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Letter to the editor
Let people decide on golf course
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Forsyth County News
The purchase of a golf course for Forsyth County has been discussed at recent Board of Commissioner meetings, letters to your newspaper and other sources, specifically the purchase of Lanier Golf Course. It has been proposed that the course be bought for golf only, for golf and other recreational uses, for green space alone or some kind of combination of all of the above.

When some local residents decided that the county should consider a recreation and green space bond, a committee formed to promote the bond and inform the public, the question was put on the ballot and the citizens voted to tax themselves for this purpose. I propose that the same process be followed for the purchase of any golf course.

Our citizens should vote on this important question just like other tax issue, such as building a jail or a school, and then the board of commissioners should solicit bids from any course in the county that would like to be considered for purchase.

All bids should be evaluated by a professional golf course appraiser, not a land appraiser, and the purchase should be determined on the best value for the county as a whole.

Local citizens voted a year ago to buy green space and expand our current parks, not to own and operate a golf course. To have a county golf course could potentially be a positive asset, but that decision should be made in a systematic, sound, businesslike method. Lanier Golf Course might be the ideal site for such a purchase, as could any of the other privately owned courses in our county, but we will only know that after an open, mindful and transparent process, including a ballot initiative.

It was my hope this time last year that our board of commissioners would take this vote to buy green space as an opportunity to work together with a professional organization to maximize our purchasing power with matching grants and donation agreements.

Unfortunately, last spring, the majority of the board thought differently. Let’s not  squander the remaining funds on a golf course.

John McGruder