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Opinion

(Ed.'s note: The following letter was sent to the Town of North Hempstead Board and is printed here at the writer's request.)

I am writing in regard to the recent decision that permits the raffling off of weekend preferred tee times for golfers wishing to pay an additional $500 monthly fee.

This policy violates the underlying mission of Harbor Links, to wit, a town recreation facility created for the benefit of the public, and is to my mind discriminatory.

Those who can afford and desire to pay the $500 will have their tee times determined on a lottery basis. It is simply insufficient and counterintuitive to justify this system on the basis that golfers may still reserve tee times in the alternative hours that are not reserved for advance tee time holders.

Harbor Links was created by the Town of North Hempstead with taxpayers' money for the benefit of the public and is a municipal golf course. The $500 fee has the effect of semi-privatizing what by law is a public course while at the same time discriminating against members of the community who are not affluent. By selling reservations for half of the prime tee off times at this price, you are restricting the general publics access to the course.

If you want to raise the same estimated $40,000 gained in the lottery process, the same dollars can be made in 60 days of normal operations by adding $2 per round to greens fees.

This policy essentially creates two distinct classes of the public. The net result is those town residents who do not participate in this new profit source for the course, lose almost 50 percent of the opportunity to book times. What that means is that you are forced to participate or face much less availability of times. This is patently unfair and likely in violation of the code and charter under which this course was built with the taxpayers' dollars.

Keith Lipstein


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