71.5 F
The Villages
Friday, May 24, 2024

Calls for accountability growing after deterioration of golf courses

Calls for accountability are growing after the deterioration of golf courses in The Villages.

Members of the Project Wide Advisory Committee voiced their frustration at a meeting Monday morning at SeaBreeze Recreation Center.

The flashpoint was sparked by a request from the District Office’s Purchasing Department for contracting for the purchase of fertilizer, pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals recommended as the result of a recent visit by the United States Golf Association, which was summoned to the assess the condition of executive golf courses in The Villages.

Up until this time, contractors have been choosing the chemical products. Now there will be direct oversight and purchase of the chemicals by The Villages’ executive golf maintenance team.

“Why now? Why now are we coming up with using these chemicals?” asked PWAC member Steve Bova, resident of the Village of Hillsborough. “We should have done this four years ago and we wouldn’t be in this shape.”

He added that PWAC is being asked to fund $20 million in future golf course renovations, some of which could have been avoided by better care and oversight of the courses.

Mitch Leininger
Mitch Leininger

“This is the reason we hired (Director of Executive Golf Maintenance) Mitch Leininger. Now we suddenly want to change the chemicals we use?” Bova said. “We are making the change now because the USGA came in and told us to do it.”

Bova added that he has been constantly hearing complaints from residents about the golf courses.

“I really don’t think we have the people in place to manage the golf courses,” Bova said. “Somebody has to be held accountable.”

Leininger tried to emphasize that what has occurred is in the past and steps are being taken to correct the problems.

“We are trying to look forward,” Leininger said.

PWAC member Steve Lapp, a resident of the Village of Duval, was not satisfied with that answer.

“I am trying to look backward to see how we got here,” Lapp said.

Kenny Blocker
Kenny Blocker

Villager Jim Shields said he attended a recent Villagers Homeowners Advocates event and was disappointed that District Manager Kenny Blocker would not accept responsibility for the failures at the golf course.

“I heard no mea culpas that evening,” said Shields, who noted he began caddying more than 70 years ago. “I no longer have the confidence that the necessary remedial steps will be taken to remedy the golf course problems.”

He called on PWAC to show “leadership.”

Webster’s bootlicking is obvious and he has to go

A Village of Belle Aire resident is appalled by Congressman Daniel Webster’s obvious “bootlicking” at the Trump trial in New York City. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Oren Miller is back despite efforts of Developer, Daily Sun and DeSantis

A Village of Briar Meadow resident said she is thrilled to see Oren Miller reinstated to the Sumter Commission, despite being railroaded by the Developer, The Villages Daily Sun and Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Trump’s trial a big waste of tax dollars

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Summerhill resident contends that former President Trump’s trial in Manhattan is a waste of tax dollars.

Future Villager wonders about arrests of unlicensed drivers

A Maryland resident with plans to move to The Villages has been reading Villages-News.com and wonders what happens to all of the unlicensed drivers who are being arrested.

Middle class Americans would be hit hard by Trump’s tariffs

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Osceola Hills resident warns that former President Trump’s import tariff policies could be costly to middle class Americans.