To the Editor:
I refer to the Stonetree Golf Course (SGC) article in your newspaper dated Dec. 16.
Let’s be very clear: the primary reason for ongoing deficit with SGC is mismanagement by the Killeen City Council (KCC).
Their renovations of SGC several years ago were a vanity project and an attempt to change a thriving municipal course into a country club project, which has failed.
Annual membership was $800/year but then KCC decided to impose an arbitrary additional cost of playing golf, an extra $3 per round (weekdays) and $7 per round (weekends & holidays).
This drove many members away, myself included.
The last General Manager (GM) was ineffective and took no interest in promoting junior golf.
Junior membership was raised to $400/year, juniors were not welcome under his tenure and aging retirees populate SGC, whereas the lifeblood of any successful golf club is the junior membership.
Ron Olson, current Killeen city manager, did this before at Corpus Christi.
He is removing a public facility from the KCC control because his team just like its predecessors cannot profitably manage the facility.
This is not management but an abdication of responsibilities.
SCC no longer has a GM, the decision to bring in an independent management company has been taken and all that remains is to select which company.
This is yet again another damning indictment of KCC.
The problems with SGC are not insurmountable and they can be resolved, but KCC prefers not to take responsibility but rather offload its past mismanagement issues to a private company.
In short, the residents will end up with higher green fees, junior golf will be dead and knowledgeable golfers will still go elsewhere to play.