By Mike Zinkin
We heard time and time again how Troon was “the Rolex” of management companies. After reading the following bulleted list, you might think that Oro Valley bought a knock-off Rolex as the January financials for the El Con Community Center and Golf Courses continue to be disastrous and reveal continued fiscal irresponsibility from the mayor and council. In fact, last year Troon offered to rebate to the Town 3 months of the management contract revenues ($36,000) if the Town would not hold them responsible for their ridiculous forecasts. The Town took them up on their offer. Would the genuine article ask for a “mulligan” in offer not to be terminated?
• Troon losses for January were forecasted to be $34,161 but turned out to be $198,253. As usual Troon missed their forecast, this time by $164,092.
• In January 2016, Troon lost $62,709. That means that the losses this January were $135,544 more than last year.
• The member dues in January 2016 were $77,475. In January 2017 the dues totaled only $59,719. That’s $17,756 less than last year.
• When the fiscal year started on July 1, 2016, Troon forecasted total losses for FY 16/17 to be $1,534,505. They have now increased the forecasted losses to be $2,035,867.
• The food and beverage portion, primarily the Overlook, was forecasted to make $10,230 in January, but actually lost $13,385, bringing the total losses to $96,034 so far in this fiscal year.
• The Community and Recreation fund finished January 2017 at $514,403 in the red. This takes into account the sales tax revenue total of $1,255,074 (from the first seven months of the fiscal year – July 2016 through January 2017).
The total number of rounds by outside play (non-member) was forecasted to be 2,410. The actual number of rounds was 2226. This is an average of 72 rounds a day. Both Del Urich, Randolph (Tucson City courses), Crooked Tree (Pima County Course), and The Haven (Green Valley) averaged over 200 rounds a day.
Is fiscal responsibility above their pay grade?
Mayor Hiremath and Council members Hornat, Snider, and Waters are the ones who voted for this albatross. Newly-elected Council members Pina, Rodman, and Solomon have not stepped up to even question this irresponsible drain of the People’s monies.
The Town Finance Director earns $149,848.82 a year. The Interim Town Manager earns $189,371.84 a year. Individuals deemed worthy of earning such high salaries should be expected to combat waste and inefficiency in the budget yet they have not stepped forward to advise the mayor and council that continuing this financial drain is not wise. Are they afraid that advising against this debacle would put their jobs in jeopardy? Certainly our “award winning” financial staff can see that the business model for the Oro Valley Community Center and Golf Courses is not sustainable.
Odds and Ends
Revenue from the increased sales tax is performing well; in fact, it is above the Town’s projections. However, it doesn’t come close to covering the expenses. Imagine the lighted ball fields that could have been built with that $1.2 million. Additionally, the Town has no plans to make the Community Center ADA compliant as promised and as mandated by law. I wonder how that sits with the Justice Department.
Town using HURF Funds for Community Center Maintenance
In addition, although we were told that all Community Center and Golf Course maintenance would be paid by the Community and Recreation Center Fund (CRC Fund) the Town has admitted to me via emails that they have utilized HURF monies (Highway User Revenue Fund) to cut the grass at the Community Center entrance and to resurface the cart paths. This is in defiance of State Law which states that no HURF monies shall be used for anything “other than highway and street purposes.” Why are they using HURF funds, you ask? Because the CRC Fund is broke.