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Letter: Figures were far from actual fact

To the Editor:

If your readership is going down, it is because you again displayed your irrelevance by awarding the "Golden Quill" award to a writer whom you described as presenting "facts" in his letter to the editor dated March 23.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm not criticizing the writer. He has his reasons for his opinion. I am criticizing you for stating his position as "factual' when you knew they were not.

Red Wing Municipal Golf Corp. had placed in your hands its five-year plan, a 50-page proforma of income/expense, prior to March 1, 2013.

Board member Jim Clark and I met with you on or about March 10 to ask if you had any questions about the proforma. We talked in depth about it. It was clear to us that you had not read the document.

You told us that you would turn it over to an intern reporter to develop an article for the paper. The intern interviewed both me and Mr. Clark over the phone for further information. When no article appeared, I called you on March 20 to ask when the article would appear. You said that you were shooting for Saturday, March 23. I responded that that would be good timing since it would put "factual" information in front of the public prior to the March 25 council meeting.

The article never appeared. Why?

The writer of the March 23 letter completely discounted the factor of "revenue." And we are not just talking about revenue for Mississippi National Golf Links. We are talking about revenue for the Greater Red Wing.

Based upon historical numbers from MNGL operations, we showed in our proforma that at worst, the city would incur a financial obligation of $132,000. At best, the city would incur no financial obligation. As it turned out, the city will spend approximately $400,000 to mothball the course for this year alone.

We have questioned some of the motels, not all, about guests from 2012 that came for the "Stay and Play" package that they used with MNGL. A close estimate is that Red Wing will lose about $50,000 in revenue from the motels alone by having MNGL closed.

We haven't even tried to estimate the loss from the restaurants, bars, gas stations, or business places downtown.

So, Ms. Editor, when your committee awards a "Golden Quill" award because, according to you they report facts, make sure that the numbers in the letter are indeed facts. In this case, they were not.

Robert Tjossem

Red Wing