Although he had previously voted against the appointment of former alderman and county supervisor Ron Barone to the city’s golf course commission at the last Common Council meeting on October 3, Alderman Ed Russo introduced a resolution at Tuesday’s meeting to vote on the appointment a second time, joining with Aldermen Paul Ochal and Jim Martuscello to approve the measure 3-2. The resolution was signed by Mayor Michael Villa who initially made the appointment.
Before the vote, Aldermen Rodney Wojnar and Chad Majewski spoke out strongly against Barone’s appointment to the commission.
“I am not in favor of Ron Barone being put on this board in any way, shape or form,” said Wojnar.
He referred back to Barone’s time as city alderman from 2014 to 2015, during which Wojnar himself was on the commission.
“Everything that the golf commission proposed and set forward to help the golf course, he voted down – lowered rates, he did every crazy thing up there,” said Wojnar.
Wojnar said that he once witnessed unprofessional behavior by Barone at a golf course open house, and questioned his judgment for a time in May 2015 when Barone suggested appropriating $500,000 from the general fund balance in order to the balance the city budget.
“I can’t see how anyone would vote to put this man in that position. It’s moving the course backwards, not forwards,” said Wojnar.
Majewski described Barone’s conduct as “unprofessional” and described him as a “hiccup in the process.” He also cited an instance of what he felt was unprofessional behavior by Barone toward the golf commission during his time as alderman.
“I think that we can’t just be catering to a small group of golfers that are at the golf course with the deficit we have at the golf course. We need to be going forward, we need to move forward, and this puts us back three steps,” said Majewski. “I would encourage you all to re-think and vote against this. I’m upset to see that it’s even back here for a resolution.”
Martuscello said he would vote in favor of Barone’s appointment because he felt the golf commission was an advisory role, and the Common Council still has ultimate authority to make financial decisions for the course.