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City does not distort golf course finances

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POSTED October 22, 2009 1:49 a.m.
The purpose of my column in the October 19 Manteca Bulletin was simply to make a point that more research on the subject of golf courses finances, when writing a front page story, may cast a different light on the subject rather than printing information derived from one source, inaccurate and outdated city documents.

I never intended to portray that anyone at City Hall would “distort golf course finances” as the title of the column states. When I write a column, someone else at the Bulletin and not myself, makes up a title and prints it above the column. I’m sure no one meant to misrepresent what I was trying to say, but it sure wasn’t an accurate description.

I guess after spending 33 years trying to do everything possible to make our golf course a success, I get a little bit upset when the golf course always seems to be portrayed as a financial drain on our city. And once again, I will state that when all the facts about the golf operation are looked at objectively, as was done by the City Council-appointed Golf Operation Review Committee some years ago, everyone will agree that it is probably the number one asset this city owns.

Now there is one point I would like to make. Any general fund money that has gone to the golf operation since its inception 43 years ago, for whatever reasons, is extremely small when compared to general fund money going to Parks and Recreation as a whole. I would never attempt to speak for our current City Council, but I will state the fact that past city councils have chosen to make a policy decision to keep golf rates low, in order to make this source of recreation for our community as affordable as possible, and therefore make up any shortfalls with general fund money.

We read in the newspaper everyday about the struggle our city is facing with the budget. Everyone has to pull together to get through this mess and in my opinion we are doing so. The golf operation must stand on its own and with the recent City Council-approved rate of adjustments along with the clubhouse being finally paid off, this will happen. I just hope that our decision makers at City Hall realize that if we are to remain the most played municipal golf course in the valley, we must continue to offer the best product.
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