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Ken Koehler, Published January 03 2009

Philosophical reasons to oppose golf course

West Fargo

I have just read Jack Fuller’s commentary in the Dec. 27 issue of The Forum, and I couldn’t agree with him more.

I thank Fuller for bringing this issue to my attention through his letter; and also for taking the time to research the cost to taxpayers for maintaining a city-owned golf course. I certainly would have never known that several of the Fargo-owned golf courses experienced losses of between $200,000 and $400,000 in 2007. This is tremendously important information as we consider whether our city’s taxpayers should take on such a huge financial commitment.

While Fuller opposes a city-owned golf course for financial reasons, I oppose it also for philosophical reasons. I am one who believes that government and its resulting taxes should be kept as small as can be and limited to necessities, including primarily protection (police, fire, etc.) and roads, water, etc., and that the rest – including things like golf courses – should be left to private enterprise. If there is enough demand for another golf course in our area to be economically feasible and profitable, then someone from the private sector will step forward and make that available.

This is the way it should be in a country that promotes private enterprise. Furthermore, when a city uses tax money to build and operate a business such as a golf course, this automatically develops unfair competition for a privately owned business.

A city-owned golf course is not only unnecessary, it is also philosophically the wrong thing to do. Let our city government and our tax money stick to its basics and let private enterprise operate without unfair government competition.