REPORTING · 18th July 2013
Council was going through their Statement of Accounts for June 2013 when Mary Murphy brought forward an inquiry. She wanted to know when the additional $50,000 was approved for the golf course.
“When did we ok that second grant to go to the Hirsch Creek Golf and Winter Club? We voted for the first $50,000 and gave $50,000. I just want to know when we ok’d that,” said Murphy.
Murphy was told there was no official motion permitting it, however, it was approved in the budget as there was no motion prohibiting the payment. The only criterion was for the Director of Leisure Services, Martin Gould to meet with them. The minutes were reviewed and there was nothing prohibiting it so it was approved in the budget because they needed the funds.
CAO Ron Poole stated the golf course representatives came back. It was filed and they moved forward. Feldhoff did not realize this was the second payment. He suggested they dust off the first motion because they gave the golf course some changes to make.
Murphy stated the second presentation was about financial statements and a partnership. Council did not have a chance to discuss this so they did not ok the second $50,000. Poole asked for an opportunity to look into it.
Council voted to have Administration bring this back at a later date.
Comment by richard on 2nd August 2013
council or goverment,boils down to ethics. there is none.all personal gains. wolfs in sheeps clothing. bribes,bribes,bribes from big busseiness.its a fact.
Comment by Rory Brown on 30th July 2013
Talk about getting side tracked. The issue is the $50,000.00. Who wrote the check? Who is responsible? These are the questions that need to be answered, and they need to be answered publicaly. This is OUR money taken from the taxes WE pay, so we have a right to know who and why this was done. At the end of the day, isn't that the real issue here?
Comment by djb on 28th July 2013
Technically, the builidng is ownd by the society, and is not a "public" building though all are welcome there. Like all small town golf courses, without public support in the bar,restaurant,and on the golf course the club would never survive. Most clubs/societies do not have the expenses of the golf club. I didnt mean to suggest that it was unique as a society, but as a business operation in which profit is not the primary goal. It is run bare bones, to the point of not being able to upkeep necessary equipment. The food/beverage sales, and even the green fees/membership revenues, are not specifically for profit but to cover operating expenses.
My point was, that it provides valuable recreational opertunites for the public, not unlike the pool /rink etc which are heavily subsidized. A small subsidy does not appear out of order.It contributes to the quality of life in Kitimat for a lot of people. If taxpayers are upset with 50 - 100K, I doubt they would ever want to assume ownership or the entire costs of running it. (Prince Rupert did that with their course in the past , to the tune of > 1 million$ /yr)
As for junior programs, the course does have greatly reduced season pass rates for juniors (<12yrs=$115, 13-15 yrs = $200 and 16 - 18 yrs = $280) These compare well with hockey ( $425/season, swim club =$ 40 + / month, or even the DOK 6 month rec pass- $109 if<15, $204 if 16-18 yrs old.)The idea of a reduced single game golf pass rate for juniors is reasonable and should be forwarded to the club for consideration.
Comment by Chris on 27th July 2013
There are MANY societies that operate in our town that do not rely on Council for tax payer money to remain operational. It is not a community facility, it is a public building. If it were like the pool or the ice rinks, the city would OWN it, and they do not. If it was owned by the city, they wouldn't have to ask Council for this kind of money all the time as it would be the city's responsibility for the operations and upkeep, just like they are for Tamitik and Riverlodge.
They may offer food and beverage service but big deal, if you've been watching social media, you'll see that hardly anyone contributing to the conversations about the food and beverage service there is happy with what they get for their money when they go.
When a motion is made to give an initial portion of money and then perhaps a second portion based on a review of operations in the future, one would think that review would actually happen, instead of just handing out another portion of tax payer money just because meetings were attended on both sides. At this rate, the golf course will never be responsible for itself and should just give itself over to the DOK since that's who's paying to keep it operational. Kudos to the volunteers that run the place, but lots of SOCIETIES are run by VOLUNTEERS, so the golf course is really not unique.
Comment by mmurphy on 25th July 2013
the Golf course is not like any other society and community facility in town, doesn't offer a jr program nor can the younger generation attempt to learn and enjoy the facility...juniors up to 16 years pays 34$ for a round of golf...16 yrs and up...45$. Council needs to look at a more detailed financial and statements from other golf courses not subsidised by the community and are struggling but able to survive. I have concerns with the golf course attempting partnership with the community, the implications resulting from a partnership. The golf course does offer a service for the community, food and beverage services, best view in town, and the ability to enjoy golfing and curling...and the council wants all services to be successful. Where do we draw the line, others do not have the ability to earn extra funding through food and beverage services.
Comment by richard on 24th July 2013
there is none.
Comment by djb on 22nd July 2013
I agree with the accountability comments. All valid. But please re-read some previus posts / responses on this topic. The golf course is NOT like any other business. It is a society, and a COMMUNITY facilty, not unlike the pool, ice rinks etc. The exception being that it is run by VOLUNTEERS. Yes, there are paid staff, but the directors etc are volunteers. Yes, it could be run more efficiently but that is on ongoing issue and is always being evaluated. ( by professionals and casual observers alike)
Comment by J.Cruijff on 19th July 2013
A non elected rep from the District hands over $50000 of our tax money to a totally dysfunctional business?
The service stinks about as much as the food, and they reward these incompetents with tax money?
Shame on this council and a pox on their house.
Comment by Michael on 19th July 2013
In most workplaces, misallocation of funds is a serious matter. Especially when the sum of money is $50,000. I don’t know of any company or group which would hand out that sum of money without proper consultation of all groups. If this happened in any other municipality, somebody would be held responsible and lose their job.
Accountability and integrity are some of the most important values individuals can exercise in the workplace. Accountability is being responsible or answerable for an action. Integrity describes an individual who makes the choice to commit to honesty before he is faced with choosing between right and wrong. Without either value in the workplace, the community is at risk for poor organizational development.
The golf course has been a poorly managed business and like any other business must rely on their own wits to bail themselves out or sell the business to somebody who has the resources to make the business profitable.
At any rate the person who cut the check for $50,000 must answer to the community. Some members of council have no idea the money was issued and the issue was still being discussed. Whoever was responsible for issuing this money must be held accountable. It is $50,000 of the community’s budget! This is a serious matter.
Comment by Chris on 19th July 2013
So because they need the funds and there is no motion prohibiting the payment, I say every business and club in Kitimat receive the same $50,000 payment. Why is the golf course so special? All other clubs and businesses are responsible for their own operations, not relying on Council and tax payer dollars like the golf course does. How many times is Council going to give them money and when will they ever be responsible for themselves?
Comment by Apocalypse Now on 18th July 2013
How can this be possible?
I just don't believe it.....
Comment by Larry Walker on 18th July 2013
Message to staff....don't just "hold a meeting"...when in doubt "ask questions" before you do something you may regret. (especially with MY TAX DOLLARS