Supervisors ignore county residents on country club bailout

Published 1:54 pm Saturday, December 1, 2018

To the Editor:

I attended the Nov. 26, 2018 Board of Supervisors meeting and was very dismayed at the outcome of the request from the Cypress Cove Country Club to the county for a $25,000 donation for the upcoming year. I was under the impression that last year’s $30,000 donation was a one-time donation. Last night’s meeting was well attended, and the majority of the attendees were in attendance to express their concern about the matter even being considered.

The matter was not included in the county budget. Every resident that spoke was against the donation, and other residents in attendance I talked to that did not speak were 100 percent against the donation.

In my opinion, [Dr.] Alan Edwards and to a degree Bruce Phillips were the only members of the board of supervisors that conveyed the feelings of the Southampton County residents in their districts by being opposed to the donation.

In my opinion, the other four supervisors said with the haughty attitude that we know you are against the donation, but you (the residents) will have to trust us because we know what is best for the county. I feel that Randolph Cook, a fine individual, let the residents of Newsoms down by supporting the donation instead of suggesting that if the county has $25,000 for the country club, it would better spent addressing the Newsoms water issue, which would benefit more people in his district than a donation to the country club will benefit.

The Lord helps those who help themselves and necessity is the mother of invention. Mr. [Barry] Porter stated that tournaments bring in a considerable amount of money to the country club.

People that golf and are members of the country club are the ones that have skin in the game and should be the ones to step up to the plate and man up. I suspect that the country club would like to keep getting an annual donation from Southampton County instead of stepping up to the plate and adding another tournament or sponsoring a cookout to cover the money given by the county. There was even talk of the county putting a donation line in future budgets for the country club (very big mistake.)

Thirty years ago, my son was on the Franklin High Golf Team, and home matches were played at Suffolk. There are very few young people playing golf in the county and country compared to 20-30 years ago.

The Franklin-Southampton area has literally hundreds of young girls and boys playing basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball and football. For the most part, the expenses for these sports are shouldered by the parents of the participants. Is it a stretch to think that the county could be subsidizing 25-plus young golfers to the tune of $1,000 each? Non-club parents of young golfers could partner with club members to raise an extra $25,000, and any money the four county supervisors feel should be used for a bailout could be used for pressing county needs that are more important than bailing out the country club.

Larry Brown