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It is time for the mayor and common council to transcend the norm of Amsterdam politics for the good of all the citizens in our city.

We have a number of pressing issues that plague our city. We have infrastructure that needs to be maintained in an affordable manner. We have tax and user fee increases that are challenging to our businesses and residents.

We have increasing debt in our city’s government, and a lack of job opportunities for our residents.

I urge the council to make a balanced offer to the mayor on this golf course issue. The study from Union College cited by the mayor is outdated but not unuseful. Just because the contract for the pro is due does not mean we should move forward on a new, three-year contract, citing five-year-old, outdated statistics. Sign a one-year contract with the current golf pro, Joe Merendo. Use that year to gather more information regarding the golf course.

We should conduct a new competition pricing analysis. We should implement some of the marketing strategies from the study cited by the mayor. Attract youth by providing youth camps and programs. Attract new customers by holding marketed tournaments at the Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course. Offer discounted long-term membership rates for golfers coming from other golf courses.

All of these good ideas can be implemented without changing the overall structure of the golf course.

Since we are all interested in increasing usage of the golf course, let’s take some good ideas from both sides and meet in the middle. Implement these changes, look at their effectiveness over the next year, and revisit the contract next year. For the time being, leave the idea of purchasing and leasing golf carts out, and let Joe Morendo continue as pro.

If both sides can agree to meet in the middle and move on, we forego a drawn-out court proceeding. Move on to more important business.

Karl Baia,

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