Monday, March 26, 2012


At the Finance Committee meeting held last Monday, March 19, 2012 the Clubhouse Committee found it necessary to trim the restaurant budget by $24,400 in order to break-even.

Keep in mind that each of the 1,084 units in FW already pays a "restaurant tax" of $30.00 a month to keep this enterprise going while the people doing the budgeting aim for a "slight loss to a break-even policy."

March 20, 2012

To: Members of The Clubhouse Committee
   From: Adam Briggs
C: Al Miller, Ed Jarrett, Brian Petrovits, Irene Loretto, John Dunham
Re: Reviewing Finance Committee's Request For A Balanced 2012-2013 Clubhouse/Restaurant Budget
Last night (3/19), Sophie and I attended the Finance Committee meeting to review Draft Three of the overall budgets for the FWMA and the FW District. The combined percentage increase for the two budgets, as of that draft, was 2.63%, which I'm guessing most residents would regard as modest and completely acceptable. To be sure, there are a few shrill, loud few out there who would like to see the Clubhouse and the Golf Course closed down altogether, and we did hear the written testimony of one who wants to reject the entire budget until a plan to end all losses in either Golf or Clubhouse is presented.
More importantly for our purposes, the Finance Chairman had asked Al Miller to ask Ed
Jarrett for a recommended plan to cut the Clubhouse budget back some $24,900. Ed's
ideas to achieve this are shown below (totaling $25,400). In fairness, Ed was given this
charge late Thursday, and even though I did not see it until 5 minutes before it was
discussed, he did try to give me some heads-up by phone. Do understand that Ed had no choice but to try to come up with something, and even while he was presenting it, he insisted it had to be run by the Clubhouse Committee. I was asked as a member of the
audience, not to participate in the Finance discussion, but I was finally allowed to point out that (a) we had not seen any of these before, and ask the question (b) is there really a compelling reason why we should insist on a balanced budget at all. Although all members of the committee accepted the proposal to do a balanced budget, I did not hear anything that I personally considered compelling----all said, in essence, that it's always better to start a year at break-even, or slightly positive. In a perfect world, of course, that's always right, but we have always aimed for a slight loss to a break-even policy for the restaurant. Importantly, this would be a change to a budget Ed felt he could live with and actually achieve, as opposed to setting up for a probable failure.
These are creative ideas, but each of them may have some subtle, nuanced disadvantages that could cause various kinds of resident and/or golfer unrest. I am asking our committee: to review these carefully, one by one. It would be nice if we could conclude that all the ideas are good ones, and then both Finance and Clubhouse could sit back happily. However, if we conclude that some, or even all, of these ideas have major flaws that will hurt the clubhouse operation, we will need to speak up. But, I do feel strongly that we cannot just say we disagree; we need to be thorough and articulate as to why we feel that way.
But also, what would be really helpful would be to come up with some other alternative ideas that might bring the budget down by $25 K. 
But, by the way, the Golf budget is negative $132,000. and I haven't heard any
knowledgeable person suggest that should be a balanced budget---the reality is that
would be absurd. Our situation is more subtle, but still potentially fragile. We might
collectively agree to changes that would stir up more resentment than we now have, and even sink us totally in the long run.
Please put on your thinking caps for this one.
Ed's Suggestions for a Clubhouse Breakeven Budget
Close last two weeks of January and first two weeks of February ($5,000)
No lunch-time bartender from November 1 to April 1 ($4,000)
Reduce winter menu offerings ($7,500)
Close Restaurant and Pub 2 PM -5PM November 1-April 1($4,000)
Hire Seasonal Restaurant Manager without health benefits ($4,900)
Total Reduction ($25,400)
Some Other Options
I. Raise Minimum bv $5
2. Reduce menus year round with less perishable offerings
3.       Increase menu prices
4.       Reduce staff and seating capacity

Comments? You're welcome to email me at


  1. I do believe you would be. Better off contracting the restaurant operation out to a private business person . Maybe to run the rastaurant as a pizza style restaurant. I'm sure mor people would use it this way. Most people in the Woods don't use it the way it is that should tell us something is not right with the operation. we need to be creative have a new course of action . Cutting hours or day is not going to fix anything . It will just drive more people away from it. make it comfortabl and relaxing with good fairly priced food and people will use it. Your losses are about the food choices and the comfort level of using it. Think outside the box I think the solution is there.

  2. topcat,

    It's funny how everyone gets upset by government run this that and the other thing, but folks at FW are just fine with running a socialized restaurant. We are being taxed at a rate of $30.00/month whether we use the restaurant or not. That comes to $390,240/year that this enterprise receives from 1,084 units before they even serve a hamburger or those delicious onion rings. And yet the Chairman of the Clubhouse Committee feels free to offer up this gem with regard to his fiduciary responsibilty to residents: "we have always aimed for a slight loss to a break-even policy for the restaurant." What? We front this operation nearly $400,000/yr and the best they can offer is a slight loss or break-even result? Now that truly does sound like the government at work.