Golf course sparring continues

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Amsterdam 3rd Ward Alderman Ronald J. Barone Sr. wants to be the general manager of the city’s golf course.

And he says he’ll do the job for free.

Barone made the proposal during Wednesday’s meeting of the Common Council’s Personnel Committee. The meeting was held to discuss Mayor Ann Thane’s compromise proposal dealing with the contract of golf course professional Joseph Merendo and the proposed hiring of Richard Scott to manage the course. Thane had offered the plan after she vetoed resolutions approving the contracts with Merendo and concessionaire Laura Elmendorf.

“I want to be part of the golf course,” Barone said. “I want to do it for nothing. All I want to do is make sure the golf course is run well.”

He said he would bring a report to the Common Council every two weeks.

Barone said he has been playing golf on the city course for 50 years. His longtime familiarity with the course and his concern for the city’s taxpayers prompted him to come up with the idea, he said.

Thane said her compromise proposal was in the best interest of the taxpayers, prompting a response from Barone, who also is a former member of the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors…

“You think I’m here to hurt the taxpayers?” he asked. “You better take a look at my record in the county.”

Thane continued to advocate for her proposed compromise to hire Joe Merendo as a city employee as well as Richard Scott as General Manager as “the best for everyone involved.” She stated that without the compromise, “Joe Merendo won’t have a signed contract” and therefore can not be issued payments from the controller’s office.

4th Ward Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler countered that because the council had approved the contract and overridden Thane’s veto, that Thane had a “ministerial duty” to sign the contract and that if necessary, the council could direct any city official to sign the contract. “We will have a signed contract for Joe,” Hatzenbuhler said.

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.