Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Watchdog Report: November 2020 Financials - Cloudy with a lack of transparency


The November financials for the Community Center and Golf are posted and they continue to be cloudy. Due to a lack of transparency, it is difficult to completely analyze the report. I asked the Town Manager why the reporting format has changed from prior years. She responded that this is the way the contractor wishes to report.

The Town Manager and the Council apparently don’t understand that the golf management company works for the Town and will report whatever the Town requires them to report. Is the Town Council happy being left in the dark?

As a result of the lack of transparency I have submitted a records request as follows:
“Stop the lack of transparency in the Town’s financials. Please forward the cost of the utilities for the Community Center Fund, the total member revenues (Dues and Cart Fees), total revenues from non-member play (including any cart fees), the cost of water for golf (taken from each pond), the number of free (comp) rounds, for July 2020, Aug 2020, Sept 2020, Oct 2020, and Nov 2020.

In the future you can expect a request like this monthly until it becomes part of the Council’s financial attachments.”

Here is what we know
• Golf lost $22,094 in November 2020 (which is great) bringing the total losses to date as $658,349.

• Golf was originally forecasted to lose $922,245 in FY 2020/21, but that has been updated to $991,280.

• The Town reported an all-time high of 279 members. (Golf is up 30% nationwide, one of the positive results of the pandemic.) They also reported 3,891 non-member rounds on 36 holes.

For comparison, one public course nearby reported 3,570 rounds of play on 18 holes. Another course nearby reported member and non-member rounds as 6,971 on 18 holes, while the Town reported 7,545 combined rounds on 36 holes. Although our rounds are up, they still do not come close to what other courses are doing.

• The Community Center Fund shows a positive balance of $102,909 for the five months ending November 2020 and is forecasted to lose $45,749 by the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2021). Your sales tax revenues have contributed $1,090,173 from July 1 through November 30, 2020.

Pusch Ridge Course
An agreement for the El Conquistador resort (HSL Properties) to lease the Pusch Ridge course was supposed to take place by the end of January. As of January 22nd, HSL had shown no indication that this will be accomplished.

Mike Zinkin and his wife have lived in Oro Valley since 1998. He 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. He was named a Fellow for the National League of Cities. He was a member of the NLC Steering Committee for Community and Economic Development and a member of the Arizona League of Cities Budget and Economic Development Committee. He was an Air Traffic Controller for 30 years. Mike 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.