More recently, attention has been brought to how much money the county has been spending and losing on Cotton Field Golf Course, which was purchased for $22 million in 2007. The county is still paying on a $10 million loan from the purchase, but there hasn’t been much profit, if any, from the use of the golf course. Do you think the use of the property as a golf course will ever allow the county to see worth-while profit? What do you think could turn this around?
In general, I do not believe that tax dollars should ever be used to operate a business that does not return regular and strong profits. It is not appropriate to waste the hard earned money that our citizens entrust to us by having those funds keep a questionably profitable golf course open. The property was never bought with the intent of keeping the golf course up and running. To my understanding, the course is set to close soon. That is a good decision but one that should have been made long ago. With the course closed, we can concentrate on what our next step should be. I would like to look at the potential for subdividing the land, having it appraised, and ultimately selling the land to try and pay down/ off the current debt. Certainly, we will have to take a close look at how such actions would impact county bond ratings and other potential fiscal impacts. I would work closely with the County Manager to understand all the possibilities of how to best recover as much money as possible from this golf course deal that went horribly wrong. Citizens deserve a commissioner who will fight to address this issue and I will certainly do so.