September 4, 2016 | 2 Comments An old saying states : “A fool and their money are soon parted” I propose a new one “A Fool Spends Money on Foolish Things” According to the Brampton Guardian, Regional Councillor Gael Miles proposes that the City of Brampton look at buying a money-losing golf course ( maybe they can tie that in with the privately owned, money-losing hockey team they just agreed to ‘give’ $1,500,000.00 ) Gael, I have some swamp land in Florida for sale. Oops! Wait!, let me rephrase that, in terms even a Brampton or Regional Councillor will understand. Let me put that into ‘business man spin speak’ — something some Councillors seem incapable of resisting. “I’m offering you a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help save the environment and assist wildlife, by taking this unique, and valuable opportunity to acquire a beautiful, unspoiled selection of wetlands in the Sunshine State. If you love nature and wish to help animals and other wildlife act now on this time limited offer.” “Sure, you’ll spend ( waste? ) incredible amounts of taxpayers dollars, but hey! It’s not coming out of YOUR pocket, so why not?” Oops! Wait!, let me rephrase that last sentence too. How about … “This investment would give the citizens of Brampton the opportunity to show their support for the environment and wildlife and also create enormous potential advertising and promotion opportunities worth far more than the minimal investment required. ” Okay that should do it. Whoa!! Whoa!! slow down Brampton, I know you want to give me the funds right now, but shouldn’t you at least think about it for a minute or two. Yep, the picture below shows an $8,554,615.00 deficit (loss) and how much money each Fiscal Year (FY) it’s costing the City of Tucson ( a place where golf can be played year around ), yet they can’t make it profitable. So Brampton –with it’s ‘summer only’ usage — will somehow make it work ??? Brampton council must be loaded with financial and business geniuses, ( if so, please geniuses, make taxes go down, or at least stabilize! ) According to the Brampton Guardian article, Brampton City Council has allocated $50,000 to “study” the purchase of Riverstone golf course. p.s. It took me a minute to find this using Google and the key words “golf course losing money”. You’re welcome City of Brampton council. Where’s my share of the $50,000 — or just give me some of my taxes back. “Public golf courses missed revenue projections by $1M. Operating loss for the year was $405,000.” source: http://www.scoopnest.com/user/BeckyPallack/676895333310406656 There are many more, a very quick glance at Google search results showed this info as well … from The Daily Herald “Nearly two-thirds of golf courses owned by suburban park districts, towns, forest preserve districts — and in one case, an airport — are losing money.” source: http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20160302/news/160309804/ from The Buffalo News “Now is not the best time to be in the golf business. More courses. Fewer golfers. Even those who like to golf don’t have as much time – or money – to play. A good example is what’s going on in Amherst. The town continues to lose money operating its three golf courses, where the number of rounds played each year is falling. Now, after years of mounting losses, Amherst is considering privatizing its municipal courses in hopes of at least breaking even.” (emphasis mine – Editor) source: http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/erie-county/buffalo-area-golf-courses-reporting-under-par-performance-20140829 City of Cedar Falls losing money on municipal golf courses… (2014 article) Cedar Falls owns Pheasant Ridge and Walter’s Ridge golf courses. Cedar Falls Leisure Services said the two courses have led to deficits every fiscal year since 2005. Deficit figures for the last five fiscal years are as follows: 2013: $171,299 2012: $181, 118 2011: $135,915 2010: $103,530 2009: $120,293 Some avid golfers said because golf is an expensive sport, they can see why numbers may be dwindling. source: http://www.kttc.com/story/25223998/2014/04/Friday/city-of-cedar-falls-losing-money-on-municipal-golf-courses Golf’s an expensive sport? Yes it is — wish I could afford it, but I’ve got to pay my taxes. So — Brampton City Council should take the risk (or a guarantee) of spending a large amount to purchase and then lose taxpayers money every year so some folks with lots of ‘spare’ money can play an expensive sport. I hope not! Is that the future? Bail out any business that can’t make money, and will cost more money every year? Sounds like a foolish idea to me. Let’s hope Brampton City Hall is not really a Ship of Fools. A Voice of Reason At least there is one voice of reason, according to the same Brampton Guardian article, Regional Councilor Martin Medeirus said, “I am not convinced that Riverstone is a good purchase” … “With golf courses you can see the trend nationwide, it’s not the best revenue-maker for the city.” … “The money we are going to have to spend to bring Riverstone up to standards and to retrofit it doesn’t make sense” … “If we don’t have concrete plans with money allocated in the budget, we shouldn’t be buying property.” But, the fact that it “doesn’t make sense” and that they don’t have plans and money allocated hasn’t stopped council from spending on foolish things in the past. Hopefully common sense prevails this time.