Council considers changes to golf commission appointments, authority to set fees

There may be changes to the way the city’s golf course commission members are appointed and how course rates are set under a proposed ordinance discussed at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting. Under the proposed changes to chapter 28 of the city code, commission members would serve co-conterminously with the mayor, rather than for five year terms. The common council would also have explicit authority to approve all fees charged by the golf course each year. Additionally, the ordinance would remove the requirement of the director of recreation to approve golf course expenditures.

In the past, the council has regularly passed resolutions approving fees for the course, however the commission once questioned whether the council has the final say.

Council members held off on formally introducing the ordinance, due to uncertainty as to whether the current members could serve out the remainder of their terms or not.

“If you revoke the ordinance, does that make the appointment null and void?” asked Mayor Michael Villa.

“I don’t know if it would,” replied Corporation Counsel William Lorman. “The ordinance does not address what the current members are. In other words, are they going to be removed?”

“I think that’s a decision of the mayor,” said Alderman Jim Martuscello.

“It should state that in the [ordinance] that the mayor has the authority to terminate the current members of the commission,” said Lorman.

Alderman Ed Russo stressed the need to set the rates soon, so the course could begin advertising.

“This is what I don’t feel comfortable with, I don’t want the golf commission telling us what the rates are, then it’s out of…our control,” said Martuscello.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.