EDITOR'S NOTE: The following letter is addressed to members of the Hesperia City Council.
I am taking this opportunity to write to all of you concerning the future of the Hesperia Golf and Country Club. I have recently heard a disturbing rumor that the City Council is not behind maintaining the property in its current configuration, i.e. an 18-hole championship golf course. I am extremely upset and disturbed that as your constituent, you would even consider demolishing such a great and significant piece of American history and culture.
The golf course has, and will continue to be, a cornerstone for the Hesperia community and citizens. I, as you've probably guessed, am an avid golfer. I have been playing the game of golf for 11 years, and have become extremely adept at the game, an 8 index/handicap, due to the challenging and expertly designed and maintained layout of this golf course. I also travel quite extensively for business and I am always amazed at the number of people I meet that can identify Hesperia because of the course's PGA history and the brief stint on an episode of Shell's Wonderful World of Golf television program that was filmed here.
While this may seem somewhat insignificant to most people in our fine city, I challenge you to name another city with such rich golf history and notoriety as ours. I'm sure you will be able to come up with names like Augusta, Pinehurst, Pebble Beach etc… I say that's a pretty esteemed group of places also steeped in golf history. I believe we must continue that heritage and legacy.
My point is, this course has potential far beyond the water rights everyone keeps debating. This course can be a magnet for throngs of people to fill our local hotels and restaurants numerous times a year. We should endeavor to attract the golf tours, be it mini, Nationwide or even the PGA/LPGA to come and play here. This isn't a walk in the park for any golfer, even the professionals, and it most certainly shouldn't be turned into one.
I think this is an injustice to the whole of the community to demolish what has been, and can be again, a flourishing revenue source for our community. Do we need a skate park? Maybe, but we have hundreds of thousands of acres in which to place it. Does the city need water? Absolutely, but at what expense? Why are we always giving handouts to contractors and others to expand our housing far beyond the capability of the infrastructure to support it? In most cases, those who do buy these less expensive homes, are either renting, or don't pay taxes anyway. Why are they rewarded, and why do the contractors get a free, or reduce fee, ride? Why do the remaining taxpayers shoulder this burden?
I challenge each of you to "think out of the box" and use the course as a cornerstone to attract business, not drive it away. Sure the water was cheap, but the crown jewel you received with it has far more potential than you have given it credit for, and will still be here long after the builders and non taxpaying citizens are long gone.
This course has produced 50+ years of recreation and revenue and has already proven solvency in the first six months since its purchase without contribution from the general fund. I think you owe it to the citizens of this city to grow the attractions for a more affluent cliental, instead of supporting far too many people with welfare using my tax dollars.
In closing I say again, I challenge each of you to brainstorm ways to advertise and grow the desirability of this great city as home to wealthy corporate business and as a vacation destination for the average citizen. We need visionaries who can bring support and help build infrastructure and in turn, generate a larger tax base, than destroy what little this city has left and leave it in a welfare state. Which I might add seems, at least to this layman, not far off.
It is also not beyond the citizens of this city to take action to deem this course a historical landmark, which would both stifle any future development and improvement by you in an attempt to better our bottom line which I feel would be counterproductive. It will also keep you from modifying it from its current form without state oversight and approval.
While that action seems drastic, it will also guarantee the survival of the course and ultimately is the correct and honorable thing to do for the better of the whole community, not just a greedy myopic few who can't see the forest through the trees.
I would like to offer any assistance I can provide or answer any questions you may have, so feel free to contact me if needed.