Monday, May 21, 2007

Yeah, I'm still teed off!

So I hate to move on, but move on I must. The flag issue will never, never, never go away; and by this coming 9/11 highlights of the Town Meeting vote that turned Amherst into the Village of the Damned will be available on Youtube.

So what better subject than the beleaguered Cherry Hill Golf Course (to steal Mary Carey’s lead in this morning’s Gazette) for shifting gears?

Sounds to me like the rookie Town Manager is getting a tad testy about our municipal albatross: “It’s really a red herring, a straw man. It’s taken on a dimension and scale it doesn’t deserve. I’m sick of Cherry Hill being put on the Cherry Hill Cross.”

Of course Mr. Shaffer also insists giving up on Cherry Hill will have “zero effect” on this years budget. Really? First off, Shaffer must not have read the Special Town Meeting warrant article because it “strongly urges” him to accept $30,000 a year for the next three years to lease out the White Elephant.

Thus, rather than losing $59,000 like Cherry Hill did last year we could gain a guaranteed $30,000 or an $89,000 turnaround that could fund police, firefighters or teachers.

The Finance Committee told department heads to stick to a 1% budget increase. Cherry Hill’s FY08 operation budget increases $15,000 but that increase does not include another $15,000 in capital improvements hidden elsewhere in the General Fund budget. So while public safety and school budgets are limited to 1% increases, Cherry Hill bloats by 15%.

Cherry Hill is a symbol. It’s a symbol of waste, highlighting a ludicrous and irresponsible attitude about priorities.


Rick said...

"Thus, rather than losing $59,000 like Cherry Hill did last year we could gain a guaranteed $30,000 or an $89,000 turnaround that could fund police, firefighters or teachers."

I totally agree with you on this Larry. I don't know much about Cherry Hill details. Why doesn't it make money - can't they just raise rates 10% or something? Is golf that competitive? I assume other golf courses make a profit.

LarryK4 said...

The industry of Golf has been in a nosedive since the year 1999. Too many courses, not enough players. Cherry Hill has increased its rates almost every year since 1999, so that now it is no longer the lowest priced golf course in the Valley. In fact, mid-week you can go to Hickory Ridge in Amherst or The Ledges in South Hadley (both $6 million, 18 hole operations) for the about same cost as Cherry Hill.

Cherry Hill was taken out of Enterprise Fund status last year as an admission that it would never be self supporting (gee, that only took 18 years). Folks forget that the first 4 years the town owned it Cherry Hill was run by LSSE and it lost money hand over fist. And so far this year under LSSE, it is doing worse than last year (by almost $10,000). As President Reagan would say “there they go again.”

Rick said...

Interesting ...didn't know golf was in such a slump.

More of a reason it's a good idea to dump it.