Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
The Manteca City Council hasn’t learned much of anything about managing the golf course.
It is apparent that the past golf pro was the only one profiting from this business. This business will continue to lose money at the rate of over $300,000 annually as reported by the Bulletin.
The past golf pro Allan Thomas, entered into an agreement with the City to increase play at the course. His idea was to reduce play fees to attract more players. I believe he had to do this within a time frame of six months. There was no report on whether he succeeded in this agreement or not. There was no report on Thomas creating a profit or living up to his agreement within the time the city allotted. It is apparent that Thomas didn’t succeed, for we still lost over $300,000 annually.
To emphasize the council’s inability to run a profitable business, this council entered into a lucrative profit split with Thomas that made him the only person that profited. Let’s place Thomas’ deal in the proper perspective in understanding why the city didn’t profit by entering into this agreement. This council entered into an agreement with Thomas to allow him to lower the play fees to attract a larger contingency of players. I must challenge this as lack of business knowledge on the council’s part. I must ask why this council thought that they could profit by increasing the customer base by lowering fees, when taxpayers subsidizes senior and junior play at a cost of $155,000 annually? Most players that would be attracted to the lower play fees would be seniors who qualify for subsidizing, so that would further reduce play fees. It stands to reason that many players wouldn’t play if they didn’t receive discount play. My question is why should we contribute to the negative profit picture year after year? Plain and simple, it is designated as a business that is expected to turn a profit. Does anyone think we couldn’t spend the annual loss of the course on something we need in the city? Could we support the police by created profit in lieu of taxation to the people?
I would discontinue subsidizing play, that would reduce the $300,000 negative profit by over half. Golf is not a cheap sport to indulge in. It’s easier to address half of the annual cost of $145,000 than over $300,000 annually. While this council caters to a small group of golfers, they are cheating this city out of millions of tax dollars that could deeply benefit this city’s backlog of projects long neglected, because of the council special interest priorities in this city. Many major cities such as San Jose have sold their negative asset courses long ago, and enjoy more tax dollars in the general fund. There is no way that this city can profit by retaining this course, to think retaining this course it is an injustice to taxpayers. I see this council entering into perhaps the same non-profitable venture that has kept this course a negative asset. Let a new golf pro dissect any profit that might be generated. I don’t consider the council as having concerns for this city’s future in creating profit by selling off a negative asset. Players who receive subsidies cry don’t sell the course as it is valuable to this city. What about the taxpayers who are greater in number, receiving the short end of the stick? Each year the taxpayers lose over $300,000. This should be discontinued. It’s the duty of this council to create income for the General Fund by making wise choices in their decisions. Why not try something new council?