12/21/2005

Tribune goes Golfing, pt. II

The Tribune ran two pieces on golfing today, here and here. I'm not going to spend too much time on it, given the amount of previous discussion. A few observations are apt, though.

First, the Advisory Board wants to raise fees. One question: Is our demand for golf elastic or inelastic? (Econ 101) In other words, if the demand for golf and cart use is elastic, an increase in price will actually decrease total revenue. Is anyone even asking the question?

Second, in referring to the golf consultant's study, Manager Lawton referred to some of the suggestions as "no-brainers." Really? They seem like $24,000.00 brainers to me. Apparently, then, none of the managers we pay at the City has a brain.

Third, it is more of the same from the Tribune. They refer to the lack of good management practices as "inexcusable." But they don't suggest that we fire anyone, or discipline anyone. They suggest that we...study the issue more. And then forge ahead with the same personnel we have now.

Look, am I the only one who sees a pattern? Consider the Explore: The Big Sky fiasco. There is some feigned hand-wringing, lots of talk about not making the same mistakes twice, but no accountability.

Wolfpack said it in a comment. If we do not have qualified managers running the golf courses, why not? Who hired the managers? Were they quizzed about their experience? Did they set goals for the course? Are they reviewed to see if they met their goals?

If not, then we have to ask who is managing them. What are Patty Reardon's plans for the Parks and Recreation Department over the next 12 months? Over the next 60 months? What changes and improvements is she proposing? What does she expect they will cost and what does she project they will do for revenue? Where are her projections? What are they based on?

If we don't have satisfactory answers to those questions, then we turn to the City Manager. What are Ms. Reardon's qualifications to run Park and Rec? What have you done to locate a replacement? Are you satisfied with the fact that she cannot answer basic managerial questions? Are you satisfied with the fact that she had not identified any of the golf course managerial issues that the consultant found? Are you comfortable paying a government employee over twice the median wage in this town when she is apparently unable to satisfactorily perform her job's responsibilities?

Will any of this happen? Of course not. Unless Dona Does It!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

My old man was your typical main street businessman. I can remember many times he shook his head at other businesses who, in response to business being down would happily raise prices thus driving more business away. It was long as most of them were out of business after that brilliant move.

Big Sky Husker said...

GeeGuy... it's the great mystery, isn't it? The Trib acts like the golf courses in town decided one day to start failing all by themselves. Typical for the rag..er.. Trib. Don't direct any "hard" questions to any of the yahoos supposedly in charge. No... it's easier to study the problem some more. And after we study it some more... 99% of the answers in that study will be the same exact answers we all knew before we studied it some more. Forest Gump could run the Parks/Rec Dept more efficiently than the head honcho we have now.

SallyT said...

You said, "...an increase in price will actually decrease total revenue. Is anyone even asking the question?"

Well, the last time the city recommended rate increases at the course, quite a few citizen golfers attended the Commission meeting to point this out. Someone correct me if I'm wrong (not a golfer, so can't remember), but weren't the rates still increased?

Ya know, Patty (Gumenberg) Reardon has run many departments in this city...and each managed to lose spectacular amounts of money under her leadership. If the Trib had an iota of curiousity, it could probably produce a Pulitzer-worthy series on the real reasons she's been shuffled from department to department.

What's it take to get the city to hold her accountable for her incredible incompetence?

Anonymous said...

She cant be too incompetent...The Public Employees Retirement System bases a person's monthly retirement on their 3 highest years salary...msybe that's why the City is dragging their feet hiring a new Director? They are boosting Patty's retirement...