September 8, 2015

Commissioners Present:

Anne O’Connell (Chair), Jeff Odell (Vice-Chair), Cindy Bingham, Carl Blanchard, Wyn Morton, Ed Pavlu, and John Piemontese.

Others Present: Mark O’Brien (Director of Operations), Pete Ervin (Superintendent), Jerri Carlin (Friends of Captains), Jackie Ferraguto (Women’s 9-Hole Assn.), Dave Terrio and Kevin Ham (Force Four Photography) and Mike Gallagher.

This meeting was held at the Town Hall and was televised. The video of the meeting may be viewed at:

Call to Order:

Anne O’Connell called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

Public Comment:

  • Jerri Carlin reported the 9-holers had their rally for the Cuda Center raising over $2,200. Cindy Bingham commended the 9-holers for their work with the Cuda Center.
  • Michael Gallagher of Orleans has been a non-resident member since 1985 as has his wife, Melanie. He would like to open up a further discussion on the policy change regarding the twilight members being allowed to play in most of the regular golf tournaments with the goal of having a revote on the policy change at the next meeting. Cindy Bingham suggested this matter be placed on the agenda for review at the next meeting. Anne O’Connell will provide the commissioners with copies of correspondence received concerning this matter.

Web Site (Wyn Morton):

  • Wyn Morton met with Charlie Heller and coordinated a meeting with Force 4 for a presentation regarding updating the website using their drone and aerial photography.  Dave Terrio and Kevin Ham spoke about various ideas for the website and advertising, including approximate pricing for various presentations.  An informational media presentation can be done at the golf course.  A discussion followed.  This program falls under Mark O’Brien’s advertising program; anyone wanting to be involved with this project should talk to Wyn Morton.  Some of the project changes have already been made to the website.

Correspondence and Suggestion Box (Carl Blanchard):

  • Unsigned suggestions are not presented to the golf commission since there is no way to answer. 
  • Anne O’Connell received a suggestion to rename the Couples Championship the Mixed Member Member.  Mark O’Brien said the tournament eligibility policy which was established in 2010 references that 2 men or 2 women can play together; if two women play together one must play from the white markers. Discussion followed.  The name of the Couples championship will remain as is.  Carl Blanchard will respond to the person suggesting this change.

Superintendent’s Report (Pete Ervin):

  • Peter Ervin was not able to attend the meeting
  • Mark O’Brien reported that the aerification of the Starboard greens will be on Monday and Tuesday, September 14 and 15, the Port Course greens will be on Monday and Tuesday, September 21 and 22,  and the fairways will be finished on Monday and Tuesday, September 28 and 29.
  • Jeff Odell noted compliments for the inside staff and the conditions of the course from the owner of a 36-hole facility in Connecticut that had hosted Foxwoods used heavily prior to their building their own courses.
  • Ed Pavlu has seen good revues for the inside staff and the course conditions on Yelp.

Director of Operations Report (Mark O’Brien):

  • Mark O’Brien has received bench requests from the family of Hank Mitchell, the Dew Sweepers in memory of Dew Sweepers passed (to be placed on Starboard 10), and the 18-Hole Association in memory of Carol Reynolds and Pat O’Keefe.
  • A motion was made by Cindy Bingham, seconded by Ed Pavlu to approve the bench requests.  Motion passed unanimously.
  • Mark O’Brien presented the financials.  August was strong with the last week tailing off due to the way Labor Day fell.  The revenues for the first week of September were strong because of Labor Day.
  • Greens fees are well ahead of projections for the fiscal year.

Salary Increases (Cindy Bingham):

  • Mark O’Brien presented a proposal for salary increases for all maintenance and staff personnel in the FY2016 budget last year. This proposal was not approved by the Selectmen as it would have created a larger golf department deficit for FY2016 based on the projections.  Cindy Bingham hopes that when Mark O’Brien presents the FY2017 budget it will include raises.  She noted the maintenance staff is down 4 employees and still manages to keep the course in remarkable condition; she feels the reason we cannot fill the maintenance vacancies reflects the fact that the salaries are not in line where they need to be. The same is true with the counter and cart people and the rangers not having had an increase in nine years. 
  • Mark O’Brien noted that the above is in regard to part-time seasonal employees.  The union staff contracts are negotiated.  He is planning to put together a program that will allow Captains to be competitive and able to fill the unfilled positions. 
  • There was a small increase given to five grounds people who have been employed for a long period of time which allowed us to stay within the budget. When Mark O’Brien presents the budget in the late fall or winter it will include a program for salary increases and still show a surplus. 
  • Jim O’Leary asked for information regarding salary increases comparative to other courses in the area be sent to the Finance Committee.

Tee Box Placements On #17 Port (Cindy Bingham):

  • Cindy Bingham noted the blue tees were moved forward.  Since this move is permanent, the scorecards need to be updated.

Rate Discussion Schedule (Anne O’Connell):

  • Anne O’Connell noted that the rates were not finalized until December last year and indicated she would prefer setting the rates earlier this year.
  • Mark O’Brien recommends the rates stay as they are indicating the program is fair and meets revenue needs.
  • Anne O’Connell asked Carl Blanchard if he thinks morning 9-hole play has potential.  He said that in July there were a great number of tee times not used and feels there is an opportunity to generate more revenue with more 9-hole play.  Mark O’Brien and Carl Blanchard will have a discussion regarding this matter.  This subject will stay on the agenda.
  • There was a general discussion regarding rates.

Golf Commission Handbook vs Rules and Information Guide (Anne O’Connell):

  • Anne O’Connell noted there is an overlap with the Rules and Regulations Guide and asked for input as to what should be in the Golf Commission Handbook.  She stated she does not believe the same information should be in both guides; both need updating.  Anne O’Connell will edit both guides which will then be reviewed by Mark O’Brien and the commission.

Follow Up:

  • Carl Blanchard will follow up on 9-hole play.
  • Jeff Odell talked about webcam updates.

Future Agenda Items:

  • Tournament discussion
  • 3-page Golf Commission Handbook
  • Rates

Review and Approve 8/11/15 minutes:

  • The minutes were not available.

Topics the Chair did not anticipate:

  • None.

Anne O’Connell and Mark O’Brien will be at the Finance Committee meeting on September 16 at 6 p.m.  Attendance by any of the commissioners would be appreciated.

A motion was made by Ed Pavlu, seconded by Cindy Bingham to adjourn the meeting.  Motion passed unanimously.
Respectfully Submitted,
Dorothy Vesperman, Senior Clerk

The Pro Shop is closed to the public until further notice. Face coverings must be worn at all times on the Captains Golf Course property. 18-Hole riding carts are restricted to those with a 12:00 tee time or earlier and 9-Hole riding carts are restricted to those with a 1:57 tee time or earlier. The driving range is closed until further notice and the Freemans Grill is closed for the season. RENTAL CLUBS ARE NOT AVAILABLE. Non-Member tee times may be reserved up to two days in advance. Reservations are required for all play - WALK-ONS ARE NOT PERMITTED.