The Davis County Commission Monday extended its golf pros' contracts six more years, giving the pros the lion's share of revenues from cart rentals, driving ranges, pro shops and restaurant sales.

No other public golf course in Utah gives its head professionals a similar deal. Cart rentals and other businesses at similar public golf courses in the Wasatch Front gross more than $400,000, most or all of that money going straight to the governmental owner."One of the reasons people like living in Davis County is because we're different here," Commissioner Dannie McConkie said in defense of the contract.

In commission chambers packed with supporters and opponents of the new contracts (the former appeared to outnumber the latter), McConkie and Commission Chairman Gayle Stevenson voted to approve, with Commissioner Carol Page as the sole dissenter.

"I cannot sit idly by and rubber-stamp a contract that does not make good business sense for the county," she said, reading from a prepared statement. "The proposed agreement is wrong. It is irresponsible and a slap in the face to taxpayers who expect better."

Page said it was unfair to give golf professionals independent contracting incentives in preference to other county employees. She compared the arrangement to giving the sheriff extra money for each citation or booking, the animal-control officer for each animal licensed and the economic development director for each new arriving business.

The pros will also receive nominal salaries, in the $17,000 range, and full benefits.

State law provides that full-time public employees cannot contract on the side with state, county or city governments, but in 1989 the Legislature specifically exempted golf pros from that requirement at the urging of the Utah section of the Professional Golfers Association.

Page also objected to the fact that nobody knows exactly how much the golf pros are making in their side ventures - money that could be going to the county. The pros won't say exactly how much money they're making, though Davis Park pro Brad Stone said last year he takes home less than $60,000 a year. Estimates (necessarily no more than educated guesses) run anywhere from $100,000 to $400,000.

"As a taxpayer in Davis County, I want to know if there are any more of these jobs available," said Kaysville resident Floyd Baham. "They sound pretty good to me."

McConkie said there's no way the pros could be making as much as some people say they are, but conceded that if in fact they were, a public outcry would force the commission to change the contracts.

Stevenson said at one point the pros offered to show him their income tax returns, but he refused, saying he didn't need or even want to know how much they made.

The biggest change in the new contracts will be that the county will now receive a small portion of golf cart rental and driving range revenues. In 1996 the county will get 10 percent of gross revenues, and that percentage will increase 1 percent each year for five years. More important to many people, the county will now know for the first time exactly how much the pros are grossing from these operations.

The pros will not be required, however, to disclose how much net profit they are taking home, something Page unsuccessfully pushed for.

The pros will continue to receive all revenues from pro shops and golf lessons in the new contracts. In the case of Ken Pettingill of Valley View Golf Course, his company will also continue to receive all revenues from the course's restaurant.

Stevenson said the contracts have worked well up to now and that there is no reason to change them significantly.

"There isn't an argument I've heard today that I haven't heard for the past eight years (his tenure as a commissioner)," he said. "I'm pleased with what's going on, and now we're going to get 10 to 15 percent more."

Page also objected to the length of the contracts, preferring two years to six, but Stevenson said six years was the "traditional" contract length.