All is well at the Rye Golf Club
For the first time in about three years, there is nothing newsworthy to report from the Rye Golf Club. All is well. Really.
Don't get me wrong, we have surely had more than our fair share of drama and we still have a few issues to clean up, but we are staying ahead of those things and I am confident that they will be resolved as favorably as the other challenges we have faced recently.
Here is a quick recap:
1. Former club manager scandal: Scott Yandrasevich is now in prison for stealing almost $300,000 from the city. We claim that he stole much more than that and have a lawsuit pending against our insurance carrier for the reimbursement of more than a million dollars more [[more than what he actually stole??]]. We are in settlement negotiations with them now, and if the case doesn't settle, it should be tried and resolved within the year. I am cautiously optimistic on this issue.
2. Turf kill over the summer: Thanks to the incredible efforts of our excellent course superintendent, Chip Lafferty, our greens are nearly fully recovered from the effects of the herbicidal contaminant that poisoned them in April and May. The recent anonymous tip to the DEC which caused Chip to get a misdemeanor ticket had absolutely nothing to do with why our grass died. I wouldn't even merit mention here, but it is my opportunity to correct the patently unfair attempt at character assassination of a top-notch professional whom we are lucky to have. You would think that the $2.5 million settlement with the company that really caused the problem would have ended the discussion, but I know that some people just aren't happy unless they are complaining. Such is life. I'm sure the complainers will enjoy their 35 percent discount like the rest of us (while they're not complaining that it should've been more, of course!).
3. Whitby Castle: After failing horribly in the restaurant and catering business, and after an extensive RFP process, the city contracted with Lessing's, a well-established company in the field, to take over operations at the castle, and the results have been excellent. In addition to rent, the city gets a percentage of Lessing's profits so we are sharing their success. The public restaurant part of the operation is still a work in progress, but I think that will improve this year, just as the pool snack bar did last year after some coordination with them. Lessing's is a good partner for us.
4. Club management: After a thorough executive search process, we hired golf club Manager Jim Buonaiuto about a year and a half ago. Jim has had a baptism by fire dealing with the aforementioned problems, as well as the numerous daily issues that arise at the club, but he has acquitted himself well and is a credit to the city and the golf club. I hope Jim will stay with us for many years to come. He and Chip are two of the hardest-working employees in the city and it has been my pleasure to work with them these past two years.
So, despite anonymous tips and muckraking to the contrary, the truth is that our dark days are behind us at the Rye Golf Club and things are looking up. I hope to see you out on our wonderful city golf course sometime. Fairways and greens.