On Monday, RedGate Golf Course will once again be on the Mayor and Council agenda.
This will be an opportunity for the council to discuss their reactions to the National Golf Foundation study that was presented on Jan. 10, to determine next steps and to give some direction to the staff. The RedGate Advisory Committee was invited to submit its response to the NGF report and will be given time on the agenda to speak. The committee's report can be found to the right of this article.
The NGF report contains a great deal of information on the history of the golf course, including the controllable and uncontrollable factors that contributed to RedGate's current situation. It also lays out several options that the city might consider going forward. We highly recommend that people read the report to get a better understanding of the issues and the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
The advisory committee's report, though brief, highlights what we think are the pros and cons of the NGF recommendations.
Bringing in an outside company to manage the course means current RedGate employees will likely lose their jobs. While on the surface, outsourcing may seem to produce better financial results, there are costs associated with such an arrangement. There would be, of course, the fee paid to the management company. There also would be other additional line item costs the city would have to cover that would be passed through from the management company. Based on the projections provided by NGF, these additional line item costs exceed the savings from terminating the city employees. These and other considerations are covered in our report, so please take a look.
We trust our elected officials will do the hard work required of them and do whatever necessary to keep RedGate a city owned and operated golf course. Given the jobs at stake and the future of our green space, we need them to approach this thoughtfully and carefully, and not make a quick decision that has long-term repercussions that will stretch way beyond their terms.
The author is the chairman of the RedGate Advisory Committee. He is from Rockville.