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Is Time Running Out for Stockton-Owned Golf Courses?

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STOCKTON -- Monday, the Stockton City Council will discuss what to do with city-owned Van Buskirk and Swenson golf courses.

According to Stockton mayor Michael Tubbs, the courses cost the city $850,000 in annual subsidies.

The mayor says that just two years ago the courses cost $450,000, and adds that 40 percent of those who play at the two courses are not Stockton residents.

"I'm surprised that somehow golf has stayed in the budget, but the subsidy has increased from $400,000 four years ago to $850,000 today," Tubbs said.

Monday's discussions will center around what to do with the courses if the city finds it is best to eliminate them.

Ideas such as Swenson becoming a mixed-use property and Van Buskirk turning into a recreational complex are on the table.

"You can't just keep taking programs away from the city," says Stockton resident Dion Dalman.

Councilwoman Christina Fugazi wants Swenson to stay the way it is.

In regards to the up to 40 percent of golfers at the two courses not being residents of Stockton, Fugazi offered her rebuttal.

"We subsidize the Stockton Arena at $3.2 million a year. How many of our residents go into the arena?" she said.

"That is totally not an apple to apple comparison because, No. 1, the arena doesn't sit on 120-plus acres of land in the middle of our city. No. 2 there's not 10 arenas within 20 miles of Stockton, there are golf courses," Tubbs said.

Monday evening's special meeting regarding the golf courses will take place at 5:30 at City Hall in downtown Stockton.