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City Hires Golf Course Superintendent

By Staff | Sep 18, 2008

In anticipation of taking control of Wild Rose Golf Club on Oct. 1, Emmetsburg City Council voted to hire a manager for the facility. Action was taken after a split vote Monday, Sept. 8.

“It was the consensus of the committee to hire a full time employee,” Councilman Steve Finer reported on behalf of the interim golf committee. “Mike Knight was the only applicant.”

Knight currently works as golf course manager for Wild Rose.

Finer noted that the appointment needed to be made by mid-September.

Council representative Sandy Pelzer questioned if the interim board had discussed a seasonal employee. She also asked if the building would be open temporarily this fall, then closed for the winter months.

The interim committee had discussed the possibility of keeping the building open until the first of the year to host holiday parties.

Pelzer asked how many parties would have to be held to break even with expenses. Councilman Corey Gramowski answered, approximately two per month.

“We’ve been told that they (Wild Roe) are going to lock the place up mid-September,” City Administrator John Bird told the council. “There are certain applications that need to be done (on the golf course) this fall or we’ll be in a mess in the spring.”

Bird agreed with the recommendation to hire a full time golf superintendent. That person would also be responsible for scheduling, advertising for tournaments, and budget.

“My concern is, that’s a lot of money to lay out but not much return,” said Pelzer. “I’m not sure what the larger public vision is for that project. I’m concerned we’re reacting to one problem and not looking at the big picture.

“We’ve got a committee that’s working hard on this and we need to take their advice,” commented Pat Degen, Mayor Pro-tem.

Council representative Pam Smith expressed concern about keeping the building open, repairs and paying an employee for six months work. She questioned whether or not the city should hire a superintendent now.

“The Superintendent is going to be there anyway,” said Councilman Brian Campbell. “That person will be planning for tournaments, starting this fall. We can’t wait until March.

Bird added, “We need to determine what the greens fees will be next year and get a meaningful budget together.

Smith asked if the building would be open for parties if a superintendent was hired.

“Why throw the chance away to make money?” asked Gramowski.

With questions about whether or not to hire a superintendent at that meeting, Degen stated, “I think we’re making a mistake if we don’t follow through on this tonight.

“We could talk over this same stuff with the committee and come back with the same recommendations,” said Gramowski.

The City Administrator explained that the salary would be pro-rated until July 1 (beginning of new fiscal year) and then renegotiated. He pointed out that the committee is leaning toward a full time golf course manager and not a full time club house manager. He added that at the end of the golf season, that full time person would move inside to take over those duties.

“If we’re not going to hire him, what’s the point in setting a salary?” asked Finer.

Councilman Campbell made a motion to set the salary for a golf course superintendent at $35,000 per year. Voting yes: Brian Campbell, Corey Gramowski, Pam Smith and Pat Degen. Voting no: Sandy Pelzer and Steve Finer.

Corey Gramowski made the motion to hire Mike Knight as golf course superintendent. Voting yes: Brian Campbell, Corey Gramowski, Steve Finer and Pat Degen. Voting no: Pam Smith and Sandy Pelzer.

The decision for Knight to begin his official duties for the city on Oct. 1 was also approved by a split vote. Voting yes: Brian Campbell, Corey Gramowski, Steve Finer and Pat Degen. Voting no: Pam Smith and Sandy Pelzer.