Wednesday, November 12, 2008

There he goes again...

In America’s national pastime you’re only allowed three strikes and in today’s crusty Gazette the Town Mangler strikes out, lying for the third time about the finances of the Cherry Hill Golf Course by insisting the Money Pit is actually making money.

At the close of FY07 LSSE marketing flacks issued a press release claiming $7,200 in profit (by ignoring $31,000 in hidden costs paid from other parts of the overall budget). Shaffer crossed a line when he told the Select Board Cherry Hill required “no tax support". Even Finance Committee chair Alice Carlozzi disagreed with that assessment.

And this spreadsheet from Comptroller Sonia Aldrich created four months ago proves it. Note very bottom line, where FY07 shows up as a $10,708 loss instead of $7,200 profit):

If Cherry Hill really can carry its own bloated weight, including Big-Ticket capital items (this years $22,000 lawn mower) why did Assistant Town Mangler John Musante say back in April when asked when Cherry Hill would be "fully self-sufficient and pay its own capital too?"

Musante responded sheepishly, "We haven't given that serious consideration because the revenue has not been there."

Amherst Bully (for them) article

And it's not there now either. Revenues for the first half of the current Fiscal Year (July 1-Nov 1) are a pretty paltry $110,000, including concessions. Dan Engstrom the twenty-year manager who was fired 3/17/07 told the Select board the easy way to project total annual intake is to simply double the amount at Fall closing.

Thus under Engstrom’s formulae Cherry Hill will generate $220,000 total. Yes, the operation budget is only $208,000 but that does not include hidden costs of employee benefits, clubhouse insurance and liability insurance (the Finance Committee in FY07 pegged that total at $31,612). Or the $22,000 capital item, a lawn mower.

Even more important, factor in the $30,000 guaranteed annual payment from Niblick Management to privately manage the 9-hole-course. South Hadley pays a management company $515,000 to run their 18 hole White Elephant.

With all costs considered Cherry Hill's break even point is $290,000; and with the year half over it's safe to assume they will will once again miss the green.


Anonymous said...

Shaffer prefers his own version of calculations. Just look at how he ignored the presentation made by the firefighters union regarding ambulance service to other towns.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and he forgot to read the SAFER grant that clearly showed if he laid off those firefighters two years ago the Feds would seek reimbursement of over $100-K already paid.

And he forgot to read his own Cherry Hill RFP, where it clearly stated in addition to the bid amount you were also responsible for property and equipment taxes and liquor license (an additional $25,000) that Niblick owner said he was aware of when he bid $5,000 per year for three years (knowing it would cost him $30,000 for those 3 years)

Anonymous said...

What's your point, Larry?

LarryK4 said...

Liars can't be trusted

Anonymous said...

and that Shaffer should stop putting lipstick on that pig...

Anonymous said...

and that Shaffer should stop putting lipstick on that pig...

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Cherry hill is doing rather well. Just about even in a sour economy. This isn't the white elephant that S. Hadley has.

If you want to go after something that's truly a big dollar boondoggle, why not go after LSSE's large staff and megabudget? For what? Handling registration for basketball camps and cooking classes. Nothing that a posting on an Internet events calender couldn't provide free of charge.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, "rather well" compared to the (late 90's early 2000's) six consecutive years of over $100-K losses but even then NOTHING compared to the $500-K losses EVERY year in South Hadley.

And with Barry Del Castilho now running the show over there nothing is going to change on that front.

But as my mom used to say "two wrongs don't make a right."

LSSE is indeed quite the expensive Empire. I'll see what I can do.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that LSSE puts their tax ID on their contact us page

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