Issues related to The Hideout Golf Club seem to be taking up more and more of the Monticello City Council’s time.
At the March 26 council meeting, Councilman Brad Randall suggested that the golf committee be changed into a Board of Directors, empowering oversight of the day-to-day operation of the golf course.
Randall said that he feels the City Council doesn’t have the knowledge to ensure that the course performs to a certain set of standards, but a Board of Directors, with a vested interest in the game, would.
Councilman Jeremy Hoggard was in favor of the change, he said, primarily because “during the last four months plus, we have spent an enormous amount of time talking about golf.... Had we had a board like this in place, we could have been worrying about some of the other issues that we face in the city.”
Hoggard said that transferring the responsibilities to people who are on the course multiple times each week would give the power to people who have knowledge of what is going on, what is working, and what needs fixing.
Craig Leavitt, a member of the committee, said he was getting ready to quit the committee, but feels good about this proposal. He said that if the council is looking at the course as a business, and trying to make money, it needs people who understand what needs to be done.
Mayor Doug Allen said that he would like time to review the proposal and make the decision. Allen said that the new City Manager and new Golf Pro, who was hired later in the meeting, should look at the proposal before a decision is made.
Councilman Jerry Ward was upset Mayor Allen had changed the item from an action to a discussion. He said that the council should step aside and worry about other city issues and let a board of directors run the golf course.
Allen pointed out that regardless of the outcome, the council will have to deal with the course, because they own it. Ward said that if a Board of Directors is not appointed, he feels the city should sell the course.
Councilman Walter Bird said he there is no reason the decision couldn’t wait two weeks while the new managers look over the proposal. Bird said he had concerns about a committee or Board of Directors giving direct orders and dictating to city employees what they do in their job.
Members of the Golf Committee expressed concern that Bird’s suggestion would make the Board of Directors no different that the current situation. They shared several situations when their suggestions for the course were not used, despite much study and research on their part.
The council will review the document and make changes as necessary, as well as seek the input of the new Pro and City Manager before a decision is made.
Later in the meeting, the council had a lengthy discussion over the candidates that were interviewed for the Golf Course Pro position. They reviewed applications and discussed references of applicants before Councilman Randall made a motion to approve Terry Eardley as the new Pro. The council approved the hire unanimously.
Eardley later was accepted the offer. Course Supervisor Jim Robison said he would help Eardley in whatever way he can and feels it will be a successful team.
After several months of discussion regarding the purchase of an empty lot next to Wagon Wheel Pizza on Main Street, the council approved $1,000 in earnest money to hold the property for six months while they make a decision on whether to purchase the property outright or broker a trade. The property owner has expressed interest in trading the property for land north of the current airport after the new airport is built.
Dates for the annual city spring clean-up are set from April 12-28. During this time, landfill fee will be waived for all city residents and the city crew will do a curbside pickup of yard waste on Monday, April 28.
The council approved a $500 donation to the Blue Mountain Festival of the Old West, and a $200 donation to Aaron Butler to attend the Senior National Wrestling Tournament.
In other business, the council appointed Vernon Hatch to the Recreation Committee and approved an alcohol license for Maria’s Kitchen.