Elaine Waxman – Park District of Highland Park – Whiffs on Fort Sheridan Golf

“I agree that we really don’t need another golf course. But the people of the Town of Fort Sheridan (subdivision within Highland Park) were promised a golf course. Many people bought because we were going to do a golf course.” – Elaine Waxman

 

The Park District of Highland Park board has been directionless for some time, often behaving like they are from another planet rather than our neighbors who we elected to manage a respected, award winning and program-rich parks and recreation program.

Most recently, townsfolk with pitchforks and torches (figuratively speaking) marched on the Park District regarding inappropriate employment practices resulting in three board members, including the President of the Board who was also the representative to the Fort Sheridan Master Plan Advisory Committee, resigning their positions. An additional petition has called for Commissioner Waxman to resign as well. This public humiliation was preceded by the Lake Front debacle, a referendum which was hastily pulled from the ballot in 2008, amidst obvious lack of support and a crumbling economy prompted the Parks Board to back off.

Today the Park District of Highland Park operates Sunset Ridge golf course which most recently posted losses of over $200,000, continuing an unending series of year after year losses approaching $1,000,000. Soon, the Park District will inherit and probably close the Highland Park Country Club golf course, now owned by the City.  This facility lost over $600,000 this past year also compounding year after year losses. If you do the math, the $800,000 2009 combined Highland Park golf course losses cost the 35,000 people in Highland Park about $23 everytime somebody tee’d up to play golf in Highland Park. And Elaine Waxman thinks that another money-losing golf course should be built at Fort Sheridan. Fuzzy, fuzzy thinking.

This final meeting of the Advisory Committee, after over a year of meetings, was Commissioner Waxman’s first meeting. You cannot help but appreciate her concern and interest in what a small minority in a Highland Park subdivision near Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve think. But there is no indication that Commissioner Waxman’s position represented the preference of the Board of the Park District of Highland Park.  In the end, I just have to wonder if in voting the way she did she was representing the interests of the City of Highland Park that elected her or that of her small network of friends and acquaintances living near Fort Sheridan?

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5 thoughts on “Elaine Waxman – Park District of Highland Park – Whiffs on Fort Sheridan Golf

  1. l have been told? Yeah, like people are telling the truth and the whole truth.

    Well, Ed, surprise! Operational losses from the HPCC are from golf. You, too, can make a Freedom of Information Act inquiry and not depend on annual statements for your facts. You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.

    The next fun-with-numbers activity is to deny that the losses are losses by claiming that, in the words of soon-to-be-former-Mayor Belsky, depreciation is a non-cash adjustment. Yet when you take out the depreciation (which is wrong according to GAAP), you have…. losses.

    I am sorry that HPCC golf is losing money. Buying the golf course and preventing development was a courageous thing the city did years ago. Yea! But we do not have to compound the problems of our city and parks golf operations by creating another golf resource at Fort Sheridan that will cannibalize almost 27,000 rounds of golf from neighboring courses.

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  2. You’ve been told frequently that the operational losses at Highland Park Country Club are not solely from golf. It’s a mis-representation to keep showing them as if they are.

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