Taking over as interim Rye Golf Club manager while the city council’s investigation into the former manager’s dealings continues has put Jim Lopolito under the strict scrutiny of club membership. And he is fine with that, he told RGC members at a Commission meeting Wednesday night.
“To me, whatever happened is in the past, I started last Monday and hopefully you will see a change. Every dollar is going to be accounted for while I am here,” Lopolito said. The crowd applauded that statement.
Chairman John Duffy offered his support for Lopolito in a statement to Patch earlier this week:
“ I think Jim Lopolito will be a great asset to RGC,” Duffy said, noting Lopolito’s experience in the food and beverage industry. Lopolito was the manager of the historic Capitol Theatre when it was used for catering and private parties.
While Lopolito did not directly address the investigation or allegations against former manager Scott Yandrasevich, who resigned last week after three months of being on administrative leave, Lopolito explained the constraints that operating under city laws puts on him and club staff.
“Within the last ten days, I have been trying to figure out how I can make this work within your laws,” Lopolito said.
Lopolito will be using staffing agencies and already has former employees signing up with a new agency in order to keep as many people as possible, he said.
“Isn’t that what got us into trouble in the first place? Using agencies?” an RGC member asked.
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Lopolito said that food and beverage is difficult to bid out piece by piece because he often needs several staffing agencies and food distributors from which to chose. If something goes wrong with one, he needs to be flexible enough to turn to another.
“If you tie the hands of the manager, they are going to get creative,” Lopolito said.
The Commission said it understood and the RFP Committee would be considering ways to change the rules to grant him flexibility while still accounting for all costs, said commission member Angela Sposato.
“The main thing is transparency,” said Commissioner Chair John Duffy. “That was something that was lacking.”
The new manager plans on asking the current chef to stay on board, if he is interested. He has also been interviewing new chefs and hopes to hire one by Feb. 11 in order to open by March 1 and to have an opening party in February.
“We are basically trying to open a brand new restaurant,” Lopolito said
Lastly, he mentioned he has secured a caterer for food and kitchen staffing for upcoming parties and is having vendors bid on the entrance lighting
Lopolito encouraged members to stop in to visit him any time.