Letters to the Editor for Dec. 6, 2013

Written by Baker City Herald readers December 06, 2013 08:46 am

Don’t use tax dollars to subsidize golf course

 I would like to congratulate the editorial board for Wednesday’s editorial. I agree with you 100 percent that the city shouldn’t use general fund dollars to subsidize the golf course. I cannot visualize any circumstances that would require the use of public tax dollars to subsidize a private business by giving Mr. Tiedemann a guaranteed amount of profit. If our city manager Mr. Kee agrees to the terms Mr. Tiedemann is requesting then I would make a further request of Mr. Kee.

I as a former business owner in Baker City have been approached many times by good citizens to have my wife and myself open another restaurant. This is expensive to do, but if the city adopts the new policy as requested by Mr. Tiedemann, then I want the following:

1. The city to purchase a vacant building downtown for my new restaurant.

2. To fully equip the property with all new equipment (stoves, refrigeration, tables and chairs etc.)

3. Do not charge me any rent.

4. Guarantee me $75,000 income per year. Of course I have no incentive to ever show a profit higher than that, otherwise the city may want me to start paying rent, should I do such a foolish thing.

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but in all honesty this is what Mr. Tiedemann is asking the city to do for him.

I worked at the golf course for five years under the Seven-Iron ownership. My job was to take money for memberships, equipment and fees for playing by non-members. I can guarantee you there is enough income generated at the golf course for any competent businessman to make a living. If Mr. Tiedemann feels he needs a guarantee by the city, then perhaps he should think of another venture. I don’t want my tax dollars subsidizing a private business.

Bill Ward

Baker City

Golf course proposal is best one for the city

At least when I write a letter to the editor, I have to give my name and address.

If the “editor” had attended any meetings, the “editor” might have an educated idea of where Mr. Tiedemann was trying to steer the golf course.

If Mr. Tiedemann would not have put in a proposal, the city would have had to come up with some way to keep this operation going and bringing people to the area to spend money in our “little city.”

In Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal, he wants to run the golf course and make it make a profit — he is not in this to get rich.

His proposal was to pattern the city golf course after the Anthony Lakes program and within the next three years, make this a nonprofit organization and turn it over to a board of directors to run.

The city really didn’t have many options. They could accept Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal or they could run the golf course themselves. They would still have to purchase equipment, as all the equipment at the golf course belongs to Seven Iron

I was in attendance at both of the meetings in which Mr. Tiedemann outlined his proposal, and of the 7-person board that reviewed the proposal and voted 7 to nothing in favor of accepting the proposal to send to the city council. At the city council meeting, it was moved and seconded and voted on by 6 members of the council and they were all in favor. If you have lived here for any length of time maybe you can remember the last time the city council voted unanimously on anything, I can’t.

The one paragraph that really sticks in my craw is that Mr. Kee should hammer out a contract with Mr. Tiedemann that takes the risk off of the city and puts it on Mr. Tiedemann’s shoulders. I think we should go back and look at who owns the golf course, it is a city entity. 

I believe that Mr. Tiedemann’s proposal was very much in order and I know how much homework he did before making that proposal.

Larry Smith

Baker City