Clarifying opposition to golf course proposal
I am writing to take issue with your caption of my “NO BAIL OUT” sign on your front page today. You misrepresented my position regarding the city’s plans to use tax dollars to purchase the golf course and convert it into a park.
I want to clarify that my opposition to the plan is NOT based on a concern that it would “help only residents whose property abuts the former course land.” Quite to the contrary, most residents of the golf course area very clearly stated that they felt their home values would be hurt, not helped, by the creation of a public park in their backyards.
My opposition was to the use of public funds to bail out the owner of the failed golf course, freeing him from the cost of maintaining the property and paying taxes on the land.
Given the unpopularity of the park project among local residents, those public funds would be better spent elsewhere in the city with higher population density and less open spaces.
As currently written, the proposed project benefits neither residents of properties abutting the golf course, nor city tax payers in general.
It only benefits the owner of the golf course by bailing him out of his responsibilities as the land owner.
If the city wants to buy the land to ensure it retains a golf course for economic development goals, then it should explicitly limit the use of that land to golf.
This would satisfy impacted area residents by preserving the status quo, since they bought their homes with the understanding that there would be a golf course in their backyards, not a park.
If the city wants to buy land to build another park, then there are many other suitable locations available throughout the city which would better serve this purpose by benefitting more residents who could use a park closer to their homes.
Unless the proposal is reworded either way, it should be scrapped altogether.