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Council overrides veto, Mayor offers compromise on Golf Course issue

Common_Council_Article

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane offered a compromise Tuesday in the ongoing controversy over the Municipal Golf Course.

Thane knew before Tuesday’s meeting that aldermen planned to override her veto of resolutions renewing contracts with golf professional Joseph Merendo and concessionaire Laura Elmendorf. Her compromise plan included hiring Merendo as golf pro and Richard Scott as golf course manager. Scott was recommended by members of the city’s Golf Commission.

Under Thane’s proposal, Scott would be a city employee. The base salary for Scott would be $49,000 per year. The city would receive all the golf cart revenue as well as a percentage of pro shop revenue and teaching fees. Thane wrote that this plan would benefit the city by  approximately $30,000  per year.

Merendo is not a city employee. He currently receives a salary of $25,500 per year as well as all golf cart, pro shop and lesson revenue, and he pays a part-time ranger, two other full-time employees and three part-time high school students. He absorbs the cost of carts and the pro shop.

Thane wrote that her proposal “allows for increased supervision at the course, better marketing and increased membership/greens fees.” Her plan also “lifts the burden of managing employees and the cost of caring for carts and the pro shop” from Merendo while allowing him additional benefits, including access to the state retirement system. Scott would benefit from having “a popular golf pro” on staff, Thane wrote.

Council members took no action on Thane’s proposal; they will discuss it further at a Committee of the Whole meeting on January 29.

“I hope the council would pay attention to what is being offered,” Thane said afterwards. “The proposal for a golf course manager is sound. It comes from a year and a half of study. Commission members really have done their homework.”

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About John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.

7 Responses to Council overrides veto, Mayor offers compromise on Golf Course issue

  1. steve says:

    this is terrible once again joe is getting the best of both worlds. Amsterdam needs to get it together. this is one of the worst common councils i have ever seen if you just listen to these people talk it is clearly out of spite. they do not make informed decisions. and for barone to act the way he did with buciferro at the end of the council meeting is unacceptable and he should be removed form the common council.

  2. rogo says:

    Let’s see what compromise costs. 5 city employees, health ins. minimum $11,000 each, retirement $11,000 each (city budget figures) Scott salary $49,000. Joe the Pro salary $25,000 ??? 3 employees in pro shop $10,000 each (probably more) Cost of carts per year $46,000 (golf commission number). Maybe more costs (disabilty, woker comp ins.), but i’ll stop here. Do the math about $260,000 added costs to course. Don’t think anyone can bring in that revenue

    • Michael Donnan says:

      Do you honestly think Joe the Pro has been losing money on the pro shop and golf cart rentals? Because your post makes those assumptions.

    • Rob Millan says:

      Where is the figure of $11,000 from health insurance coming from? Curious.

  3. steve says:

    rogo,
    you are truly misinformed the 46,000 is the total cost of the carts. and you would be surprised what a little effort in customer service and marketing can do. do yo have any experience in course operations? i don’t think so. for you to make all these blind assumptions is absurd. just because joe is your buddy don’t make misinformed comments.

  4. Rob Millan says:

    If there’s anything more puzzling it’s why some CC members are worried for the personal income of Mr. Merendo. Diane says she is worried that he won’t make enough money but am curious as to why she or anyone would care. It gives the impression that the CC members are looking out for the personal well-being of a friend.