To Chairman Cypress Head Golf Board from Ted

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Ted Noftall

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Ted Noftall
12:28 PM (21 hours ago)
to Bob, Drew, Scott, don, Allen, Robin
Councilman Bob Ford
Chairman
Cypress Head Golf Board
Thoughtful members of our community have long expressed the legitimate concern that it is all but impossible for even engaged citizens to understand the basis on which Council decisions involving millions of taxpayer dollars are being made.
I do not believe it is an exaggeration to state that decisions are being made in large part based on information that is being shared with Council in private meetings with the City Attorney, Manager, Developers and Contractors alike. Such actions make a mockery of the cornerstone on which open government rests – namely the people not only get to see their elected council vote in public, But they also get to see and understand the basis on which those votes are being made.
When presented with this concern, including the un-answered question as to what these Contractors are saying in private meetings that they will not say in public, during the inexplicable 6 month extension to a project that has not been finished in 10 years complete with a huge reduction in the contractor’s performance bond – you indicated that you wished all the information surrounding that decision had indeed been gathered and presented so that everyone could understand the basis of yours and Councils vote.
If those were words you truly feel then I would call on you in your capacity as Chairman of the Golf Board to gather all the information on which the upcoming vote to extend another $1.6 million in new loans to the ( CHGC ) Cypress Head Golf Club will be made. Even if open government concerns did not exist such an effort needs to be made because the CHGC is just too valuable an asset to our community to chance its future success on half baked analysis absent the due diligence review its future operations need and deserve.
That information should include at a minimum:

* The course analysis indicating the immediate need to refurbish same, including any independent analysis performed.
* The cost analysis on which the $1.6 million loan is based, including any independent analysis performed.
* The financial pro-formas indicating $3 million in new and existing loans can be repaid, including any independent analysis performed.
* The funding source for this new $ 1.6 million loan including the available balance after this expenditure, and a priority ranking of other needs relying on this source.
* An honest and complete disclosure of all golf course related expenditures since the CHGC was reorganized in 2001.

At the January 20th 2015 Council meeting the Finance Director purported that her 5 year power point summary did exactly that, when in fact all that was presented was gleaned from the Audit reports for the Kemper Management Services Agreement which the Auditor has said himself does not cover all golf operations.
That analysis is woefully incomplete, as evidenced by the Finance Director to supply a full disclosure of the golf course Clearing and golf course R&R accounts for FY 2014. As best I can remember she responded to your question regarding these accounts to the effect ‘ that at she wasn’t releasing anything that she was not 100 % sure was 100% correct ‘. That statement as you know or should know is as likely an admission as possible that Finance is not complying with public records requests as required by Statute.
As you unwittingly participated in that incomplete disclosure from the dais I would call upon you insist that a full financial disclosure of all Golf course revenues and expenditures for the 5 years covered in the Finance Director’s report be presented.
That financial disclosure should include omitted information for those 5 fiscal years including at a minimum:

* A complete accounting as to where the $ 989,259 the Auditor advises was transferred from the CHGC to the City for this period was expended.
* An accounting for the discrepancy between the 259,396 total rounds played per KSM for this period vs the $ 216,572 paid to the City’s R&R fund per the Auditor @ $1 per 18 rnds played.
* An accounting as to where $ 216,572 paid to the R&R fund as reported by the Golf Course Auditor for this period has been expended.
* An accounting for the FY 2010 thru FY 2013 discrepancy between the $211,697 reported in the CAFR as Golf Course Fund capital acquisitions vs the $86,994 being repaid through lease payments for the same period ( Note FY 2014 CAFR not yet released )

The discrepancies and the understanding that will be gleaned from a full financial disclosure of CHGC operations for even 5 years will likely make obvious that the analysis should be extended back to when the golf club was reorganized in 2001.
While I understand Council’s frustration with the seeming inability of senior staff to complete anything in a coherent and comprehensive fashion, I do not understand why anyone on Council would chance their fiduciary responsibility to safeguard taxpayer interests with votes based on little more than unverifiable assurances many of which are being made in private sessions. If the required information and analysis is not sufficient on which to base a vote – then no vote should be cast until sufficient information and analysis has been supplied.
There was a time when I sensed little daylight between us on matters of principle regarding disclosure and transparency. I have no such sense today, and if my sense is correct then no amount of un-analyzed largess spent on the CHGC will off-set the loss you are about to hand Port Orange residents.
The Cypress Head Golf Club is a valuable amenity that I believe will be best preserved by placing that operation on a sound financial footing, AND the real tragedy in seeing that come to pass is that acumen of Cypress Head residents has not been availed of in the non due diligent manner in which these renovations have been advanced thus far.
Ted Noftall
for responsible government — 2016

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