Letter: Where is the benefit to Lemoore's citizens?

It was about a month ago when I reminded the Council of the historical lack of interest the City of Lemoore has shown in providing recreational facilities to the citizens of Lemoore.

Now it looks as if they are on the verge of making the City’s track record on recreation facilities even worse than their predecessors.

At a January study session the Council was faced with a large crowd and several speakers who expressed their displeasure with Council actions regarding the sale of the Lemoore Municipal Golf Course. Homeowners who bought property along the golf course with the promise of living next to a City owned facility felt betrayed. When asked how the Council could sell publicly-owned land the response was that they could do in in two ways: by declaring the property surplus – which only needed a 3-2 vote or an out right sale that required a 4-1 vote. When asked the California Codes that allowed the sale, the council members could not identify code numbers.

The reason given for the golf course sale was to pay back the funds borrowed from Lemoore’s Redevelopment Agency. Redevelopment agencies across the State were eliminated and all funds were to be returned to the State.

The City’s current golf management company is making a lease payment to the City to cover the original obligation. But the City Council now wanted to double the lease payment in an effort to recover “general fund” dollars that had to be sent to the State. Doubling the lease payment would mean doubling the course profit, which is impossible for any golf course.

The City has solicited a buyer and is willing to finance the sale over a number of years. This looks to be a Council created financial problem created by using questionable borrowing. The solution chosen is to eliminate a City asset that has been used for decades.  Where is the benefit to the Citizens of Lemoore?

Bill Black

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