I don’t live in the Village but I do live in the ETJ, my grandchildren attend Salado ISD, my wife and I attend church in Salado, we are patrons of Salado businesses and we have many friends that are affected by what the Alderman do. So, I have a few questions concerning the possible purchase of the Mill Creek Golf Course.
1. Why would a company that invested $1.75 million dollars just five (2013) years ago want to sell their investment? In my experience, if an investment group does not see the golf course as viable, then it is probably not. Why would the Counsel think they would be successful where so many other more qualified owners have failed? This would be the third owner of this business in 6 years. Should the Village take on such a financial responsibility?
2. There are many investments that need to take place, why? Natural causes are listed as much of the reason. Does it not figure that this will continue to be a cause of continual investment? Salado Creek floods!
3. The Counsel/Village has its hands more than full just trying to handle the basic requirements, why would anyone believe that this huge responsibility would be effectively managed?
4. I understand that there are those who want this acquisition to take place. Some are concerned about their property values, others are concerned about affordable access to the course. I would ask you this, will the Village purchasing this business ensure either? I believe that if the Village does purchase this business you will have neither property value, access, nor in the end a course. Some want the area to be purchased and reallocated for other activities. I’m not saying that this would be bad, I am only saying that this too is a huge investment. The voters are not being made aware of what the counsel really plans on doing with the space. They need to tell all of us what they plan on doing with the space if they purchase it. If you think that this area will stay a golf course you are being fooled. The course will end up failing and being turned into what they had in mind to begin with, a park! Bait and switch, maybe. Either way we have no real idea of their plan, we are simply to guess at what questions we are to ask. By denial or evasion, master manipulator or thief, consistently we never really know what the impetus of the Counsel is! I’m feeling mushroomy!
5. Consistent with past Counsel procedures, we are told that many executive meetings have taken place and that they are now at the point of a decision. Now we are told that the citizens are encouraged to be involved in the decision process. Executive meetings, you mean closed off, hidden meetings that allow a small village counsel to control all aspects of the decision process. Offering those affected the opportunity to voice their uninformed opinion at the very end of the process is ridiculous, they are a counsel, not autocracy. To what affect; to make us feel involved? Really? If it must happen in the dark, what happens will not want to see the light. We the people must demand fewer executive meetings and more involvement in the beginning of the process.
6. Only two answers capitalism, entrepreneurial risk, experience, chance for profit, and pride of ownership. Or, a city owned park with lowered operating cost. On the first, there is more than enough people in Salado with the money, influence, experience, and financial ability to fix this. If the course is owned by those affected by its default the golf course may be found viable. Short this, the course has failed, and it will continue to fail. The Village Counsel is not qualified, designed, or prepared to make such an investment or acquire such a responsibility. Too often we have seen politicians decide to make acquisitions and policies that those who follow must contend with. The businesses and citizens will surely carry the responsibility.
7. Bottom line, a small village, or any governmental agency as far as I’m concerned, has no business saddling the citizens with such a responsibility. The Village has no viable process or ability to own such a business, (that’s why it WILL become a park). And if you view this acquisition as anything but a business acquisition then I am making my point. It must be self-sustainable and make a profit or it will inevitably become a drain on the tax base, ultimately degrade, and ultimately not provide security for home values or reasonable access. An acquisition like this should be voted on, not decided by a few who ultimately will not be responsible for the decision.