Letter: Accounting method not transparent


To the editor,

I refer to your report of Feb. 24 on the Golf Commission’s decision to increase the fees in general.

In September 2011, I received from Mr. McAllister the financial data of the last two years and I could not agree more with Mr. Corbett on his comments on the shortfall in the fiscal year of 2010-11 that it is “skewed.” I understand there has been a loss of $60,000 but from the financial data I received, I can not figure out how that loss was calculated. In other words, this accounting method does not seem to be transparent at all. So it is easy for Mr. Stewart to say that the golf course lost money because of “overrun due to employee pension and benefit costs,” but Mr. McAllister’s budget data show different numbers.

The town feels the golf course should be run as a business and if that be the case, please revise your budgeting procedure so that people can comprehend it. By the way, there are some other places in town which are also used for recreational purposes but the town never thinks of running them as business.

With regard to increase in fees, Mr. Stewart said “it is a starting point” and Mr. Mezzo said “it’s a step in the right direction.” Hopefully the increase will generate more revenues. If the increase is based on the fees charged by several other golf courses in the vicinity that’s the wrong way to go because each town has its own economic environment with respect to the population. On the other hand, the town should make an effort to reduce the operational cost, such as replace the part-time temporary help with contract labor so that the town is not responsible for benefits and insurance.

Chitta R. Lahiri