May 142018


According to Wikipedia a traditional list of immediate ‘basic needs’ is: food (including water); shelter; and clothing. Many modern lists emphasize the minimum level of consumption of ‘basic needs’ of not just food, water, clothing and shelter, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare. Different agencies use different lists but no list includes golf or wedding receptions.
So why are the Northampton Township PA supervisors trying to buy…..  or even considering to buy, …. the Northampton Country Club when the industry is struggling? Why? 

It’s a private enterprise and no government should own private businesses. Your job so far as the Northampton Country club is to leave it alone.  

Government owned golf courses provide unfair and unnecessary competition that adversely affects the industry. Government watchdogs say they divert tax dollars to the benefit of a small portion of the population.

“It’s something that needs to be debated: What do you want your government to do?” said Rich Karasek, owner of Lakeland Hills Golf Course near Michigan Center for nine years. “There’s no reason for the government to be involved in golf. Stick to what you’re supposed to be doing.”

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market research institute in Midland, calls it the Yellow Pages Test, and it applies to more than golf: If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, it might not be a necessary function of government.

“When governments subsidize or run businesses that provide below-cost governmental competition to American businesses, they are taxing us in order to undermine our own private businesses,” said Michael D. LaFaive, the Mackinac Center’s director of fiscal policy.

Northampton township has an outstanding private, …championship… 18 hole golf course, the Spring Mill Country Club. The township is small and it may not need a township owned golf course to compete against a private owned one. There are plenty of other golf courses for Northamptonites within a short distance. The people of Northampton should not be taxed to pay for a golf course.

Northampton has plenty of recreation opportunities without buying a golf course.

If buying and managing the Northampton Country Club was the 20 year vision of supervisor George Komelasky as supervisor Barry Moore said in March …….. it was wrong for 20 years and it’s time to admit it was wrong and to stop it right now..

If the Northampton Country club is sold to a developer who builds homes on it then more people will live in Northampton and that is a good thing. Residents who say we don’t want more homes in Northampton should put their money where their mouth is and they should be eager to sell their own home to help the public but of curse they talk out of the other side of their mouths when that’s suggested. 

If you supervisors are against private homes then you should say so instead of acting one way in the backroom and another way in public.

If private homes are not a good thing then government should work to get rid of them but of course private homes are good things as are private non-government businesses. Keep your hands off Northampton Country Club.

Government-owned courses here and elsewhere have long viewed themselves as a means to provide recreation to residents at a low cost and introduce them to the game.

“We take pride in the growth of the game,” said Brandon Ransom, director of county and city parks under the reorganization this summer. “That’s a real niche for us.”

Terrian said it is a regular occurrence for him to be thanked by one of the senior-citizen golfers Sharp Park caters to with its low prices.

“They’ll say, ‘If I wasn’t doing this, I would be sitting home,’ ” Terrian said. “We try to make it affordable.”

That is where they run afoul of the privately owned courses. Those course owners maintain they are fighting on an unbalanced playing field when it comes to pricing.

“When they charge minimal fees, they’re stealing customers,” said Tony Spink, manager and in the ownership group of Calderone Golf Club, which opened in 2001. “It doesn’t make sense. It’s hard to convince people of that. They like the lower rates. But a businessman might understand if he had a gas station and was competing against the government.”

LaFaive offers another way of looking at the argument.

“When America wanted to help low-income people obtain more and better food,” he said, “we didn’t start government grocery stores; we developed food stamps.” If Northampton want’s to promote golf, they can pay greens fees instead of buying the Northampton golf course

Northampton township had a house in the middle of the athletic fields and you sold it. Why didn’t you keep it as another revenue stream? Because government should not own houses. Or golf courses.

People need housing, food and medical care more than they need to play golf but government doesn’t provide houses, food and medical care. Why should it provide a golf course? It shouldn’t.

Look what happened at the Mill Race Inn that terrible eyesore in Holland that’s been owned by government and damaged because government diverted the water so it went into the building. they took over the building and it got worse and worse over the years because no Northampton Supervisor did anything about it. It finally was sold to a private company because government doesn’t belong in the restaurant business anymore than it belongs in the golf course and hospitality business.

No supervisor has a vested interest in the Northampton Country club so it will go downhill and none of you will be on the board in the future to guarantee your good intentions of today.

Private businesses need people who know marketing, selling, advertising, management skills and the ability to make correct decisions so a business will prosper.

Government is about force. As George Washington the first President of the United States said: “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master”

How audacious you are to tell us we should own a golf course which would be under your control.

Why do you think government should own and manage a golf course? It shouldn’t. Government lacks the business skills. Even with Sunshine Laws, government still makes deals in the backrooms but without the skills of marketing, accounting and money management that are needed to make profit.

Remember, government is not about profit. Government is not about persuasion. It’s about force which is why and how taxes are imposed and collected. That’s not how a business is run. That’s why you should run from buying the Northampton Country Club. By the way. If it’s such a good deal don’t you think the owners of other successful private golf courses would be jumping at the chance to buy it? The very fact that the Supervisors are looking into buying the Northampton Country Club shows how miserable a business failure it really is.

President Trump owned Mar-A-Lago and he attends it regularly but the government doesn’t own the place. President Trump’s Miami golf club, the Trump National Doral, lost money over the last year.  Northampton township should follow the good example of president Trump at his Mar-a-Lago country club and keep government out of the golf business.