The $300 minimum per membership that Rye Golf Club members were required to spend this year sparked a more than one hour-long discussion of the RGC during the Rye City Council meeting Wednesday night.
After the lengthy discussion the council decided to adopt a 2013 budget that accounted for a similar $300 minimum at the RGC next year. Mayor Douglas French emphasized that he supports the minimum if its conditions will be adjusted according to input from RGC membership.
As it stands now, Rye Golf Club members are required to spend a minimum of $300 annually at the struggling Whitby Castle restaurant. RGC Commission Chair John Duffy told the council the commission plans to further discuss minimum conditions at its January meeting. He expects the minimum to vary based on membership.
The council discussed a member survey that indicated half the members are ok with the minimum, according to Councilman Joe Sack’s account of an RGC commission meeting on Dec. 17. About 40 percent of the membership responded to the survey.Of those, more than half indicated they did not opposed a minimum, but only about a quarter accepted a minimum of $30 or more.
Here is how survey takers responded to: “what do you feel is an appropriate minimum level food charge per year?”
34 percent chose $100, 25 percent chose $200, 31 percent chose $300, 2 percent chose $400 and 7 percent chose $500. There was no option for a $0 minimum.
An RGC member told the council that most people were concerned with the fact they could not use the minimum at the pool or half way house, because many with young children did not want to dress their kids from the pool and take them into a nice dining room.
Duffy indicated the commission would probably prefer to keep the minimum as is, because it is needed in the dining room, but that there would most likely be some kind of change.
“It may be different for different memberships,” Duffy said.
The management of the restaurant, golf club as a whole, and its manager Scott Yandrasevich, are currently under investigation after Yandrasevich was accused of misappropriating funds and having a conflict of interest with the staffing agency he hired for RGC. The city council conversation on the minimum quickly turned to one regarding club management, mistakes and the investigation. Read more on that here.
Do you think the Rye Golf Club should impose a $300 minimum for Whitby Castle? Do you think it should impose any minimum? Tell us in the comments.