It was a meeting about the future of the Macdonald Golf Course, and after three hours, the committee is no where nearer to hearing what Johnny Stevens is offering the city.
Last week, Stevens sent an unsolicited offer to the city.
“If someone wanted to come in and buy Macdonald Park, it could. I am not saying it will. It could disrupt that whole vision. For right now, we are very happy with our relationship with the city,” says First Tee President Tom West.
All the City of Wichita knows is there is an offer on the table to buy MacDonald Golf Course and some want to hear what it is.
“I don’t think there is any harm in that, and I think that ultimately we are going to see,” said Eddie Fahnestock, Chairman of the Golf Advisory Committee (GAC) and park board Member.
That would require an RFP, or Request For Proposal, which the committee would need to submit to the park board just so they could see Stevens offer. But the committee voted to pump the breaks after Ellen Querner broke in.
“I saw a vote, but I did not see what the vote was,” says Querner. “That is when I said, ‘Hey, wait a minute. I did not hear that vote.'”
“She just kind of reminded me of the purpose we needed for that facility,” says West.
Querner and West believe selling right now could disrupt the plans to expand First Tee Golf at Macdonald, which West says will serve 21,000 kids. He says if the course is sold, the city will not find out what the affects of potentially closing Clapp could mean for MacDonald.
“The hope is a lot of those golfers will migrate over to MacDonald Park. That will make MacDonald park profitable again,” says West.
“This is the wrong time to be thinking about selling that golf course or any golf course,” adds Querner.
But not everyone agrees and the park board may not either which could change everything.
“I am going to take this recommendation to the park board on behalf of the GAC. They could ultimately move forward with the RFB to see what the offers would be,” says Fahnestock.