A familiar figure was glad-handing Urban County Councilman Jay McChord after last week's discussion of Lexington municipal golf: Warren Rogers, best known to political watchers as chairman of the Kentucky Club For Growth and public mouthpiece against local ownership of the water utility. (His construction firm is now working on Kentucky American's new plant and pipeline.)
Rogers has joined forces with Larry Hart, who operates the upscale Greenbrier Golf and Country Club, and a coalition of privately owned Central Kentucky clubs. The group includes the operators of Old Silo in Mount Sterling and The Bull in Madison County. A representative of Danny McQueen, who operates Keene Run and the Golf Club of the Bluegrass in Jessamine County, Cabin Brook in Woodford County, and the University Club in Fayette County, was also at last week's council meeting.
Although Hart is on record in favor of privatizing Lexington's public courses, the group now claims only to want to promote golf in the Bluegrass. But rather than stick to marketing their own first-rate properties, they seem bent on undermining Lexington's public program by forcing Parks and Recreation to make Lexington public golf 100 percent self-sustaining.
Urban County Council members shouldn't be listening to out-of-county operators about golf. Apparently, some of them also need to be reminded that there's nothing wrong with publicly funded recreational facilities.
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The city's parks, baseball diamonds, pools, tennis courts, dog parks and other facilities are all supported by taxpayers, as they should be. Golf is no different.
Now, can we discuss Kentucky American's request for a whopping 37 percent rate hike?