Letters to the Editor: 1-9-18

Waikoloa Village golf isn’t worth it

In regard to Ms. Kearney’s letter about the ongoing turmoil in Waikoloa, Ms. Kearney you are absolutely justified in your concerns about this village. In fact, everyone who is a member of the Waikoloa Village Association (WVA) should be extremely concerned.

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Let’s take a brief look at history. From 1972 until 1987, the WVA was supported, managed, coddled, and shepherded by Boise Cascade and, later, by Transcontinental Development. The project was marketed and funded by Boise and, later, Transcontinental. Everything was rosy.

Then in 1987, some woefully ignorant members of the board and some members at large accused Transcontinental of fraud and malfeasance, none of which was true, nonetheless Transcontinental essentially washed their hands of any connection whatsoever with the WVA. It was a huge mistake, essentially the principals of Transcontinental included Ron Boedecker and the four Bass brothers out of Texas. Every one of these individuals was a billionaire. Accusations against billionaires better be well substantiated. The WVA failed.

Thus, in 1987, the WVA became self-managed. Thirty years of self-management with 30 years of constant extraordinary losses. That is exactly why I am such a strong proponent of total dissolution of the WVA, massive losses. Wait, it gets much worse.

Many members are very busy raising families, working their okoles off, etc., to notice some issues that are going on. How many members realize that there is, presently, a plan for improving and renovating infrastructures on this 50-year-old golf course costing between $20 million and $25 million within the next few years. Yep, that’s true.

Let’s do the math. There are approximately 3,000 members of the WVA, a $25 million expenditure equates to over $8,000 assessment to each and every member. Get your checkbook ready.

The WVA governing documents state that the purpose of the association is to promote the common interest of the membership. To me, common interest, means interests that are shared by a majority of the membership. Yet, only about 8 percent of the membership utilized the course last year. Why are the other 92 percent subsidizing the few golfers?

I hope that County Councilman Tim Richards reads this, I have known him for years. I realize that the county seems to have a difficult time pumping water or operating buses successfully, but one thing they have never had trouble with is the successful operations of Hilo Municipal Golf Course. It’s been a success since it opened in 1951, 67 years. Compare that to the dismal failure of WVA management every year since 1987.

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Roger Hansen

Waikoloa Village