an example budget available to any who attended the Nov. 28th strategic plan meeting or any of our “budget Board meetings”: “I don’t golf. We don’t golf. I don’t like the new design.” “Really? Have you seen the details?” Why would anyone make assumptions, especially when the people working on it KNOW how critical every step we take is being analyzed, whether it is the cost, the ambiance for the entire community, the playability factor for anyone (women, men, children, high or low handicappers, old or young) and off lake members who support and are part of our Lake Quivira family?
Of the last three citywide golf course ratings, taking into consideration the public and private sectors, we have been rated the 25th best course on one and below 25 on two of those lists. There are many ways to interpret and many factors that may be applicable, but the facts are that perception is reality as it is presented by “paint them all with one brush mentality” that exists, once written or read.
Remember back at the beginning where we are in some level of competition whether we like it or not. I am not suggesting we become a championship golf course, but I will stand by this thought: we have at least seven golf holes that we should be outfitting the golfers with bicycle helmets and goggles. Hole one shouldn’t hit into nine and three, two shouldn’t hit into three and four, three shouldn’t hit into one and two, four shouldn’t hit into two and seven, five shouldn’t hit into six or vice versa. So, seven shouldn’t hit back into four or to Pflumm, but we do. Maybe the whole problem is our golfing prowess?
For some reason, and you and I know what it was, when we rebuilt our greens a few years ago, we didn’t replace all the greens. We left five greens “out there” for further analysis–like they may fix themselves along the way. Number two green has been a disaster since the day someone thought it was finished being rebuilt.
The facts are that we have been spending money on a golf course architect who is an expert at reallocating spaces to enhance existing golf courses for a very affordable cost. While we have equipment that must disturb an area, should we not look at getting the most bang for our buck anyway? This adjustment to three tee box complex will have safety and playability enhancement implications for anyone who plays golf here.
And yes, there is a cost, but it’s part of the reinvestment into our largest income-producing “asset” next to our foundation membership dues. That would be our off-lake golf and junior golf memberships which gross approximately $415,000, which doesn’t count for any event or entertainment activity from these groups.
Golf Course and Maintenance Equipment: Once the finance committee, the strategic planning committee and the Board of Directors became acutely aware of our shortcomings in “any planning scenario,” we have reached out to each manager to list specifically the mandatory budgetary needs if you will. We have equipment with nearly 5,000 working hours, which, by most accounts, have been worn out since 3,000 hours. Our equipment is identified, and we know we need approximately $190,000 – @200,000 annually to put our capital equipment needs on the same path as our roads rebuild.
I want to take this opportunity to thank community members namely Dave Starr, Steve Sestek and the remainder of the finance committee for many hours of investigation and making sense of this challenge we face. I would also like to thank Warren McCamish and the golf committee for continuing to look at possibilities to enhance our golf experience here at the Lake. The community would not be aware of the time Tom Aikmus, Bridgett Schmitz, Jeff Eldridge, Gary Anderson, John Welter and Kathy Niemeyer have spent zeroing in on every aspect of their areas to help us move forward. Thank you!
We will have a public meeting on Sun., Feb. 22, at 6 p.m., in the Clubhouse Ballroom to present very specific budgeting content in preparation for our March 30 Annual Meeting. I encourage you to attend and become fully informed.
Kathy at the gate asked me to put in a request for everyone to please put their stickers on the vehicles…..NOW!
Did any of you see that Rod McKuen died? In the summer of 1971 a couple friends and I walked into the Mayflower Bar in Cheyenne during Frontier Days. The bartender was a friend of ours, but he cornered me and said you ought to talk to this guy down here, he’s pretty cool. Of course that was a setup as Rod McKuen actually thought he was invisible. But I introduced myself and explained I knew his poetry and music writings and just wanted to commend him for his work. I was a broke college kid, but bought him a drink . He asked me not to mention he was sitting there, and I obliged.
Till the sheep in the valley come home my way
Till the stars fall around me and find me alone
When the sun comes a-singin’ I’ll still be waitin’
For Jean,   ~Rod McKuen

See you around the Lake. Please wave!