Council Feelin' Pretty Good About a $20,000 Tent for the Golf Course, Not So Good for $15,000 for the Fire Department and Public Safety

I’m not making this up. Note that the request for $20K of paving at the golf course for tent did not elicit a single mention of “can’t afford it”:

Later, in regards to the $20,000 cost to to move the tent, Controller Matt Agresta asked, “Where’s that money going to come from?”
“We’ll figure it out,” replied Barone.

But when faced with the results of their budget cuts, the Council cries: “We can’t afford it” when it comes to staffing the fire department:

We’ve got to start slapping hands,” said Barone, “stay within the parameters of the budget or guess what, you’ll get layoffs. That’s another way – attrition,” said Barone.

I admit to not knowing all the details but if we can’t afford something for $15K, how can we afford $20K? Or why can we figure stuff out sometimes , but not other times?
Oh right, it’s for the golf course.
And there’s your answer.

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19 Responses

  1. Bill Sheehan says:

    The bold-faced hypocrasy of the golf crowd is really no surprise. They’ve been getting away with it for years.

  2. Diane says:

    Please remember, that thru their dues, the golfers over the years have supported MUNI, not the taxpayer. Even if there is a bond as there has been in the past, anything due on the bond, is part of the golf budget and figured into the dues figure. They operate separately and pay their own way. It is not costing the city taxpayer any of their taxes to operate the golf course.

    • Rogo says:

      Thanks Diane, i’ve been dealing with this issue for years, nobody looks at numbers!!!

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Diane,
      To clarify, please state whether the following is True or False:
      If the Council approves the expenditure for $20,000 to provide paving for the tent, the $20,000 will be paid for by city taxpayers.
      True or False

      • As usual, you’ve done a wonderful job, Flip, at exposing the double standard this council uses when it comes to the city budget.
        God forbid the rec department provides a scholarship for a kid to attend a program, or the homeless shelter gets funding so people don’t have to sleep on the streets or in tents in one of the wooded areas of Amsterdam. There is absolutely no money for any of that, and the city can’t spend one more additional nickel.
        $20,000 to move the tent to the golf course, despite the fact that the tent was intended for community activities at Riverlink? No problem. We can find that money.
        Amazing how the city’s finances can be terrible one moment, but solvent the next.

  3. Robo says:

    Perfect Solution:
    Go ahead and fund the moving of the tent. It’s only 20K that we can surely “figure out” how to pay for. Next, instead of approving $15K for Catholic Charities to keep people from freezing to death this winter (can’t possibly ” figure out” how to fund that), open the tent as a shelter for the winter. Then, to follow the sage advice of a great leader when he challenged CC to, “…put some of them to work, you could use that grant also to keep you going until you really get it moving along.”, the homeless can be made honorary firefighters to combat shortages in the arbitrary overtime allotment in the current budget. Win, win, win and, as Ron and Rogo can sip their beers under the comfort of a tent and watch the homeless replace their divots),WIN!

  4. wildthane says:

    Do not overlook the fact that the course costs the taxpayers $80K in lost water revenues. Also, the council reduced the administrative fee charged to the golf fund which would have helped to offset general fund expenses like AFD/APD overtime.

  5. Diane says:

    I have stated repeatedly on here and other forums, the tent is not being moved, period. It is too big for the area. If in the spring, it is budgeted for MUNI to purchase a tent with their funds, then that is their perrogitive. In the meantime, you continually expound on something that has been laid to rest. And if the Golf Commission should decide to purchase and install a tent at the course, so be it. It is at their expense and not the taxpayers and the concessionaire, who has also offered to assist with the purchase. I do not know how many times this has to be addressed.
    And as for the Mayor expounding on the fact that the course does not pay for water usage, neither do any of the other parks or city hall or the almost 40,000.00 in utilities at the various parks. It is a phoney number because none of the parks will ever pay a water bill or a utility. And yes the council did remove the administrative fee because no one pays one either. This is all pie in the sky to cover up the current financial condition of the city, which has still not been resolved.
    Bottom Line: the MUNI pays their own expenses thru their annual dues. How they choose to spend it, is their choice since they cover their own expenses, provided they are able to repay those expenses.
    Thank you.

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Diane,
      My question remains unanswered:
      If the Council approves the expenditure for $20,000 to provide paving for the tent, the $20,000 will be paid for by city taxpayers.
      True or False?

      • Diane says:

        No, False, it will be paid for thru the golf fund which comes from the golfers annual dues. It would not come from the taxpayers. Even if it comes thru Ray Halgas and DPW, everything DPW does, for another department, is charged back to them in a bill to the city. I routinely approve them in the audit.

    • TJ Kelley says:

      Although your assertion is entirely disagreeable, I’ll amuse myself for the purpose of this question. If the Golf Course is entirely self-supporting, will you sponsor the legislation then to sell of & privatize the course and thus remove the burden from the poor golfers having to not only pay for their vice, but now pay for water service and administrative fees?

    • TJ Kelley says:

      Who scripted that one for you, Diane? The phraseology is a completely new element to your syntax.

  6. Diane says:

    I will be glad to show you a previous audit.

  7. PatQ says:

    Didn’t the golf course contribute to the general fund annually, at least up until the recent change with the golf carts?

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