Minutes: FOLB Board August 2012

FRIENDS OF LADY Bird Johnson municipal golf club, inc.

Board Meeting – Cardinal Room at Lady Bird Golf Club

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 5:30 p.m.  No Board meetings were held in June or July.

Present:  Leonard Bentch, Ann Armentrout, Al Bickle, Bill Lindemann, Judy Chase, Jerry Fischer, Jerald Gold,  Joe Kammlah, Anna Marie Kluber, Jimmy Lukacs, Ron Moerbe, Buzz Roye and Alan Wooley.

Absent:   Hershal Byrd, Brian Davis, Jim Drewitz, Jeff Jeffers, Mark Seitz, Bruce Reeh and Ernie Loeffler.

Guest:  Bill Hanna, Chief of Agronomy

President Leonard Bentch called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

Minutes of the May meeting were amended   to show an FOLB account balance of $933.97 and an FOLB Foundation balance of $1,688.40.  The amended minutes were accepted as amended.  There were no FOLB board meetings in June and July

Treasurer Ann Armentrout reported a total balance of $2,622.37 with the same subaccount allocations as above

Leonard reviewed FOLB history briefly:  Reviewed FOLB mission statement, vision, goals and values   Reminded board members of commitment to transparency including all minutes available on the FOLB website.  Also  reviewed the March 2nd, 2009, City Council Resolution.  Jerry pointed out that the elements of the City Council Resolution are “disjunctive rather than conjunctive”  The separate bullet points within the Resolution means that Council authorized 5 separate areas.   Point #3 of the resolution authorizes FOLB to conduct an annual review of golf course operations and to report the findings to City Council. FOLB has provided two annual reports, in 2010 and 2011 both of which have been accepted by Council without exception

D.O.G. Report:

1.Alan Wooley reported that the STPGA “100 Holes of Golf Tournament” held this year at Boot Ranch raised $8,500 ($2,500 from LBJ patrons), a portion of which will benefit local junior golf.  Next year the round will be played at Lady Bird.

2.Our new City Manager, mayor and councilwoman Sanford  have all toured the course recently .

3.Alan pointed out that he plans to lease equipment rather than own equipment (tractors, backhoes, golf carts…); the savings over the next four years will amount to $91,000.

5. Five additional part-time positions appear in the 2013 budget.  These part time positions include filling Ron Starry’s position in the Golf Shop, staffing  a beverage cart, performing golf operations  and  two will be joining  the course maintenance team.

6. City Council has approved $45,000 for marketing in partnership with the CVB’s

7. No scheduled loan payment will be due in 2013 and only ½ payment  will come due in 2014.

8. Construction punch-list items are being addressed currently.  Some of the additional funds allocated by City Council will cover draining and sodding holes 3, 5 and 14 beginning this week.

9. David Blake made tee markers out of cedar for the course; his charge is $10 each, significantly less than the $41 cost of commercially available markers.

10. The Red Bird Grill will be closed the week of August 20-25 for painting.

11. Texas Golf Association will come late this month to rate the course.

12.Boot Ranch maintenance department is grinding our mower reels.

13. Bud White (USGA regional Greens expert) will return in the next few weeks to review our golf practices.

14. The Parks and Recreation Department will loan the course employees for 4-6 weeks for special projects.

15.  City Manager has established an Employee Policy Committee which is reviewing current PTO policy; new employees will operate under new rules.

16.  City Council authorized an additional $30,000 to be used for sodding previously sprigged areas where there is slow-growth due to underlying clay.  The grass will eventually cover.

The golf course will open for play in in the early fall.

Junior Golf Committee Report:

Buzz Roye stated his interest in the Junior Golf Program, and a brief discussion of the status of junior golf during this transition period of renovation ensued.

Greens Committee Report:  Chairman Ron Moerbe reported that weeds are evident throughout the golf course.  Because we have passed the point of applying pre-emergent, the staff is currently just mowing them and will focus on using appropriate herbicides in Feb-Mar.

Run-ups to the greens on 3, 5 and 14 will be sodded.

Jimmy Lukacs asked about cost over-runs.  Superintendent Bill Hanna and Alan responded that there were none…  We simply had to reduce the number of acres of sod to 11 and that didn’t stretch far enough.  Priorities required that we stick with existing irrigation, etc.  Bids didn’t come in as low as Jeff Blume predicted that they would.

FOLB board members Leonard Bentch, Jerry Fischer and Anna Marie Kluber met with new City Manager Kent Myers.  Mr. Myers had read both previous FOLB reports, finding them appropriate and helpful.  He stated that he supported FOLB’s role and looked forward to this year’s report.  The FOLB representatives reported that Mr. Myers has met with Alan Wooley on several occasions,  has toured all elements of the Golf Department and supported the DOG’s operational plan and budget recommendations.  Further the CM stated that he hoped FOLB could further help the DOG with marketing, website design and management, customer surveys and best practices.  The FOLB team discussed the role of the USGA in serving as the authority which guided FOLB recommendations.

Report to City Council:  Considerable time was spent discussing the focus of the 2012 annual report.  In the past, the report was based upon comparing Lady Bird operations with industry standards.  The standards and policies of the USGA served as the authoritative resource for FOLB recommendations.  In the current setting, Lady Bird has professional management who has presented both a Master Plan and business plan to the city, both of which were unanimously accepted by Council.  The golf course was closed for extensive renovations of Phase I of the Master Plan, so all operations this year are of a “one-off” variety.  Nevertheless, the consensus is that FOLB has a responsibility  to make a factual report.  There was discussion about the seeming conflict between the FOLB name and mission of being a “Friend” of Lady Bird and the authority of the Resolution to make an independent report on golf course operations.  FOLB as an organization is to be supportive of Lady Bird, but continues to have its own mission to help provide affordable golf for residents and visitors.  The format for the report was also discussed and the decision is to use general areas of Golf Department operations such as HR, capitalization, planning, marketing, etc. rather than the “silo” formatted report based upon maintenance, the club house, and grill.  Leonard is to develop a draft for consideration.  There is no particular urgency since this year’s report will not be important for the annual city budget cycle of August/September. Jimmy Lukacs moved to adjourn the meeting; his motion was seconded and passed.

Meeting adjourned at 8:12 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Judy Chase


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