During the Sept. 21 General Membership Meeting of the Fairfield Glade Community Club, our president touched briefly on the expected purchase of Stonehenge Golf course. He referred to numbers circulated by the Long Range Planning Committee saying they "have no meaning," and that "there is no need to discuss them." (Glade Sun, 9/27/07, page 2). A week later we are told that the board intends to spend $4.2 million to acquire Stonehenge. That's $3.9 million for the course and $300,000 for closing costs et. al. (Glade Vista, 10/9/07)

Members interested in the financial stability of the club should be anxious to discuss numbers relevant to an offer on Stonehenge. Not at a future "town meeting" but right now. Members should be particularly interested in the method the board will use to generate new numbers that actually have "meaning." It does no good to ask why the numbers circulated to over 500 e-mail addresses by the Long Range Planning Committee were so flawed as to be meaningless. But it raises questions that our leadership may be using invalid assumptions to make decisions.

Unfortunately the board intends to have a town meeting on the purchase only after they have concluded negotiations and made up their mind. The town meeting expected to be held in November isn't for member input. It is for the board to tell us what the offer is and why we should vote for it. It will be too late for constructive member input.

Discussions with membership now, before the board concludes negotiations, is crucial to know that the board can answer key questions with accurate information.

• Are revenue projections based on an eight month season or a twelve month season?

• How much will dues increase to cover the loan payments and operating losses?

• How does the business plan measure revenue per round at Stonehenge?

• What will become of the restaurant?

• Where will the down payment and closing costs come from?

• How realistic is the "golfer ratio" reported by the Planning Committee?

• Can a credible method for projecting future golf demand be developed?

All of these questions require open discussion. Purchasing Stonehenge will add a minimum of $18 a year to member dues. That's assuming a loan of $3.6 million and 6.5 percent interest. Operating losses increase that number. This is cheaper than building a new course, but do we really need another course under club management?

Future golf demand requires better analysis than what was contained in the Planning Committee e-mail. A straight line projection of anything is flawed. Already the profile of new Glade residents indicate more diverse recreational needs. Do half the residents really play 40 rounds of golf a year? Was this from a stratified, skip digit, random survey, or an exit interview at a golf course? How were visitors and nine hole rounds factored? Or do we really just have a shortage of morning tee times?

Will the purchase of another golf course add more tee times? Not really. The tee times already exist. Buying Stonehenge just changes ownership. Building a new course, or reducing time between groups, would actually add capacity. If we need extra tee times, why not buy blocks of tee times from the new Stonehenge owner and let someone else cover the losses?

This is no different than a family buying a new car. A certain amount of thought, discussion and research is required before heading to the dealer. Discussion is exactly what is needed, and before the board makes a final offer. Membership deserves to know that the plan for Stonehenge is based on numbers that have meaning.

Mark Richie

Fairfield Glade

I have just returned from a trip "up North" where I attended a teacher's reunion. I stayed in a motel in Mentor, a small community east of Cleveland, and I took my little dog, Tia. This motel had a wonderful fenced-in dog park, which enjoyed heavy use the entire time I was there. The motel owners didn't worry about "liability"; they requested owners pick up after their dogs and provided a good-sized garbage can, secured to a post so it couldn't be tipped over by curious dogs.

There were dog competitions in a nearby community during the four days we stayed at the motel, so owners took the dogs out early and returned late. There was almost no barking, no complaints from non-dog owners but a lot of happy spectators who leaned against the second-floor balcony and watched the animals romping around.

Our board of directors can't seem to get past the possibility of "liability." They have insurance for injuries on the tennis courts, golf courses, swimming pools, grounds, and timeshare units, but don't feel they can afford the few extra pennies a dog park would cost. Is this a case of being "penny wise and pound foolish"?

There are many full-time residents who would be happy to have a place where their dogs could socialize and run without a leash. There are an increasing number of rentals where dogs are allowed. But, we still haven't developed a very simple dog park where the Glade already has a perfect spot that is kept mowed. All it needs is a fence, a few benches, and the garbage can chained to a post.

The board is presently bidding on the repurchase of Stonehenge golf course etc. And, they can't seem to afford a dog park.

Pat Filsinger

Fairfield Glade

Once again we have a chance to buy Stonehenge golf course. We had this chance once before but didn't take advantage of it. Please let's not make this mistake again. Stonehenge is rated one of if not the best golf course in Tennessee. The other time things were said about the course such as not being able to drive on the course or bentgrass fairways or difficult holes, etc. AII these things can be changed but first we need to buy the course.

l really believe we have the right people taking care of our courses now to take care of any problems. Starting with our golf director, golf pros, greenskeepers and workers, look at the great job they did this summer under such bad weather conditions. l firmly believe any problems Stonehenge might have will be no problem for them, so let's give them a chance.

The price we can buy Stonehenge for now would cost a lot more to build a new course in a few years from now or even now. To those who say, "I don't golf so why should we buy it," we live in a community that has many different things for all to do none of us use all the facilities we have available but they are there if we want them. Buying Stonehenge would benefit everyone by being another plus for our community. One other thing to keep in mind is if we don't buy it and someone else does in a few years they can do whatever they want with it and we won't have any vote on it. So please vote yes to buying Stonehenge.

Wayne Grzonka

Fairfield Glade

The Veterans Honor Guard is comprised of veterans of World War II, the Korean Conflice, Vietnam, Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. They are former Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps service men and women. They are members of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans. They hail from Monterey, cookeville, Crossville, Fairfield Glade, and Sparta, TN.

The unit serves an area roughly from Celina to Sparta and Crossville to Smithville. The members are all volunteers who donate their time, about 7,500 hours during a 12-month period, and some of the expenses involved to provide military honors at funerals for deceased veterans. The unit receives no tax dollars for these services.

We have learned that in some cases families of deceased veterans are being told there is a charge for our services. This is not true. While gratuities are accepted, there never has been, nor is there now a charge to the families involved or to the funeral homes for our services.

Vic Humeniuk


Veterans Honor Guard

I would like to express my appreciation to the friends of my mom and dad who helped me so generously in my time of need.

I am heartbroken by the loss of my memories, but so touched by your kindness and caring. Mom and Daddy, there are not enough words in all of me to let you know how much I love and appreciate you. You've always been there, and I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Dawn Ekis

Fairfield Glade

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