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COMMITTEE FIGHTS FOR GOLFERS' NEEDS

To the editor:

In a recent letter to the Forum, a former City Council budget analyst named Cam Caldwell took a swipe at me and hundreds of golfers like me who are trying to improve golf course management.From the tone of his comments, one would think he was still one of the city's paid voices. Even though he once sought the help of our Citizens Golf Committee, he now finds fault with our efforts.

He claims that golfers like us can play a round of golf for $1, compared to the $1.36 he claimed on a prior occasion. Will it be 50 cents the next time he tells it? My golfing last year cost me $1,042, reflecting the cost of my pass, cart, driving range and concession expenditures. Many others pay this much and more each year. Golfers like me, young and old, male and female, expect to pay our fair share and have never tried to make a sweetheart deal.

The Citizens Golf Committee and I have been fighting for all golfers' needs, not just mine. I can afford even the present bloated green fees, but there are a lot of people who cannot. They deserve a chance to play. Maybe more of them could afford it if it weren't for the poor budget analysis and counseling that reduced the number of pass holders from 922 to 300, which reduced revenues by $191,000. The public should know that it was also because of such counseling that the city obligated itself to more than $18 million for one new golf course and an addition to another.

Cam Caldwell failed to mention the 3,500 signatures of "disgruntled" golfers on a petition that was submitted to then-Mayor DePaulis, a petition that was ignored. Salt Lake golfers should be told how much those two gold mines of Mountain Dell and Wingpointe earned in 1991: They lost $103,584 between them. Plus, the city had to refinance the bonds, costing another $1,094,000, while the golf program was losing money. We want better planning and management.

Lou Skokos

Citizens Golf Committee

Salt Lake City