Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Watchdog Report: September 2017 Community Center Financials

Continued losses
In September, the Community Center Fund (CCF) finished $86,016 in the red. (At this time last year, the CCF had a positive balance of $161,744.)

For the first quarter of this fiscal year (July 1 through September 30th) the fund has lost $307,862. This takes into account the fact that the sales tax revenues for the first quarter were $507,985, which is $22,557 more than last year during the same time period.

Troon (golf, food, beverage, tennis, non-aquatic center swimming) is performing about the same as this time last year. In the first three months of this fiscal year, Troon has lost $754,307, while last year at the same time the losses were $760,069.

Member dues are down by nearly $8000 dollars
So far this fiscal year, member dues are $178,621, while member dues last year at this time were $186,537. Why do we still cater to the members when their support of the investment is dwindling? Meanwhile, Troon continues to feather its own nest as the payroll and employee benefits through September 2017 were $39,863 higher than the same period in 2016.

Food and Beverage losses
Food and beverage, primarily the Overlook Restaurant, lost another $8,333 in September 2017. This brings the total losses so far this fiscal year to $34,034.

The National Golf Foundation Study spoke loud and clear
The losses are continuing and there appears to be no end in sight. The contracted National Golf Foundation study (for which the Town paid $50,000) states:

“This facility is aging and has seen declines in activity and is now operating at a deficit, up to $2.1 million+. The loss on operations is a result of several influences…a recent recession, increasing competition, declining physical condition, and declining interest in golf.”

“The current financial condition [of El Con Golf] is worse than most public sector golf operations in the U.S. where 67% of municipal golf course operations are able to cover on-site expenses.”

"El Conquistador G&T is well-located in Oro Valley, but has limited appeal for customers beyond the local Oro Valley area. With an offering of multiple golf courses, ECGT can provide service to a wide range of golf customers, but the club is having difficulty filling up all 45 holes of golf.”

Oro Valley Voters spoke loud and clear
One might think that after the landslide defeat of Prop 454 (The Naranja Park Bond), that the Council would start to take a closer look at their irresponsible spending. The Citizens told them loud and clear... "We are tired of all the taxes, we are tired of not being your first priority, we are tired of our Town Council only looking out for the developers and builders who fund their campaigns.”

Financial Update through September 2017 hidden in Consent Agenda
The Fiscal Year 2017/18 Financial Update through September 2017 is on the Consent Agenda for the November 16th Town Council Special Session. In fact, the entire agenda for this session is made up of a Consent Agenda. As in past council meetings, don't expect the financials to be removed for discussion and don't expect this meeting to last more than 45 minutes.

Mike Zinkin has a Bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Arizona and a Master’s degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from California State University, Northridge. He was a commissioned ensign in the United States Navy Reserve in 1969. He worked as an Air Traffic Controller for 30 years. He and his wife moved to Oro Valley after retiring in 1998. Mike served on the Oro Valley Development Review Board from 2005-2009, the Board of Adjustment from 2011-2012, and the Town Council from 2012-2016. During his time on council, he was named as one of 23 Leadership Fellows for the National League of Cities University, he was a member of the National League of Cities Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development, and a member of the Arizona League of Cities Budget and Economic Development Committee.