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Golf course is a horse of a different color

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POSTED October 2, 2009 1:49 a.m.
I’m pleased you wrote something about the enterprise operations as most people don’t understand what they are.

Although golf is an enterprise operation, it’s important to note, that is where the similarities with the other three enterprise operations end.

The cities of Stockton and Modesto are forced to subsidize their golf courses every year with a large amount of general fund money because they treat all their enterprise operations the same. If an enterprise operation runs a deficit, they increase fees and reduce costs by cutting manpower. This works for water, refuse, and sewer operations but has a negative effect on their golf operations.

Why?

Simply because the people who use water, refuse, and sewer services do not have a choice, they are forced to pay more with likely a reduction in quality of service.

But with the golf operation, people have a choice to not patronize their city courses and just go play somewhere else (and we appreciate many of them coming to Manteca.)

Now in our current city budget crises, the golf course must pay 100% of its costs with no general fund subsidy. This will happen for the first time in 43 years due to the fact the clubhouse will be paid off in the very near future (a $205,000 plus savings) and fees are not being kept artificially low for political reasons as our current city council recently approved an intelligent fee adjustment (the first in 6 years) which has already resulted in an increase in play and revenue.

If our city treats the golf operation like other city enterprise operations, our golf course will follow the same downward spiral as the Stockton and Modesto golf courses have for many years. Their customers go elsewhere because their fees go up and their quality goes down.

The bottom line is that if the city leaders want the golf operation to pay its way 100%, the quality of the course and the degree of service and promotion which I provide cannot be reduced but must actually be increased!
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