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The Villages
Friday, May 24, 2024

Officials demand accountability for costly deterioration of golf courses

Officials are demanding that someone be held accountable for the costly deterioration of golf courses in The Villages.

Community Development District 7 Supervisor Ed Coleman said he fears that $11 million in renovations for executive golf course could be the tip of the iceberg. The Amenity Authority Committee will be spending $4.56 million for renovation of courses  while the Project Wide Advisory Committee will be spending another $7 million of residents’ amenity money for course renovations.

“That’s a pretty good chunk of money and that is not the end,” Coleman said.

He said the poor practices and inadequate oversight that created the atrocious golf course conditions have not been addressed.

“There was no accountability for any of this. Whether it was a contractor who did not perform as they were supposed to, or if it was a manager,” Coleman said.

He mocked golf officials who have tried to blame the deterioration of the courses on the weather.

“It was not an act of God. It wasn’t El Nino,” Coleman said.

Supervisor Steve Lapp agreed.

“That weather excuse is garbage,” Lapp said.

Mitch Leininger
Mitch Leininger

He pointed the finger of blame at Director of Executive Golf Maintenance Mitch Leininger.

“Mitch should have been out on those courses at least once a week,” Lapp said. “This did not happen overnight.”

Supervisor Daryl Klinko said residents are extremely angry about the terrible condition of the golf courses.

“It is the No. 1 talk (in the community),” Klinko said.

The CDD 7 supervisors also questioned the addition of a new assistant golf course manager position to the budget.

CDD 7 Board Chairman Jerry Vicenti traced the spending decisions back to a the removal of the cap on amenity fees paid by residents.

“That gave them carte blanche to spend money,” Vicenti said.

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