Should Youngstown own and operate a golf course?
In these trying financial times, we need to ask if the City of Youngstown should own and operate a golf course. Located on the North Side, the Henry Stambaugh Golf Course was opened in 1922 and is operated and maintained by the Youngstown Parks and Recreation.
What if an RFP were put out to determine if a private interest would purchase it? If so, the savings from the operations would be significant and the one time purchase revenues could be put in a capital improvements line item for economic development or neighborhood revitalization.
How many police and fire staff could avoid layoffs due to operational cost saving?
If the city wanted to preserve tee fees for seniors, put it as a condition in the RFP. If there are restrictions to a sale, take it to the court to argue that the financial status of the city has dramatically changed since 1922.
On another related idea, why have we not demolished the ugly gray industrial building on the West Side of the Market Street bridge? It is a reminder of our industrial past and an obstacle to the new vision for the downtown.
I personally know demolition businesses that would pay the city at least $100,000 for salvage rights and demolish this grotesque building.
Often times it is people outside of government that ask questions missed by those in government consumed by their daily routine.
Perhaps these two ideas have merit, perhaps not.
RICHARD J. BILLAK