Neosho Golf Board members voice concerns

Seth Kinker
skinker@gannett.com

Members of the Neosho Golf Course Board were at the March 16 city council meeting to voice their concerns with an item under unfinished business that pertained to amending the Golf Course Board's powers and duties. 

City staff has been aligning all City Boards with each other, specifically, the duties of each board. 

The bill would give the golf course committee the power to — develop and recommended rules and regulations at any city golf course within confines of existing law, recommend fees for golf course facilities and develop and recommend plans for growth and improvement of city golf courses. 

The Oaks Golf Course, one of the cities courses discussed at last week’s city council meeting.

Rex Budd, Chairman of the Golf Course Board, spoke first, followed by Clark Rhoades, the Men’s Neosho Golf Association (MGA) President. 

Budd said the course had lost employees before urging the council not to pass the bill.

Budd said, "In less than 12 months, through questionable termination or resignation, the City has lost three experienced golf course employees, and no qualified replacements are in sight. 

"Sadly, at this time, we have zero course operational knowledge on staff. In the last few months, the golf course hasn’t been included in some very critical personnel decisions.

“With no course experience left on staff, the board's input would be too valuable to eliminate at this time. I strongly urge the council to not pass (Bill No.) 2021-19.”

Rhoades referred to the downstream effect of the decisions and said the funds raised from a fall festival tournament for fairway improvements would be returned to the donors without the proper experience to go about the improvements. 

“Unfortunately, the management runover last year gave us cause for concern. But we felt it was even more critical and crucial for us to put the MGA together so we could give some continuity for our golfing community in the midst of turbulent change,” Rhoades said. 

“I really hope we can come together as a community to ensure the continued success and progress of the course. For the avoidance of doubt, we wanted to clearly state the MGA does not endorse the direction we are currently headed in,” Rhoades added. 

Rhoades said that they planned to get outstanding bills current as not to turn anything over to the city in arrears, and at that time, he would step down as MGA President. 

Later, Mayor Carmin Allen proposed, and the council would agree, to tabling bills 2021-19 and 2021-20 until the first council meeting in April with plans to meet with golf course members in the coming weeks to learn about the situation to resolve the issue at the April meeting.