Darrell L. Jansa: City hits bottom


If you have lived here for more than a few years, you have probably encountered two of Steamboat's finest. Hank and Wendy Franks are longtime residents. Hank is a longtime, highly respected golf pro, and he and Wendy took on the challenge of operating the concession at Haymaker Golf Course when it first opened in 1997. During the past 12 years, the course has prospered. The condition has improved, the number of rounds of play has increased, a new clubhouse has been built, and we have a city-owned facility that is big-time for a town this size.

At 58, Hank, who has never been questioned or reviewed by the Golf Management Committee, had to submit a bid to maintain his position. Fair enough, as the city was looking to save money wherever possible. However, when the bids came in, there was no discernible monetary difference, so the committee, in its wisdom, decided to take the course in a "new direction" and award the concession to two other people. They're no doubt qualified - if we did not already have someone with 12 years experience doing a very good job.

The City Council once again put themselves in a position of abject stupidity and lumped the Haymaker Golf Course into the requests for bids along with many or all other operations. Then to complicate matters, they left the decision up to the Golf Management Committee to decide who gets the business. Suddenly, the decision seemingly is out of the council's hands because they directed the committee to obtain bids and to decide who is selected. The council did manage to vote 6-1 in favor of supporting the committee, which offered no reason for terminating Hank and Wendy's contract other than a "new direction."

As a longtime golfer I am intrigued by a new direction for a golf course. I suppose there are some hidden meanings to this concept, but they are not apparent. What I can see is two hard-working, longtime residents who have devoted their lives to making Haymaker Golf Course a wonderful amenity for Steamboat being told, "You have our gratitude." But you no longer have a job.

I dislike pointing out that this is another nail in the coffin of Steamboat. But it is just another of the decisions by our council that shows they have little to no understanding of business and life. Loyalty, compassion, empathy, fairness and a long list of adjectives describe what the council lacks. They take away a person's livelihood with a five-minute discussion with only one person, Steve Ivancie, understanding they were trying to fix something that wasn't broken.

This place is not the place I came to in 1977. It has been on a slide ever since then, but we really hit bottom Tuesday night.

Darrell L. Jansa

Steamboat Springs


freerider 7 years, 7 months ago

Gotta agree with you Darrell , it was cheap shot by city council , it's time to vote them all out now ! the current city council does not represent Routt County , pandering to the 700 farce and hanging good people out to dry like the Franks


Alpru 7 years, 7 months ago

If you've followed the comments since the Frank's firing (yes fired!) was announced, you will see NOT ONE single solitary supporter of the Golf Committe's decision. In November, 2008, the citizens of the United States said "Enough is Enough", and "Yes We Can". I again repeat my invitation: Golf Committee? Hold an open meeting/forum of the golfers in this community. Might as well. The truth will come out evenutally!


JLM 7 years, 7 months ago

Exactly what direction does a golf course go in? Maybe sponsoring a PGA event? LOL


robert nestora 7 years, 7 months ago

i thought haymaker was supposed to be for the taxpayers, currently we are on the low end of tee times if they try to raise even more from haymaker we will fall even lower and probably be charged more. this council only thinks of themselves and money not service. i guess they dont care about haymaker cause the 700 people are entertaining them at catamount.


Rob Douglas 7 years, 7 months ago

Two years ago, the city council election was notable for the smear campaign that was undertaken by certain individuals and an organization that attempted to hide their true identities while spreading lies about individual candidates.

The above post by studionsl (along with most of the posts of this new anonymous forum poster) is reminiscent of the type of gutter tactics that were, sadly, the hallmark of the '07 election. These posts are often quite transparent as the poster attempts to plant "facts" or sow discord by deliberate distortions or outright lies.

Whether or not we agree or disagree with a certain candidate or the city council, we should give our respect to all the candidates and council members who seek to serve their community.

Given the sad reality of the '07 campaign, posts to this forum about issues and candidates that do not reflect the name of the poster should be accorded little, if any, credibility.

We should all encourage and applaud the open exchange of ideas and issues by our candidates and we should show appropriate scorn for nameless cowards who attempt to smear or intimidate those who have stepped up to serve our community.


catsmeowtwo 7 years, 7 months ago

Who do we talk to about fixing this obvious misjudgment? Is it city council or the golf committee. Are we on an episode of Punk'd? Is the "golf committee" ready to discuss why they chose to go in this direction?


Chuck McConnell 7 years, 7 months ago


Please see my letter on the Haymaker misstep in this same issue.

The truth is that the city council made what looks like a political decision that absolutely does not make sense. Haymaker has been expertly run from day one and it makes no sense to take it out of the hands of the Franks who have done a great job by any standard and give management to new managers.

Are you saying we cannot disagree with governmental decisions? What happened to the first ammendment?


Scott Wedel 7 years, 7 months ago

Chuck, If you must resort to personal attacks to disagree with a City Council decision then Rob Douglas's post suggests that you should not be given credibility and you should be scorned.

He did not specifically say that criticizing City decisions by using convincing rational arguments is encouraged and helpful. I am pretty sure he does support the idea that citizens should be free and encouraged to question and criticize public officials. His post just says to do so without using smears, and presumably instead to use rational arguments.


Fred Duckels 7 years, 7 months ago

Rob, You have a lot to bring to the table and I appreciate your input, keep blogging. This is not a ploy for favorable treatment, hit me.


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