Follow the Money

followMoney2to:  David Harden, City Manager
Yes Manager Harden, I can see from the most cursory of review that this report has much in the way of detailed information.
That only begs the question all the more.
Why was this report not released earlier as it was produced some 4 months into your tenure as Manager, AND will you make available all such previous reports ?
If you were not advised of same, as Councilman Ford has assured me was the case with him, Then as was asked with the Fl Dept of Health scandal a month ago.
What else has Kemper not been sharing with the City ??
Ted Noftall
for responsible government – 2016
From: Harden, David []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2015 3:16 PM
To: City Council
Subject: USGA report October 1, 2014
The attached report on the Cypress Head Golf Course has a lot of detailed information on the condition of the course and repeatedly mentions the need to renovate the course.
From: Ted Noftall []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2015 3:08 PM
To: ‘Harden, David’
Cc: ‘Bob Ford’
Subject: FW: Port Orange Golf Course
@ Manager Harden
Thank you, and I want to be sure you know that I had never heard of these two USGA On-site Visit reports before your e-mail below.
In that regard would you please advise as to:
* Where these two reports, and presumably other earlier reports may be accessed.
* The dates these two reports, and in particular the Oct.1st 2014 report were presented to the Golf Board and to Council, OR OTHERWISE advise as to why they were not presented to the Golf Board and to Council.
@ Golf Chairman Ford
Were you aware of these reports and if so why did you not cause them to be discussed at both the Golf Board and at Council ?
Ted Noftall
for responsible government – 2016
—–Original Message—–
From: Harden, David []
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2015 2:06 PM
To: Ted Noftall; Craig Reynolds
Cc: Tony Ledbetter; Tom Coriale; Bob Ford;; Drew Bastian; Scott Stiltner; Al Angelone; Bill Scheider; Jack Boston; Richard and Debra Hebert; Tony Delmonte
Subject: RE: Port Orange Golf Course
With regard to your second bullet below, I wanted to be sure you were aware that the last two On-site Visit Reports from the USGA Green Section refer to the “much needed course renovation”. I believe this is the independent course analysis indicating the need to refurbish the course. Later on in the October 1, 2014 report it states, “However again, renovation of the putting greens is an absolutely necessary undertaking for addressing the off-type contamination and encroachment problems that now exist with the putting greens at Cypress Head.” And, “Renovation/resurfacing of the putting greens at Cypress Head is an absolutely necessary and recommended undertaking for being able to provide an acceptable quality product going forward.” With respect to tees, “Renovation/re-leveling of all of the par 3 tees plus the tees on the 4th, 8th and 9th holes . . . is absolutely needed. . . .” Similarly, “Total reconstruction of the bunkers is needed and strongly recommended.”
From: Ted Noftall []
Sent: Monday, February 16, 2015 3:53 PM
To: Craig Reynolds (
Cc: Tony Ledbetter (; Tom Coriale (; ‘Harden, David’; Bob Ford (;; Drew Bastian (; Scott Stiltner (; Al Angelone (; Bill Scheider (; Jack Boston (; Richard and Debra Hebert (; Tony Delmonte (
Subject: FW: Port Orange Golf Course
Good afternoon Mr. Reynolds,
Your e-mail was recently forwarded to me and I want to assure you and others reading this e-mail that the great objective here is to ensure that the Cypress Head Golf Course remains in operation as a golf course and its future not become subject to the whim of this Council or any future Council. I believe the best way to ensure that happens is to place the CHGC on a secure financial footing, which it is not at present.
Let me also tell you that I am not aware of any person or persons who are actively seeking the closure of the Cypress Head Golf Course. Nor am I aware of any person or persons who deny that life span of golf courses are such that they need refurbishment every 20 to 25 years, and that the CHGC needs or will soon need such refurbishment.
What is in hot dispute is the timing and extent of those renovations, AND the extent of the disclosure that needs to precede those renovations.
Let me ask … Did you know that
* if these renovations take place while the Kemper contract in effect as much 50% of the total cost will ‘soft costs’ that have no lasting benefit but will be part of the 30 year loan amortization
* no independent course analysis indicating the immediate (as in next month) need to refurbish the course has taken place.
* no independent analysis of the Kemper supplied financial pro-formas indicating the new and existing loan can be repaid has ever taken place.
* no accounting has been provided as to where the $ 989,259 the Auditor advises was transferred from the CHGC to the City for the 5 years ended Sept 30th 2014 was expended.
* no accounting has been provides for the $42,824 @ 1 $ per round shortfall to the R&R for the 5 years ended Sept 30th 2014
* no accounting has been provided as to where the $ 216,572 paid to the R&R fund for the 5 years ended Sept 30th 2014 was expended. This one item alone if properly accounted for since the inception of the gold course should have made this whole discussion moot as there should be enough money in this fund alone to refurbish the golf course (23 years @ 50,000 rounds/year @ 1 per round = $ 1.15 million)
The unexplained answers to the questions above should tip you to the notion that the cash reporting for both the City and the CHGC is about as clear as pea soup. In fact it is such a mess that the Finance Director is refusing to even report on the City’s cash accounts. That should be of concern for all residents and especially for residents of Cypress Head because spending in a blind fashion based on the number of jerseys in council chambers without even knowing the amount of our cash reserves is a recipe for future tax increases.
Council has already approved increases to City water and sewer rates and when the inevitable push comes to raise property taxes so too will come the push to find areas in which to cut and I do not want to find the CHGC anywhere close to the chopping block. You asked and if you have not already been told, Bob Ford is the only Republican on council. He has worked tirelessly to not increase property taxes over the past 4 years and he voted against those recent water and sewer rate increases, but he is only one of 5 on that council.
As reported, the financial condition of the golf course is such that operating losses preclude it from even making payments on its existing loan. The true financial contribution may be different, as questions raised from only a 5 year review of audit reports would seem to indicate that the City has squandered reserves that were designed to pay for the renovations before us.
It is widely conceded that Kemper is a drag on performance. How big a drag has not been quantified but we do know that the restaurant at the New Smyrna Beach Municipal golf course is doing a jam business with first class food and service, so much so that reservations are required on Friday night and the place is packed. Kemper on the other hand is the home of $ 6 heated and re-heated again hot dog according to Health Dept inspection reports. The bar and restaurant is losing money according to Kemper’s own financials and it should be no surprise to anyone that when a sector of an operation worth 16% of total revenue is losing money so too is the total operation losing money.
My goodness has anyone even stopped to question the City Attorney responsible for drafting or reviewing the Kemper management services agreement as to why it was recommended for Council approval considering it is written so poorly against the City’s favor such that Kemper’s outrageous soft cost demands can only be “negotiated ” OR why a 5 year renewal was approved knowing that course renovations would be taking place smack dab in the middle of that agreement’s term. You should know Mr. Reynolds that Councilman Ford had the insight to vote against that Kemper management services agreement also.
The rushed and secretive manner in which this matter is proceeding absent the workshop forum golfers were promised to share their insight, accompanied with the disinformation that the Mayor is likely propagating that is devoid of anything close to full financial disclosure, including a critical analysis of Kemper’s performance, is not in the best long term interest of Cypress Head golfers.
The Citizens for a Better Port Orange who heavily supported Councilman Ford in his recent re-election, favor a fiscally responsible approach that will put the CHGC on a financially sound basis for years to come.
I hope you will lend your voice in that quest.
Ted Noftall
for responsible government – 2016
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Craig Reynolds <>
Date: Fri, Feb 13, 2015 at 5:31 PM
Subject: Port Orange Golf Course
To: Tom Coriale <>, tony ledbetter <>
Upfront Question:
Who on Port Orange City Council are Republicans that could possibly give me support on the issue below??
I am a resident of Cypress Head in Port Orange. I live on Port Orange’s Golf Course. I purchased my home here several years ago. My wife and I retired and sought this type of environment. I invested a significant amount of my savings in this home and this lovely community. There are a fair amount of older folk like me in Cypress Head and I believe, like me, they seek an environment that is safe and stable. However, now I am told that the Port Orange City Council wants to rid itself of the Golf Course.
This is my issue: a town like Port Orange should not be in the business of attracting people to it and then change the venue. That is to say, ‘the old bait and switch’ (which we expect when we go out to purchase a car); should not be the modus operandi of our town.
My response to those who suspect me of being selfish is that I pay about $4,200 in local property tax. I do not have children. I use the security provided by the Port Orange Police, the Fire Department, EMS. I use the roads and the great library. I do not know for sure but I reckon that 60% of my taxes are used to fund education. Therefore, from Port Orange’s financial perspective, my wife and I are sources of significant revenue without much expense, i.e., I do NOT use the schools.
Finally, the market price of my home is directly related to its location on the golf course. If you remove the golf course the market value of my house declines and so will my contribution to Port Orange’s property tax revenue; unless, the City Council compensate themselves by increasing the tax rate.
I will attend a Port Orange City Council Meeting Tuesday evening at the City Center. I expect them to discuss the Port Orange Golf Course.
Who on that Council are Republicans that could possibly give me support??
All the best,

Craig E. Reynolds
Phone 732 823 2296

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.