CITY OWNED GOLF COURSES
Fairfield has two nice city owned golf courses which are contracted out to a private party to manage. Unfortunately, they are not profitable, and in fact have required subsidies and loans to keep them afloat. Why is a municipal government in the business of managing golf courses in the first place? Perhaps if the golf courses were turning a net profit, of which the proceeds would be invested back into other parks in our community, you could get me to understand.
I don't believe golf course management is in the scope of government at any level; it is best left to the private sector. This goes double when a municipality is struggling to handle the basics of what we expect a municipality to do (public safety and infrastructure maintenance), and the golf courses themselves provide a net financial loss for the taxpayer.
"If you can't maintain asphalt, you shouldn't be maintaining grass."
To rehash a plan that has been suggested before: privatize the golf courses. The golf courses are a net loss to Fairfield's cash flow. By selling off the courses, the yearly loss to the overall Fairfield cash flow would be eliminated. The related bonds would be paid off, relieving our debt load. The proceeds left over could go to purchasing / upgrading parks elsewhere that are accessible to anyone.
Although it would be great if the proceeds could go to any vital project, but assuming golf courses are parks, California state law states that proceeds from selling off park land can only be used for other park expenditures.
Relax, golfers, this doesn't eliminate the golf courses; they will still be there, available to be used for the right price, as determined by the market. These are top-notch courses; if there is organic market demand to play them, then the courses should thrive, free of municipal oversight. The golf course owner/operator should be thrilled; no one has ever said, "Man, I wish there was more government oversight on my business!"
This gets the city out of the management of facilities that are not vital. Frittering away time debating golf course policy when there are many critical areas that affect a vast majority of residents makes me think there are two distinct Fairfields. Let's get the resources back to basics that benefit all of Fairfield.