Golf courses' spending may call for internal audit

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Councilman Edmund Ford Junior says the recent city golf course shakeup shows conflicting numbers when it comes to your tax dollars.

The numbers are in such disarray, he may call for an internal audit.

Councilman Ford says the first red flag went up when he noticed a 9-hole golf course showing the same expenditures as an 18-hole golf course.

"There might need to be an audit," said Ford.

Memphis Councilman Edmund Ford Junior says how your money is spent at city golf courses deserves closer examination.

"I can't believe the Whitehaven Golf Course is spending as much money as 18-holes," he said.

In recent weeks, citizens from all over Memphis have shown up at council meetings to fight for their greens, amid looming closures.

Whitehaven Golf Course, which in Ford's district, was on the chopping block due to losses.

Last week, council members proposed raising fees to keep it running. But Ford says not so fast.

He doesn't think the council has the full picture.

"Council members have gotten the bottom line on which courses have made a profit, which ones have not made a profit. I believe it's important we start looking at the line items," said Ford.

The math teacher says the numbers he has seen so far do not seem rational.

City documents show almost the same "Variable Costs" for Fox Meadows, an 18-hole golf course, as Whitehaven, a 9-hole golf course.

With all of the funds coming from one pot, golfers who frequent Whitehaven's links posed a question to Ford: Is all the money really going to Whitehaven?

"Or is it another golf course using Whitehaven to get their materials and supplies?" asked Ford.

To find that answer, Ford has some ideas.

"My recommendation would be to go back and look at all the fiscal numbers, go back to 2011 and compare them to 2012," he suggested.

Ford will crunch the numbers himself and may call for an audit in the coming weeks.

If the numbers do not add up, he hopes the council will keep all the courses open until an audit is done.

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