Budget Cutting Course

By John Bury | February 20, 2009

Union County is budget cutting. First cut: Oak Ridge Golf Course.

Personally, I hate golf. In John Feinstein’s phrase, it’s a good walk spoiled. On top of that, the trenchant swinging actions required seem an invitation to back and knee injury while any weight loss effected can be attributed to being physically removed from food for two hours and is typically more than offset by clubhouse bingeing.

So I would have no qualms if every golf course in the country were shuttered. But the people who pushed public attendance into double-digits at last Week’s freeholder meeting had differing opinions. Apparently Oak Ridge, not being too hilly, is an ideal seniors course that wouldn’t have $600,000 in operating losses if these golfers’ suggestions were heeded.

But the freeholders apparently heed other advice.

For example, the final non-laudatory resolution on the agenda awarded a contract not to exceed $50,000 to a law firm (DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole & Wisler, LLP) to consult on golf clubhouse matters. When I asked it was implied that this was in regard to the Galloping Hill course and taking out three holes on the nine-hole course to put in a driving range (again, not a popular notion with some of the golfers in attendance).

Now I don’t doubt that lawyers are as qualified as many other professionals to consult on matters involving golf, but should their advice be worth up to a maximum of $50,000 this time?

Looking at the budgets of Union County and its related entities I found plenty of areas that can be cut before getting to Oak Ridge. But I doubt that a firm like DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick would be on the same page as me (or the golfers of Union County).