Golf Courses Stand-off Averted

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The golfers come out swinging on this warm spring Monday, while Mayor Bernero and his colleagues on the city council put their round away, at least for now.

"What you have is a collaborative process here, rather than a confrontational one," Bernero says.

The confrontation began with the introduction of next year's budget. It includes a proposal to close both Red Cedar and Waverly golf courses.

The mayor said he wouldn't open either this spring in preparation. The council said simply that wasn't his decision to make.

"Even though we're talking about closing courses for next year, this is about keeping the intent of what the city council had passed," Carol Wood, councilmember-at-large, said of the problem.

As of noon on a golfing Monday, council planned to file an injunction against the mayor. Bernero called uncle. The golf courses will open, he says, by April 28.

"It's a political issue, it's a important issue, it's a budget issue, but not one that belongs in court," he says.

And so begins the collaboration--the council has agreed to raise fees at all municipal courses and to strongly consider putting the sale of the golf courses on next November's ballot. The mayor will let the games continue, and plug away at plugging his 11 million dollar budget hole.

"Hey it's worked out, communication is good, we're got a win-win," says council president Harold Leeman.