To The Editor:
I read with interest the last issue of The Woodbridge Town News and was taken aback by the First Selectman’s statements referring to the Country Club of Woodbridge (CCW) as having “no value because it needs so much repair and improvements” and also her statement that they had done their “due diligence” for the Country Club of Woodbridge coming up with a solution in the best interests of the town at this time.
I disagree with both statements. From my perspective, it is a shame that Woodbridge’s leadership never took the opportunity to really see the golf course in operation nor to understand the golf course business. They never played the course; they never saw all the young children in camp learning the game of golf; they never watched the Amity High School golf teams playing or practicing there. This golf course is a treasure that has been overlooked and instead maligned as an albatross.
As has been pointed out by many others, the CCW golf course, under the management of Casper Golf, had its most successful year in 2015. But rather than going for a Request for Proposals with other golf management companies in a timely fashion as advised by the CCW Commission or negotiating with Casper when CCW was on a positive trajectory, nothing was done until the last moment. As a consequence of the uncertainty, the financial viability of CCW golf was jeopardized by loss of members and the many tournaments which had been booked through 2016.
I would be remiss if I did not point out that Town Leadership has let the CCW clubhouse deteriorate over time. Decisions had to be made to either restore and renovate the building or demolish it. Doing nothing has inevitable consequences.
Would it not make more sense to realistically look at the CCW property as an asset that can be improved upon rather than bonding between $1.S and $2 million to convert to open space, especially when we have no idea what keeping it as open space, even on an interim basis, will ultimately cost the Town? The costs of converting the CCW to open space were not investigated when negotiations with Casper Golf and other golf management companies were relegated to the back burner.
If there was a true commitment by Town leadership to the golf course and pool as an invaluable recreational asset rather than a drain on the Town’s resources, Woodbridge still would have the opportunity to receive revenue from both endeavors. Indeed it is not yet too late.
Phyllis B. Genel
Vice Chair, Woodbridge Golf Commission
(disbanded September 14, 2016)