City to hold DeBell study session

In an effort to make oversight of the troubled DeBell Golf Club as transparent as possible, the City Council will schedule a special study session to discuss recently enacted reform measures.

Councilman Dave Golonski on Tuesday lobbied for the meeting, noting the intense interest among his colleagues and the public in turning the struggling city-owned golf course around.

City officials said the study session would be scheduled within 30 days.

The City Council in June approved a $2-million bailout package for the course after parks officials reported an operating deficit of roughly $718,000. The action was taken as the council cut fire and youth services and postponed library upgrades amid an $8-million budget deficit.


“This would be a good opportunity for all council members to participate and to keep all engaged and informed,” Golonski said.

He said a study session format may provide a better way for council members and the public to understand how the golf course lost money, and the options available to make it profitable.

DeBell has struggled to retain golfers, with the number of rounds played at the course dropping significantly over the years. City officials said the course has been losing about $300,000 annually in recent years.

City Manager Mike Flad said this week that he supported the idea of a study session, saying it could be very informational for all involved.


The newly formed oversight committee — which includes Golonski and Mayor Jess Talamantes — will also take an in-depth look at the financials of the golf course.

Parks and recreation director Chris Daste, whose department oversees the golf course, said an exact date for the study session had yet to be finalized. Councilwoman Emily Gabel-Luddy said she would like to see the meeting set up as soon as possible.

Councilman David Gordon, who has criticized the financial bailout and the make-up of the oversight committee, said he would like to see all the documents pertaining to the golf course before the meeting.