Kevin Fisher: Sunlight needs shown on Haymaker process | SteamboatToday.com

Kevin Fisher: Sunlight needs shown on Haymaker process

One of Steamboat's premier municipal resources, Haymaker Golf Course, is in the process of transitioning the head golf professional role from a contract-based engagement to a full-time, paid city position. I support this move, as the previous structure is outdated and can be financially burdensome.

It is also my understanding that a majority of the uniquely independent Haymaker Golf Management Committee members supported this transition. However, this decision was to be accompanied by one proviso: protect the current head professional, Tom Taylor. Yet, Tom was not even invited to participate in the final round of interviews for this job.

No person in Steamboat has helped to grow the game of golf, supported youth development in the sport and committed himself personally to the success of Haymaker Golf Course as has Tom. I have been told that nearly 50 candidates have applied for the head professional role.

Certainly, there are many qualified individuals in this pool. And, though I admit that I am not well informed as to the criteria being utilized in the selection process, as an employer of hundreds of folks across the U.S., I can write that, when I am lucky enough to have a team member who exhibits the passion, expertise, leadership and commitment that Tom Taylor has provided Haymaker, I do everything in my power to retain that talent.

Community members have submitted nearly 60 letters supporting Tom Taylor in his application for the role of head golf professional. How can a candidate with Tom's expertise and this scope of endorsement be so overlooked?

I typically eschew conspiracy theories, but my suspicious side wonders whether this was no mistake. Are ulterior motives at play which seek to marginalize the all-volunteer Golf Management Committee and turn this gem of a resource into just another Parks and Recreation, city manager-directed operation?

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I respectfully request that the city of Steamboat shed some light on this process. The culture of the Haymaker Golf Course and the commitment of its employees should be cherished and protected.

The fact of the matter is that Haymaker is one of the few cash-positive city-operated facilities. As such, any leadership change should be accompanied by a compelling rationale. I worry that agendas misaligned with these core attributes will lead to the degradation of a key asset of Steamboat Springs.

Kevin Fisher

Steamboat Springs