Abbotsford Mayor Bruce Banman is calling out Maclean's for putting the city and its $115,000 bailout of Ledgeview golf course on the national magazine's annual 'stupid spending list'.
"I think it was a slow news day and [Maclean's] didn't do their homework," Banman told the Times on Tuesday.
"My suspicion is because we made the list last year, they looked for another reason to put us on it and didn't research the issue at all."
Last year, Abbotsford made the magazine's infamous list - 99 stupid things the government did with your money - for the millions it paid out as part of a supply fee agreement with the Abbotsford Heat hockey team.
However, Banman feels the one-time grant to Ledgeview last May to temporarily tide the city's public course over a rough financial patch was anything but stupid.
The bailout forgave $65,000 in rent and provided $50,000 for course capital improvements.
Ledgeview Society has operated and developed the course for 34 years without coming to the city for cash before, said Banman.
Letting the society flounder would have been more expensive in the long run, he insisted.
"It would have cost us a fortune if the city had taken the keys back," said Banman.
"The city could have run the course and we would have been in for far more."
The society, which originally asked the city for $250,000, has struggled financially over recent years due to a poor economy, bad weather and an overall decline in the industry.
The city's cash injection allowed the society to make the necessary changes that ensure the course's business model is sustainable, said Banman.
To reduce costs the course is operating on a scaled down basis in 2013.
The course and pro shop are open weather permitting but the clubhouse and restaurant are closed until the spring and return of warmer weather.
Club members have agreed to pay dues early in the year to help the course weather the lean winter months, and the contract for the course's general manager was not renewed.
The society is also exploring the possibility of contracting out its restaurant or banquet facilities.
Ledgeview Society has a 25-year lease with the city that ends in 2015.
The city has issued a request for proposals around operating the course after that time, said Banman.
The city has no desire to see the golf course, one of the most challenging in the region, converted for other uses, he added.
"It has one of the most beautiful vistas in Canada. We're all in agreement it's a jewel," he said.
Over the years the course has also helped fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Abbotsford charities or community groups, he said.
Banman also observed Maclean's failed to note that several Canadian cities, including Vancouver, have recently infused much more cash than Abbotsford to preserve public golf courses for the community.
- To see the Maclean's list visit http://tinyurl.com/abl6lmo.