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Parks Board approves management changes for Highland Golf Course

Mason City Park Board at January 8th, 2013 meeting
Mason City Park Board at January 8th, 2013 meeting

MASON CITY – The Mason City Parks Board on Tuesday approved a plan to re-organize how Highland Golf Course is run.

The board, on a 5-0 vote, ok’d the plan laid out by City Administrator Brent Trout and Recreation Director Brian Pauly.

The plan calls for no new golf pro to be hired at Highland.  Former Highland golf pro John Pritchard retired and that position would be replaced with a new position called Program Coordinator.  The position would have a number of part-time persons under its direction.  Specifics were not readily available Wednesday but will be made public as soon as they are released.  According to Pauly, the overall wages would only be about $640 per year more than what is currently paid.

brian pauly bill stangler brent trout at park board
Brian Pauly, Brent Trout and Bill Stangler at park board meeting, Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

With no golf pro under contract at the course, Pauly said that the new hires will bring a new level of flexibility to Highland and the Recreation Department. For example, the course could open and close during the fall and spring season as weather dictates versus the hard dates that might be set under the direction of the course pro.  The additional staff will be able to cross over and help with other programs and duties in the recreation department as needed and as time permits, particularly in the months the course is closed.

The goal with the move is to raise revenues, clear up $20,000 in debt that Highland has accumulated over the past six years, and make the operation sustainable while making new resources available to Pauly.

The issue now goes before the Mason City Council for a vote as early as January 15th.

Watch video of Park Board meeting:


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Looks like MR. B.S. doesn’t like having his picture taking Matt.

I’ve heard that he has a lot of reasons for not wanting the press around; too many things you wouldn’t want the public to know.

I’ve heard a little something about that also. If it is what I’m thinking about you might be talking about the waste water treatment plant remodel that took place maybe two or three years ago now. I heard it rumored that the money from that can be traced back to one or two individuals that were in charge at that time. Sad and upsetting if it comes back true.

Props to you John Pritchard! You did a helluva job for 30 years. You will be missed.
If they think they can run that course without a pro they are in for a big shock!

I agree! A good man with the skills to manage the course well for many years will be difficult to replace. This plan probably won’t do it but if they do, it is only because John laid the foundation for them and is more than likely still helping them out.

Looks like Matt is getting the evil eye… again!

I think not having a golf pro is a mistake and a big step backwards. I do agree with Mr. Pearson that the concession’s should be least out. That was one of the recommendations that the Fore Highlands Tomorrow commitee suggested. The city shouldn’t be in the restaurant business. Also I can’t imagine that any city business would want to come in and run the pro shop. It will be sad to see it go.

I’m not sure that the Rec Director really understands what it takes to run a golf course. There is a lot more to it than just running a cash register. Taking care of golf handicaps, running tournaments, and taking care of outings are just a few of the jobs that need to be done and done in a professional manner. No pro means no one on staff to help you with your game. No one to do the junior lessons and help build the game. How about taking care of the High School and NIACC events?

Thank you Mr Pritchard for your years of service to the golf course and the community. You have truely made my experiances at Highland very enjoyable. You have done a very good job under some very trying circumstances. I wish you the very best in your retirement or what ever you do next. I hope we will see you at the golf course next season and play some golf together. You were always the one I could turn to when my game was in the tank. Thank you.

I hope that doesn’t mean they are removing John Pritchard as the manager/golf-pro at Highland Park Golf Course. He has been there 30 years. I hope he is rewarded for his loyalty. He does an outstanding job!

I couldn’t agree more

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