Friday, April 6, 2007

Golf Optimism? Wanna Bet!

Town manager Larry Shaffer must have shared Kool Aid from the same glass as long-time former town manger Barry Del Castilho as he has picked up that Pollyannaish plague where you constantly sing, “The sun will come out tomorrow”

On Wednesday night in an unscheduled Select board report on the Cherry Hill bid fiasco Mr. Shaffer, a.k.a. Nostradamus, issued a startling prediction.

Even though admitting current revenues are an abysmal $92,000 (last year as of April 1’st they were at $99,208) he predicts $130,000 over April, May and June for a total intake of $221,000 to $222,000.

First off, $130,000 over 3 months would be, after 20 years of operation, a new record. Last year, a very typical year, they generated $97,454 over those three months and had opened prior to April 1’st.

Thus, they were $7,000 over current revenues and finished the year at $196,667 or $10,000 under the $206,903 target. So this year, with their most experienced Manger and only full-time employee put out to pasture, they are suddenly going to perform 30% better? (Unless of course, they think he was embezzling $30,000 per year).

Interestingly according to last year’s Finance Committee report to Town Meeting Cherry Hill needs to intake, after factoring in hidden costs now shifted to other parts of the municipal budget, $220,000 to break even.

So let’s make a deal Mr. Shaffer: for every dollar OVER $220,000 (the break even point) the golf business generates I will match it as long as you, conversely, cover anything UNDER $220,000. That way taxpayers are guaranteed to break even.

It’s pretty easy—especially in Amherst--to talk the talk.

1 comment:

Chris Boyd said...

From Mass - the understatement of the year:

Shaffer said that it's more than just finances with the course.

"I don't think you can evaluate Cherry Hill strictly on its financial performance."