Monday, February 16, 2009

Rename Fred Arbanas Golf Course Because of Ethical Holes - Day 71 of the Jackson County Ethics Blackout

Should a County Legislator have a popular county park facility in his district named after himself? Should the county then go ahead and spend tens of thousands of dollars every year promoting the golf course and the name of this sitting legislator, in his district and around the County?

I call upon the Jackson County legislature to change the name of the Fred Arbanas Golf Course immediately, or to acknowledge that any funding it allocates to the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department is an illegal contribution of public funds to a sitting politician.

It's never a good idea to name a public facility after a living politician. Too often, today's golden image winds up tarnished. There are public facilities up in Alaska that now bear the stigma of the corrupt Senator Ted Stevens, including the Anchorage Airport. Too often, living politicians turn out to be deeply flawed human beings.

In the case of Fred Arbanas, he has allowed his name to be sullied by his connection to the Jackson County Ethics Crisis. It's ironic that he did so, given that he was the most forthright member of the legislature back when it was being investigated for improper handling of attorney's fees, and he even managed to dodge the voting on the Ethics Ordinance (though he was a sponsor).

Golf is a sport based on ethics. Where football and baseball players are expected to fake catches they missed, golfers are expected to take a higher road. Every season, we hear stories of golfers turning themselves in for playing the wrong ball or other transgressions.

Fred Arbanas does not meet that standard. He allowed a Jackson County golf course to be named after him in his district, by the Parks Department he supervises. He votes to promote his name and his golf course with public funds. Now, he wants to avoid any local supervision of his ethical compliance.

The Fred Arbanas Golf Course should be renamed the Longview Golf Course, and Mr. Arbanas should be directed to pay an amount equal to the fair market value of the taxpayer-funded publicity given to his name into a fund to be used to support his challengers in the 2010 election.

It's only fair.

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Anonymous Nick said...

dang it, dan! leave that golf course alone!

did you know that the city has spent several million on that course in the last 5 years? and that they'r spending another million some-odd on it now? that's right: they decided to totally redo the greens and shut it down early last year to reopen this spring....

do you see the city sinking millions into hodge park? no. how about minor? no.

[the city did just redo swope a few years back, but that was in prep for the US Womans' Amatuer (great job, by the way, to everyione involved in that), a verifiable bonus to the city in terms of tourism dollars and positive national exposure.]

but fred arabannas? it doesn't pay anything back. sure, it's further to travel to than swope, but with the millins the city keeps sinking into the course, it's always in fantastic condition...unlike minor or hodge.

and if you keep up with this unwarranted attack on it, why, it will become just aother city course.

what will become of those unspent millions then?

think, dan, think!

2/16/2009 6:01 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I have little fondness for Longview, since I suck at golf, and lose lots of balls there. That said, you have a little confusion as to who manages which courses. Swope, Minor, Blue River, Hodge and Shoal Creek are city courses. I believe their management has been privatized, and my experience is that they are better than they used to be.

Longview is the only county golf course. I wonder who the contractors doing the renovations to the course are related to . . .

2/16/2009 6:25 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

yeah - conflated city and county monies, i did, i did.

however, that said...literally millions?

don't get me wrong - i love the course ('cause I don't suck at golf...well, badly suck, at any rate.) but the cash cash involved seems a little extreme....

and you're right: once the city brought in the crew from Ironhorse to run their joints, they have improved...

be interesting to see in the budgets just waht is being cut from their budgets....

2/16/2009 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan -

Congratulations! You have made it several days without any physical (and hollow) threats from the Rizzonites. Those people have watched "Goodfellas" one too many times.

2/16/2009 7:50 PM  

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