Anatomy of a Boondoggle

Government trying to downgrade employee benefits through privatization….pay-to-play….private sector vultures duping public officials out of taxpayer money….government competing against the private sector.  It’s all there in the fiasco that is the new Galloping Hill Golf Course Clubhouse/Banquet Center.  The Union County Watchdog Association is preparing a report on this boondoggle and we need your help.

The exhibits are basically done but we would like feedback regarding the impact on taxpayers (Exhibit D) and your thoughts (Exhibit F)*.  If interested here is a word document of the bare-bones report and a pdf with all the explanatory exhibits.  What do you think?  Feedback will be included in the report when it is released which could be anywhere from this Thursday to April 1, the official completion date for the project.

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* Or if you have any inside information to add to the Timeline (Exhibit A), feel free.  Don’t worry, as journalists we have a duty to protect the identity of our sources.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Tough Love on January 29, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    My Observations:
    (1) With the exception of Harbor Consultants, the political contributions are quite minimal. It would be quite pathetic if such small sums persuade our elected officials to waste taxpayer money on unnecessary projects. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see Harbor Consultant’s roll in this construction project.
    (2) I have absolutely NO PROBLEM with outsourcing county employees … the more the better, because on a total compensation basis (with pensions & benefits included), all are overpaid.
    (3) KSM’s fee of 6.5% of GROSS revenue seems odd. While I do not know the answer, a reasonable question is what is the gross and net gain of similar operations, and is this compensation reasonable in comparison, ESPECIALLY since they have none of their own capital invested in this project, and no “risk” if it fails. Also, if compensation is based on gross revenues and assuming the county pays most “expenses” associated with operations (assuming that that is the arrangement) what incentive does KSM have to run an efficient operation? Wouldn’t they be personally better off with a “Cadillac” (high expense) operation (assuming the County pay the expenses) hence increasing the odds more customers will use the facility, increasing “gross” revenue and hence their fee?
    (4) The contract’s Golf shop agreement seems to be a rent-free retail operation with all profits going to KSM. While by itself, that may not be unreasonable, the gains from that segment should be INCLUDED in the TOTAL income KSM is expected to earn from this deal to determine if it is reasonable or excessive.

    Reply

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