City Taxpayers Liable for $291,000 for Repairs at Golf Course

From today’s Recorder:

The topic that was raised at last week’s Golf Commission meeting when members expressed frustration about the $9,000 received for the clubhouse roof, when the claim that was submitted totalled[sic] approximately $300,000.

So when someone tells you that city taxpayers don’t have a say in the operations and governance of the golf course, you can then question why you are liable for repairs. Or when someone tells you that city taxpayers pay nothing for the golf course, you can call them out.
I’m also curious why no elected official seemingly cares about the impact of the repairs on our seniors.
Oh right, no elected official will play the senior’s card with the golf course. Sorry, my bad.

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9 Responses

  1. diane says:

    Must be really slow times for you to go this bonkers, but at least it will bring you some traffic.
    The issue is how much damage was done to the roof at the golf course ? The contractor taken around by Mr. Spagnola came up with a figure close to 300,000.00. The insurance company adjuster found only 9000.00 dollars of damage. Who is right ? The only way for us to know, is to hire another adjuster to take a look at the roof and other damage and then resubmit a claim if warranted. Unfortunately with snow covering the roof, that is a little impossible to do. Also the golf commission will have to pay for it and we need to find out what that cost will be first. Secondly, whatever the final amount, that will be what is used for repairs of the affected areas. Again all of this is charged back to the golf course budget, and not to the taxpayers. If it is something that is going to require extensive investment, then it will be the golf commission’s decision on how to move forward: a special assessment, or to bond.
    Please stop perpetuating the belief that the city taxpayers are paying for this. The golf Members Pay thru their DUES…….not the tax payers.
    Thank you,
    Diane Hatzenbuhler
    Alderwoman

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Diane,
      ” If it is something that is going to require extensive investment, then it will be the golf commission’s decision on how to move forward: a special assessment, or to bond.”
      Please confirm that The Golf Commission is authorized to bond independently of the city. I seriously question that. Also, please explain a ‘special assessment’ — what does that mean exactly?

      • flippinamsterdam says:

        Diane,
        I just spent a bit of time on “Special Assessments” and here is what I found:
        A Special Assessment District (S.A.D.) is a geographic area in which the market value of real estate is enhanced due to the influence of a public improvement and in which a tax is apportioned to recover the costs of the public improvement.[4]
        So please answer how such a tax could reasonably be levied exclusively to golfers with zero impact to taxpayers? From my reading, the typical SAD gets financed from taxes to properties enhanced in value by the improvements. That begs the question of which specific property owners would face such a tax.

      • flippinamsterdam says:

        Diane,
        Apparently, I’m not bonkers, as per the Charter , The Golf Commission:
        Purchases of capital items shall be done by the Common Council upon recommendation of the Commission and within budgetary appropriations.
        As a capital item, that must necessarily reside on the City’s balance sheet, or in other words, the balance sheet of city taxpayers.
        I’m just looking out for taxpayers, especially our seniors, who can’t afford the runaway debt that you inadvertently would incur with a bond.

    • Rob Millan says:

      Diane,
      The Commission can’t bond without the City’s approval. And even then, I don’t think it can on its own; that is the City would have to bond and then transfer that money to the Commission. Either way, that’s (yet another) incorrect assertion.

  2. diane says:

    OK, Obviously the commission does not bond, but they tell the council what they would like to do, and we all confer with the controller and see what will be best. By special assessment I meant in the past the golf members decided to on their own to pay an additional amount monthly to cover the costs of a special project that they needed done. That is why it is important to remember, that no matter what happens the golf members pay for everything thru their budget. While the city does take the bond out for them, it is paid back thru the golf expenses. I hope that clarifies things better……..the seniors are not assuming any cost for the operation of MUNI, it is all covered in their own budget thru membership dues, greens fees, and cart rentals. This has been preached by me now for a couple of years, so I do not see why you are continuing to make an issue out of it ?

    • flippinamsterdam says:

      Diane,
      The issue is that you and others consistently misinform the public with the statement that “ALL muni operations are paid for by golfers. City taxpayers don’t pay for the golf course.” That is not true.
      If you bond, you are adding debt to the city’s balance sheet as I pointed out and to which you called me ‘bonkers’. As you and others constantly decry the level of debt on the city’s balance sheet, I’m calling that out as that is precisely what you are doing with funding repairs at Muni with bonds — you are unquestionably adding debt to the city’s books. With that, the liability rests upon public taxpayers, not the golfers.
      I make an issue out of it because the public , not just golfers, should have a say in governance of Muni as it is a public property and as you now admit, does use public funds. The seniors comment is merely satire of how everything we might want to spend money impacts seniors– it’s a play from your very own and many others playbook when arguing against something. Like I say, we should always worry about seniors unless it is for the golf course.
      As I’ve said over and over, I support the golf course, it is a great PUBLIC asset. I merely want it governed as a PUBLIC asset. You can read between the lines at what I’m also trying to convey.

      • rogo says:

        All bond money for golf course is separate and is paid for from golf fund. look at golf budgets.

        • flippinamsterdam says:

          Again, that is incorrect — bond money appears on the city’s balance sheet so it is not ‘separate’ as the city is responsible for the bond even though the payments come from the golf budget. The Golf Commission cannot independently finance through bonding, that is only through the city. You need to look at the Charter not the golf budget to see who has such authority. Any bonding — whether for the golf course or any other entity– adds debt to the city’s books. That is fact.
          Let’s try to work toward clarity versus misinformation.

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