Closing Kearney a hack idea to help private developers

Councilman Doug Martin has upped the ante in the quest by private golf developers to blame public courses for their business woes.

Martin has suggested closing Kearney Hill Links, by far the city's finest venue, and one of the Midwest's truly great municipal layouts. We suspect Martin and his allies on the council know full well that Kearney, which has hosted first-class tournaments from the senior PGA tour to junior events, isn't going to be turned back to pasture, and that their real target is probably one of the other public courses, most likely Tates Creek or Picadome.

Whatever the aim, the effort remains what it always was: a cynical and heavy-handed attempt by a handful of developers who overreached during the '90s golf boom, to use the pinched city budget to redirect play from the city courses onto their own.

Martin, Jay McChord and others on the council should be embarrassed to take up this narrow special-interest cause. More civic-minded members of the council should instead encourage the parks department to think creatively about ways to increase play, and therefore revenue, at Lexington's public golf courses.