Happy Monday everybody,
It’s been awhile since the last letter; a pause that refreshes, hopefully. This letter looks to be lengthy from the start, let’s jump right in and cover the following areas as we set in for the Club’s summer session:
- Junior America’s Cup Team Housing – A Plea
- Locker Rooms
- The Lower Court Area Property Enhancement
- Membership Expansion
- July Third Thursday – Details
Junior America’s Cup Team Housing – A Plea
Have you seen the Junior America’s Cup Team working out most mornings at the gym? They are a terrific group of young people; charming, polite, and engaging – it’s so nice to see. They are also very appreciative of what we’ve provided them and their coach, Charlie Ogletree, can’t say enough good things about our Club. Charlie asked me if I could forward a special request to our membership on behalf of his team. They are in need of help in the housing department. These are great kids (19-24), if you have the ability to house one or several of them for some portion of the summer, please contact Charlie directly (email@example.com) or Leslie, who’s coordinating their housing needs (firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer in this area.
When we last left our story, I was falling on the sword and apologizing for the miserable execution of the new rule banning U16 children from the adult locker rooms and fielding a ton of feedback from members (thank goodness for the timely vacation). At the end of today’s letter I have posted member’s responses to the news. As you’ll see, there were three types of responses; drop dead (always a pleasure), what took you so long (surprisingly large number of these), and a whole new class of response. The new class will restore your faith in our membership, it was from a few mothers with young children who expressed their displeasure for the personal inconvenience this rule causes them along with an understanding of why the rule was implemented and – this is the best part – recommendations of what should be done to the alternative locker/bathroom solutions for parent’s who can’t take their young children into the adult locker rooms anymore. Those recommendations were forwarded directly to the management team for immediate implementation. I’m hoping we close the gap between the adult locker rooms and the alternative this week. It’s at the top of my priority list now that I’m back. Stay tuned … and thank you.
The Lower Court Area Property Enhancement
Even though Jerry continues to fight through his first line attack in his battle with Lung Cancer, he also has a daily presence at the Club once again (have you stopped by to see him yet?). As such, he has recommended that we proceed with the member vote regarding the approval of the Lower Court Area Property Enhancement project. We’ll send out a schedule of the Town Hall meeting, which must precede a vote, along with the dates for the voting process itself this week.
There are two major projects we’re undertaking at the Club today; the Lower Court Area Property Enhancement and the Bar & Grill area – front & back (and as mentioned in a previous letter, the back takes precedence). We have enough money in the coffers today to execute both of these projects to completion over the next year. That means money out of savings; no borrowed money, no member assessment, no increase in dues associated with building or maintenance of the expansion. The cost of these two projects will come from money already saved (I hope that’s clear, I get a lot of questions about this). However, it will significantly reduce our savings. We recently queried the Town regarding their disposition on expanding TPC’s membership in our Conditional Use Permit. They believed a 5% jump in both regular (700 families currently) and senior members (175 families currently) would be easily approved. There are currently over 50 families on the in-town waiting list and over 50 more on the out-of-town list. Should we consider expanding the membership rolls? Only a 5% increase (~50 families) would send approximately $900,000 into savings. Given demand out there for membership to our Club, is this something to consider? What do you think? This will come up in the July or Aug Board meeting, I’m sure, knowing your feelings about this ahead of time is vital to the process.
July Third Thursday
As promised last month, I’m running the July Third Thursday (7/18) – let’s see if we can’t have a little fun. The theme for this month’s Third Thursday is wine tasting. Not only will we all learn more about our own palate’s reaction to a few varietals but you’ll get a chance to boost your wine collection as well.
Here’s the rough description:
- All participants must sign-up ahead of time and list their two favorite varietals. Participants may participate as a couple or individually. Participation will be capped off at approximately 40 participants (I’m guessing that will amount to approximately 70-ish people)
- Each participant (as a couple or individually) will be assigned a varietal group and each varietal group will have 7-10 participants at their varietal table.
- Each participant will bring 2 bottles of the BEST wine in their varietal under a pre-determined price point (cost constraints will be strictly enforced – you’ll see why shortly). Think $25/white and maybe $35/red but you’ll learn more when you sign up.
- One bottle from each participant at a varietal table gets brown bagged by the table judge; the other bottle gets placed in that table’s winner circle.
- Table participants blind taste and score each blinded bottle.
- At the end of the tasting, all scorecards are tallied and the BEST blind bottle is unveiled.
- Whoever brought the winning bottle takes home the winner circle (7-10 bottles) for their table that evening.
I envision there being about 5-ish varietal tables spread out around the perimeter of the Bar & Grill that evening with a long table in the middle of the room filled with hot/cold hors d’oeuvre. Surely we’ll all get to learn a little more about a new wine or two that we didn’t know before and most likely make a few new friends along the way. This can’t miss – it will be fun. Please email me with your participant interest (1 or 2 people with names) and two varietals you’d be happy to participate in.
Okay – that’s all from here. I hope you all have a great week.
All the best,
Responses to President’s Letter #26 (Locker Room Rule Change):
- …I would like to add on the Behavior front that the use of the adult locker rooms by kids continues to be an issue. At our other Club, for example, no kids below 18 are allowed in the Adult locker rooms. Period. Given the multiple alternatives Parents have to accommodate their kids at the TPC through boys/girls and other locker rooms–one way to position this is that I have a suspicion that our Insurance Carrier is not aware that we have open, exposed hot rocks/coals in the Sauna and that they would be mandating this change in the rules. Anyway, good luck and great job leading this thankless group of TPCers.
- One of your absolute best! Thank you.
- … And good job to you and the board for tackling the entitlement epidemic our community is facing! Ps. If my kids are ever misbehaving at the club, I would sincerely hope that someone would call them out on their behavior!
- Excellent as always!
- Look what I found this morning on the lower courts! Someone punched a hole into the fabric of our tennis cabanas that sit in between the courts and zip tied some graduation beads to it. Isn’t that clever! I swear if I had seen that I would have strangled them! Assuming it was a kid, but seriously, who does this crap! 2 weeks ago I went into the ladies bathroom in the entrance and there were spit balls on the walls. Spit balls in a ladies bathroom!?!?! Don’t know how we get people to stop treating the club like a dump, because that’s what it’s going to be if all this continues. Hate to bitch, but the club is like our second home, not some crappy rental.
- Thanks for the update – can we so get some cheap seat cushions for the teak furniture we are about to re-finish? Won’t cost much and will make those chairs much more comfortable. Also, it’s worth noting that parents with small kids are ‘invited’ to use the family shows / dressing room just outside the pool office – this goes mostly unused but is a great option for small kiddos. Keeps them in one place, which as we all know is a big challenge in the main locker room.
- Go Mike.
- I am sorry that parents with infants will no longer be allowed in the adult locker rooms, but I saw this coming six years ago when I attended one Board meeting at which a narrow majority of activist mother’s essentially blew me off when I complained about young children (no longer toddling) using the adult locker rooms as rec rooms. I was neither invited nor encouraged to attend another Board meeting after that. I continue to hope for some sensible compromise, but until members with young children are willing to acknowledge that the club is not exclusively for their benefit and that they and their offspring should behave accordingly, the path adopted of restricting the adult locker rooms solely to adults is the only viable one. In all events no child over the age of three should be in the adult locker rooms. This will hopefully have the salutary effect of getting more parents of young children into the boys and girls locker rooms where their presence will have a moderating effect. In the event a young child is accompanied by a parent or older sibling of the opposite sex who cannot accompany him or her to the boy or girl’s locker room, I would hope that the lifeguards could be proactive in escorting and in themselves from time to time policing the conduct of the early adolescence crowd. I was a life guard for several summers during my youth (circa 1961-1963), and I expect life guards to be proactive and to do more than simply watch the pool. Keep up the good work! You are a super president and I do appreciate all you are doing for the TPC.
- Au contrare on your “clumsy and inarticulate” lead in. You’ve managed to pen an instant classic.
- I just want to tell you that I love your letters. You are on point, up front and funny. Thank you for all you are doing. Also I am busy June 20 but count me in as a person (couple) who like the adult idea. And will be at the wine tasting in July!!
- You are doing an excellent job. Keep up the good work!!!
- You keep making me proud Mike. We are behind you 100 percent. And you’re funny (Ed insert: looking).
- No hate mail from me. You are awesome and your emails are very informative and at times, funny. Love the locker room scene.
- First of all, I love your letters. They help me feel ever closer to the club which has become such a huge part of my family’s life in the short time since we became members. I had a quick question regarding the rules around children in locker rooms. To be more specific, it is around parents in kids locker rooms. I have a 3 year old daughter and I often help her change out of her bathing suit in the adult locker room while doing the same myself before heading to the bar and grill for dinner. Often, I might be the only parent there with her. Is it considered ok for me to change in the boys locker room with her? I’m not sure where else to change her and me at the same time and I wouldn’t feel super comfortable asking her to do it by herself. Thanks for any clarification you can offer. And thanks again for stewarding the club in such an open, honest and responsible fashion.
- Thanks Mike. I am completely in support of everything. I will try to be there on the 20th, will have to miss July 18 and the one in August. But, I really commend you for doing everything that you are doing. And, I thank you and the Board and everyone who works so hard on all these matter.
- Thank you for your commitment to the club.
- While I understand and empathize with the reasons for not allowing children under 16 in the locker rooms, I find this policy completely unacceptable without an adequate alternative. My family, and many others paid a very high initiation fee to join the club, and we are now being treated as second class citizens. I feel that at a minimum the club should improve the kids’ locker rooms including expansion for the higher traffic, addition of more toilets, showers & lockers and non-slip floors. Frankly, the board should have at least asked the families with young children for their ideas on acceptable alternatives, and I find this lack of consideration very disturbing. We have been very happy with nearly all policies and changes in the club to date, but the way you have implemented this change is wrong.
- No worries…While I have a 4 year old and want to use the adult shower with her, I COMPLETELY understand and support it. I will kick kids out when I see them
- Ok mike – you asked for it so I’ll oblige. I get the nuisance and disruption to the “peace” of having toddlers (under 6 aged kids) in the adult locker rooms as it pains me to spend more time then necessary trying to get my kids showered, dressed and out of there with minimal noise. There is one Family bathroom. Are you suggesting that all members with kids 2-5 wait in line to use the one family shower facility for their kids after a day of swimming? Or that adults themselves can’t take a shower without having their young ones run around unsupervised in the pool area or on the field? Is there even shower facilities in the kids locker room? I don’t recall seeing them. Are members comfortable with grown men taking showers (albeit with their own kids 2-5) in the kids locker room with non-family 7-12 year olds (if there were showers there which I’m certain there are not). Putting aside showers, where the heck am I supposed to change clothes with my young kids? Same goes for using the bathroom and having to take your 2-3 year old with you. Am I supposed to have to use the kids restroom myself when I have take my 2-3 year old with me so as not to leave unsupervised? The boy’s restroom can get pretty gross. You planning on having maintenance going through the kids bathrooms every hour to clean them up? I guess there are the lobby bathrooms. Is that the plan? I think this rule is a bit overbearing, as the club doesn’t have a great alternative for those members with very young children in an age bracket where they can’t be left unattended for even a few minutes given the pool access. I’m sure there are quite a few families which fit this bill…and not all of us show up at the club with a staff to manage the little ones :). On another note, you all planning on fencing off the hill as part of the patio/field area? See kids going up that hill all the time. Some steep areas. See quite a few falling and rolling down. Not sure what liability club has here. Attentive parents keep their kids off there. But still see many others roaming up there. I certainly would have been one in my younger days.
- You’re doing a hell of a job under exceptionally tough circumstances. Don’t let the bastards get you down. The rest of the silent majority and I appreciate your work, sacrifice and honesty.
- I am reading your letters and agree with all you are trying to accomplish. Great communication to the members. On a personal note I am so sympathetic with the issues you are struggling with—Membership behavior, Non-member vs member use of the club, underage usage of the adult locker room. I don’t know if you are even aware of the fact that these are the exact issues that I tried to tackle while on the Board. I received so little support. Only the bad member behavior was addressed, but obviously never vigorously followed through with, as it stills seems to be a problem. It was so frustrating. I congratulate you on trying to solve the issues you are dealing with. You have my virtual vote (because being a Senior member I have no vote). Once again good luck.
- No beat down from this member. Completely agree that, just because someone pays an interesting amount of money as an initiation fee, they cannot allow their children to disrespect other members or the club property. To ignore these behavior issues would ultimately result in some ugly confrontations with other members and an unpleasant club environment. Unfortunate, but the right decision for the good of the club.
- No complaints on any front from the us…LOVE the locker room change!!! Yay…
- totally get the locker room shake-down. Even with three kids under the age of six, who use it, collectively, on a regular basis,, I say it was coming! However, what I don’t ‘get’ is all the money going towards the back patio. Fire pits, fancy seating, etc., its all going to get totally trashed! Last summer, I spent a lot a lot of time back there from about 11am-2pm and by the time I left it was riddled with stains and trash! The kids-from swim team, camp, after school, etc., just descend on that area and destroy! Unintentionally or not, but as the majority of these kids pass through-insupervised-well, you can imagine the damage they can impart in a short amount of time. For what’s its worth, I say, save your pennies and buy a ‘real’ kitchen and invest in a decent chef and management! Lastly, the Kid’s Childcare area is a mess! Trash everywhere on the small outside play space, all the time. Frankly, it’s gross and unsanitary.
- Good luck recovering from the injuries sustained in the “no kids in the locker rooms” brawl…..
- Actually, the locker room debacle is linked to the redesign in 2005 too (as well as the small kitchen and wide entry way). If the kids’ locker rooms were bigger (and adults’ smaller), I don’t think as many people would bring kids into the adult locker room. But that’s just my opinion, and I apologize for adding to your enormous email inbox after this letter….
- I am rarely one to complain but yes, I think the rule about young children in the tiny yucky girls locker room is a nightmare for mom’s. I’m always in the locker room with our baby and 4 year old…my 7 year old has not been in the women’s locker room in years…. It actually completely changes my feeling about the club as it is tiny, cramped and plain gross….actually worse than the Rec locker room I used for swim team and high school. So basically I spent $18K and $260 per month to have that dump as my go to for showering with my kids. If this is the new rule, you had better reprioritive things quickly and get that thing looking half way decent and have it cleaned 3x as often. Clearly the board is all families with older children. Disgusting.
- I don’t envy your position on having to send out the communications on the board notes. I also love to see that the board is setting new rules that will ultimately benefit everyone and make the club more enjoyable. Having young kids, I have some questions about your comments about the locker rooms. While I think the new policy will make the adult locker rooms nicer, it doesn’t seem like the alternative facilities are set up to accommodate this well. It would be great if you can make some suggestions around how parents with young children should deal with the new policy. As an example, I’m not sure what you expect the moms with boys (or dads with little girls) to do since they can’t go in the opposite sex kids locker room and there is only one small family bathroom. Unfortunately for me I fall in the category of having two young boys who need help to shower and change their clothes. We obviously don’t want parents changing their kids outside, but its not clear on what you are suggesting as an alternative. I’m mostly thinking about how my wife is going get my youngest son showered, changed or take him to the bathroom. I don’t think it’s appropriate or safe for her to have to send him into a bathroom unsupervised with older children, adults he doesn’t know or in a place where he could get hurt. It would also be great to know if the club is going to improve the existing accommodations to make sure they are cleaned, have soap, towels and the other basics that often seem to be missing. The current upkeep of the boys locker room is pretty bad and it would be encouraging to know that we have plans to improve them.
- lol..great letter…
- Thanks, Mike. Good newsletter, Mike. And no hate mail from me on banning kids from the adult locker rooms! Parents can go in the kids locker rooms if they need. Likewise, the pinch points at the entry sound good. And I’m not in any hurry for new furniture for the front of the house, I don’t understand why we’re spending money on new furniture anyway, the existing stuff is fine!
- I’m very surprised to hear of the new rule not allowing children in the adult locker rooms? This isn’t a fancy golf club, it’s a family swim and tennis club. I think we are solving the problem with a rash measure when in fact it just needs to have some enforcing around the rules. If you kick out all children under 16, you are also not allowing probably half of the adult members of the club (those with children 7 and under, that’s the current rule) from using the locker room. That isn’t fair and is discriminatory. I think this should be voted on larger club-wide level. The worst part about this decision is that my family and our 4 children now have to shower in the girls locker room that isn’t staffed with towels, shampoo, soap, razors etc… All the items I need in order to shower after a day at the pool. The club really needs to address the awful state of the boys and girls locker rooms and bring them up to par with the adult locker rooms in terms of cleanliness and supplies in order to make this rule into effect. I am surprised and shocked that this wasn’t mentioned as an item being addressed as a result. Completely unfair and almost discriminatory in my opinion. Where is the changing table going to be located? The kids locker rooms are already incredibly overcrowded and cramped and only have 3 showers. During swim team time they are basically unusable. How are you going to accommodate all the people who now have to use these locker rooms?
- Locker Rooms – Thank God! What took you so long?
- Since the board’s unanimous approval of no kids under 15 in the adult locker, I am requesting that the girls locker room be equipped with the same amenities as the adult locker room. For examples, hair driers, feminine products, soaps, lotions, etc, as well as regularly maintenance. Each time I’ve walked into the girls locker room it has been a mess with hair on the floor and clothes thrown all over the place. My kids are only 3 & 5 so it will be a long time before I’m able to use the adult locker room again. Having paid the $18,500 initiation fee & $259 in monthly dues, I expect to have the same quality experience as all the members and not be punished for being a mother to young children.
- Dear Mike – I wasn’t going to pile on last week because I’m sure you were hearing it from all sides, but I do want you to know that as one of those moms with an under 7 year old child, it was a huge disappointment to get that letter telling me my only option now was to wait in line for the family bathroom (btw – that is NOT a solution because it’s always occupied during prime time) or take my daughter into the junior girl’s room which is incredibly cramped as it is and has no amenities other than shampoo. Since when did little girls hair not warrant conditioner for example? I do hope you and the rest of the board takes this issue seriously and considers the needs of moms like me who are indeed responsible for the kids’ behavior inside and outside the locker rooms. Getting some amenities and upgrades to the girls’ locker rooms is the minimum that can be done but I’m not sure how that will alleviate space constraints when you often have several young girls (swim team and others) in there during prime time and now add adults with their underage children. I’m looking forward to hearing how the board plans on addressing the issue.
- We certainly screwed up on the kids locker rooms. Worse than that, we pretty much totally folded when confronted by onslaught of outraged mama bears!! Got to hand it to you – you have a lot of courage and some pretty thick skin. I suspect your inbox these days is not so pretty! That said – support you 100%. Moms can endure a bit of inconvenience. Locker rooms were designed for, and meant for adults!!
- Mike, While I can totally appreciate want of change in the locker room procedures I believe we need to have a club vote or at the very least some discussion. This affects our family club too much without comment.
- My problems lie with:
* Horribly poor enforcement of the policy in the past
* Poor signage of the past policy
* No suggested solution for those of us with children under 5. Hear me out on this please … If I am up at TPC and need to shower after being with my three kids do you really expect me to leave my 4 year old out on the pool deck with just a fish while I shower in the ladies locker room? Or would you rather I send her to the cafe to run amuck without adult supervision? Better yet do you want me to shower in the kids locker room that to be honest is great for a kids’ locker room, but I cringe at the though of getting into that shower. Call me uptight, but I don’t pay the fees to have less than stellar of a shower especially after I often spend an entire day swimming with my kids, ordering food/sometimes drinks, tennis, etc. Then I get to get in line with the 6 year old plus group to hopefully get a 2-minute shower in the girl’s locker room, REALLY????
* Pretty sure we don’t have the funds to add an additional family shower, perhaps using the swim office across from the current one would help??
* This one really gets me: a friend was escorted out of the ladies locker room within the past few days, totally embarrassed because she didn’t have time to read the below letter during probably the busiest time of the year for parents with (heck school got out on Thursday, did you all think we stopped our lives to read your letter the day before school got out??). That one really gets me, especially when the old signage was up still.
* Lastly are you going to find a better place to put the pool towels? Because when am overloaded with pool stuff for the kids I ask my 7 year olds to get towels for the family (showing responsibility:) and now they can’t do that because if they enter the locker room they will get me in trouble.
- The board NEEDS to revisit this and open this up to membership for comments and heck maybe someone can come up with a better solution than what the board came up with. No isn’t always the solution to the problem, in this case you all could very well be opening yourself to a safety issue.
- Please know I can completely understand some members’ frustration with their kids in the adult locker room. I personally was never a fan of the 8-year-old boy staring at me, as I got dressed.
- I appreciate that changes are being made to “spruce up” the children’s locker rooms. In thinking about future membership, a big selling point of TPC is that it is an incredibly family-friendly club. By subjecting parents (let’s be honest, predominately Mothers) to shower in the children’s locker rooms after a family swim is insulting and dilutes the family-friendly appeal of TPC. I can only speak for the girls locker room, but it is not up to the standard of the women’s locker room. The family locker room and bathroom by the kiddie pool are both not on par with the women’s locker room either – plus that’s just two spots for a family with young children to change and only one spot with a shower. On crowded weekends, this will not be a viable solution. This was a short-sighted change and punishes those that ensure their young children are polite/mind their manners inside the adult’s locker rooms. As a side note, my youngest is almost at the age where she can shower by herself, so this doesn’t apply to me much longer. However, I do feel very strongly this was a terrible decision, and for the not-insignificant initiation fees, there needs to be a nice, family locker area (not one small unit) that is available to families. I appreciate all you do for the club and urge you and the Board to reconsider.
- The change to the locker room rules was news to me until my husband mentioned it to me this morning. So, first off, can I please get added to the distro list for your newsletters? I wanted to forward a few questions of my own regarding this change:
* What amenities are offered in the family bathroom? I would hate to think that parents with children will now be relegated to a bathroom instead of the locker room facilities we pay for as members.
* What is the capacity of the family bathroom? I am concerned that parents with young kids will now be facing long lines to use too-small family changing facilities. I wish that this new policy could have been implemented after facilities were upgraded/built to accommodate families with young children.
* How are the older kids going to feel about the influx of adults with young kids (some of the opposite gender) needing to use their locker rooms?
* Was there any discussion about addressing the issue by changing the age cut-off for use of the adult locker rooms rather than eliminating children from the adult locker rooms all-together? Maybe the age should be 3 and under rather than 5?
- I have an entire email detailing some of the improvements. But it looks like you guys are all over it. One request…in the girls and probably the boys- the shampoo bottles are installed too high for my 7 yr old (and almost for my 10 yr) to reach. Also, the boy’s and girl’s room doors are really heavy. And they open into the bathroom – the adult doors open to the outside – so if someone is in the locker room they just need to use their hands or hip to push it open. Opposite for the kid’s rooms. Small detail, but my son was stuck in there for a few minutes until I went searching. Here are some of the items to consider from my other email:Girls locker room needs the following:
1. Towels (there have never been towels in there).
2. Soap, shampoo & conditioner bottles. Conditioner has never been in the girls. If parents are now going to be showering in the girls room because they have 1 or more little ones in tow – we would appreciate conditioner.
3. Hair dryers. Usually there is none, sometimes one.
4. More frequent visits from staff and custodians. There are no rugs and therefore the floors are ALWAYS wet. Towels are ALWAYS on the floor, counters, bench…etc. Never have I seen a staff person cleaning in the girl’s locker room.
5. Tampons- self explanatory.
6. Baby changing table.
8. Bags for wet suits (no need for a drying machine).
9. Floors – have you ever spent any time in there barefoot? That floor hurts your feet! I ask you to do it for 5 minutes and let me know your thoughts. Not to mention your knees when you are down there getting little ones changed. I know they installed them because the floor was too slippery. There has to be a better option.
9. Open up a few of the lower lockers – its disgusting. I’m not saying we need to throw money at fixing these things right now…but they are in pretty bad shape.
I think TPC needs to think about the MOMs because most likely they are the ones who will be in the girls locker room with 1 or more little kids – showering, getting dressed, using the bathrooms…etc. Occasionally some dads will be using the boys for their kids but I think it will be 90% moms. Ask a few more Mom’s for their opinion (oh yeah, we are usually the loudest complainers also!)
- Our family uses the “family changing room” a lot. It’s extremely convenient to throw the whole circus in there, shower them, change them, use the bathroom…etc. Unfortunately there was a line 3 families deep last weekend.
- Lastly, I think in the future budgeting and planning, TPC should consider adding a unisex bathroom somewhere near the pool area. I know the teen area is very beneficial during certain times of the year. But if you were to look at usage per sq. foot on an annual basis I would think this space could be better utilized.
- Mike, you do a great job, as a manager too, I know you don’t hear that often but your communication & adt ( attention to detail) & proactiveness are appreciated?
- It’s still the right call.