Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A new paradigm for golf?

Once again we witness the night and day difference between current town manager, John Musante, and the former town mangler Larry Shaffer--this time concerning something of paramount importance: truth-telling.

Five years ago Leisure Services and Supplemental Education and Shaffer had the audacity to issue a press release heralding that year's golf balance sheet, trumpeting a $7,200 "profit" while ignoring $40,000 in "hidden costs" (employee benefits, insurance, new equipment).

In an interview with the Springfield Republican town manager Larry Shaffer crossed the line by saying Cherry Hill required "no tax support." I even asked him at a follow up public meeting if he was misquoted, and he again reaffirmed the lie.

At last night's Select Board meeting the new Finance Director Sandy Pooler admitted Cherry Hill fell far short of FY2011 projected revenues ($270,000), which almost matched the actual $263,670 total cost of operations, with an intake of only $223,537 as first reported here six weeks ago, or a loss of over $40,000.

Of course he could not help but parrot the old excuse of that darn New England weather, but at least he also admitted the down economy takes a toll on the rich man's game of golf. Maybe now that transparency is the new marching order from Town Hall, citizens will get a true picture of the cost of golf.

And, unlike the scenic vistas aficionados admire, it ain't pretty.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that you think this is really the story, that cherry hill is not meeting its projections, when the REAL story is that the town of Amherst has a $1.1 million surplus.

And you didn't think that was worth mentioning?

Maybe you should go back and take intro to cub reporting again at umass since you obviously missed the most important information to come our of the select board meeting.

This is something even a lunkhead anon like me can figure out.

Anonymous said...

Solar/windmill farm?

LarryK4 said...

Yes lunkhead Anon, a million here and a million there, pretty soon you're talking real money.

Anonymous said...


You lispelled paradigm in your headline and manager in your article.

BTW, if it was a rich man's game then the revenues would not be down. The rich have plenty these days. It's the fact that the common man, woman and child play there that is the cause of the shortfall. They are not as well.

LarryK4 said...

Actually "mangler" was on purpose. It aptly describes Mr. Shaffer's reign as town manager.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking Cherry Hill nicely provides low cost golf for UMass students. Real golfers go to the Amherst Golf Club or Hickory Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Larry, chew on this: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/15638

LarryK4 said...

Love the comment from the Public Policy guy: “Government golf is the least necessary of public services. It frequently drains taxpayer resources and hurts private golf course owners. Why on earth does anyone believe that recreation should be a function of any government?”

Unfortunately die hard Cherry Hill fans will point to Lansing, Michigan and say "See, it could be worse."

But with South Hadley so close by, I guess they don't need Lansing for that.