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Thank dog, city's golf course finally breaks even

Original post made on Oct 4, 2013

At Shoreline Golf Links there are fewer geese causing a nuisance, the turf is in better shape than ever and the course has finally made a profit after several years of being deep in the red.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 4, 2013, 9:22 PM

Comments (16)

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Posted by M
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

"Thank dog, city's golf course finally breaks even"

Best MVV headline ever.

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Posted by USA
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Oct 7, 2013 at 12:46 pm

"The year before that -- while the city was still operating the course -- there was a $600,000 loss."

Ineffective government management and deficit spending. Par for the course, so to speak.

We should replace Obama with Graeme.

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Posted by Golfer
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Nice to read about the improvement but the bird droppings are still a big problem. I think they need a few more border collies.

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Posted by Dog Lover
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 7, 2013 at 2:31 pm


How can my dog, Jessie, apply for that job?!?! Jessie is a border collie/lab mix who LIVES to chase birds and squirrels. She gladly works for Scooby snacks, but this job I think she would do for free. I guarantee that she poops less than the birds. Nevertheless, she has a human that follows her around and picks up after her.

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Posted by Mr. T
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Oct 7, 2013 at 2:47 pm

Man's best friend. Including golfers.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Oct 7, 2013 at 3:03 pm

No surprise that a private company can generate a profit instead of a half-million dollar per year loss. The big question is why the city would ever allow operating a golf course to threaten "to take away over $1,000,000 from core city services like the police department and library".

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Posted by Sage
a resident of Waverly Park
on Oct 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Creative, intelligent solution AND Lucky Dog!
Keep up the great work Graeme!

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Posted by Scott Lamb
a resident of Monta Loma
on Oct 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm

I'd never realized that golf course was city-owned. I'm with Steve - this was a strange problem to have. Why was the city ever in the business of operating a golf course, and why does it still own one?

It's great that they managed to turn a profit last fiscal year, but there's no guarantee that will hold forever. I wouldn't want to give up library or police services because the city can't focus.

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Posted by Accounting
a resident of Cuernavaca
on Oct 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

Before passing full judgment on the before/after financial comparison, it would be important for the Voice to analyze whether numbers are being compared on an apples to apples basis.

A contributing factor to the large announced losses was that the City was allocating percentages of employee salaries to Golf Course expenses. For example, a percentage of the Community Services Manager was being charged to the golf course.

If that accounting methodology is no longer in place, then that would explain some of the profitability differential. Of course since those city jobs are still in place, it would also mean the salaries are being allocated to some other place in the city budget.

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Posted by Steve
a resident of another community
on Oct 9, 2013 at 7:31 am

Hmmmm. Saying the city is juggling its books?!

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Posted by Rodger
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 10, 2013 at 11:44 am

Mountain View's Shoreline Park is a great place but, there is a huge amount of land with watered grass allocated to a few golfers and very little grass area allocated to the all of the other people who go to the park, and what little grass there is is not well tended. I think the water and grass lands should be readjusted. Perhaps we should have a 9 hole golf course or expand the grass area in the area reserved for non golfers.
It would help to use a dog in the small grass area that is currently not part of the golf course to cut down on the geese but not eliminate them.

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Posted by SAM
a resident of The Crossings
on Oct 13, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Dog save the bottom dollar? They had them five years ago. Rules and regulations prevented more use of them (protect the geese). As for making more grass area for a park, what do you think drives the $600,000 cost? The water and maintenance for a park would just add cost with no revenue.

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Posted by Larry
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 18, 2013 at 9:42 am

The city should sell permits to Mountain View residents who would like to "hunt" the geese with pellet guns. It would provide money to the city, food for the hunters, and rid the park of non-migratory geese that are more of a pest than a pleasure. The golfers should get first shot at the permits.

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Posted by Golfer
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Oct 27, 2013 at 12:34 pm

The 'improvements' to the course are actually a bit disingenuous. The poor course conditions were a remnant of the new company taking over. Conditions were a disaster shortly after they began. The most severe issue was the Coots digging holes in the greens. This did not occur under the old management.

Also note that using the dogs to chase away the birds pre-dated the new company.

Conditions have improved from the initial disaster. But, I don't think they have yet surpassed the conditions under prior management. There are still some big problems.. overwatering has left many low areas as pools of mud and yet left other areas baren of grass. The greens are too soft and bumpy (this was also a problem with the old crew). The crew in the clubhouse is very inefficient, and the focus on memberships and events has made it a relatively poor place to golf.

I have also heard the talk about the accounting issues contributing to the past problems. But, who knows how much there is to that.. It should be a matter of public record. Are financial details available somewhere?

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Posted by inncfromnj
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 31, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Courses here in central NC have had issues with Canada geese.
Managements tried using fake owls, fireworks, dogs, etc...Some successful. Some not.
The major problem with residential golf developments which coincidentally have the worst goose problems, is the residents going onto the golf course during no playing or even during play and feeding the geese.
Another problem is the placing by residents of white ducks. These waterfowl actually attract geese because the Canada geese see this as a safe place to roost and feed.

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Posted by Chip
a resident of another community
on Nov 2, 2013 at 6:31 am

We've been using border collies at my course in Ohio for about a decade. Used to have a couple of hundred now we have one family that nests at the neighboring condos and "visits" us occasionally. Our west course used to not be available to walkers because of all the droppings. Not a problem any more, and the members LOVE the dog. Many carry treats and will say "hi" to him before any of the staff! The border collies love working, running and chasing the geese. You couldn't ask for a better life for one.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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