City should close Van Berg

City should close Van Berg


To the editor:

The Telegram’s Sept. 8 article “Curry targets Van Berg” was short on facts and long on verbiage supporting the status quo, i.e. needlessly wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars of tax revenue every year simply because politicians like to pass out half-priced cheese.

Instead of sharing my arguments for closing Van Berg, the article focused on unsubstantiated poppycock in an email from Doug Dunbar, the city’s director of golf, also the commissioned operator of Quail Run, also the single biggest beneficiary of this waste of the taxpayer’s money and, therefore, the least objective person on the planet.

The most farcical of Mr. Dunbar’s many claims had to do with his counting of the number of rounds at Quail Run which he wrote were “up 30 percent over the last 12 years reaching 25,000 to 30,000 rounds annually.” Huh? In an Oct. 20, 2016, Telegram article Mr. Dunbar reported that Quail Run had “nearly 21,500 rounds, the second-highest number for an entire year since 2006.” So, either somebody’s calculator is not working, or the round-counts are easily changed to fit the dishonest “municipal golfers need huge subsidies” narrative.

Excepting weak-kneed politicians and a very small group of incredibly selfish municipal golf supporters, this is hardly a complicated matter. Closing Van Berg could realistically save Columbus’ taxpayers $200,000 per year without causing any material congestion at Quail Run (public courses in Lincoln were recording close to 60,000 rounds per year during golf’s heyday 12-15 years ago). In addition, once closed, the 130-acre Van Berg property could be used to either expand Pawnee Park, and, or, be repurposed for any number of uses that would actually serve the public’s interest.

Will common sense prevail? Probably not. For reasons unknown, the city seems determined to run the local, unsubsidized competitor out of business. What a proud day that will be for our community.

John Curry



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