Golfers packed the Lake County commissioners’ hearing room Tuesday afternoon to discuss the future of the Mt. Massive Golf Course.
Missing from the meeting were the members of the golf course board and Craig Stuller, who manages the facility. They will be included in a second meeting to be held Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m. in the BOCC hearing room, billed as a work session between the commissioners and the golf course board. Interested members of the public may also attend.
In addressing concerns and challenges in working with the golf course board, Commissioner Sarah Mudge said attempts have been made to obtain the golf course records but “they weren’t well kept.”
Her goal is to get the financial records and have them examined by a CPA.
Commissioner Mark Glenn said that the golf course board had obtained a loan from First Mountain Bank to finance an irrigation system at the golf course. Because of the high interest rates being charged, the loan, $295,000, was taken over by private individuals Bruce J. and Mary B. Sposi at an interest rate of 6% beginning Nov. 1, 2012. The county apparently put up the golf course land as backing for the loan.
No one had any information on the status of the loan, now said to be $220,000. But Amber Magee, recreation director for Lake County, noted that there had been complaints from the board about the burden of repaying the loan.
Ron Yudnich, a member of the Ski Cooper board, spoke up about a time when Ski Cooper was in trouble. The commissioners fired some of the Cooper board members and changes were made in how the finances were kept, making them more transparent. He suggested the golf course do the same.
Dave Flores, who golfs frequently at Mt. Massive, said it is operating with a very minimal crew and the quality of the course has gotten worse.
“A broken valve on the number-one green went two months without being fixed,” Flores said.
Sue Walker said the problem is not with the board.
“Every time they have a question, they’re stonewalled by Craig (Stuller),” she said.
“You need to fire Craig,” she added. “No one will say that. The board won’t agree to fire him. He’s the elephant in the room.”
Mudge said the BOCC needs to understand more about how the course is being operated and its finances.
Several in the audience said that Stuller had a contract that included a severance clause that will pay him a year’s salary if he leaves.
Lily Vigil said she and her husband have been golf course members for many years, and she was specifically asked to not run for the board.
When asked specifically if the golf course board and Stuller would be present at the Jan. 14 meeting, Mudge said that as far as she knows, they will.