Funding for clubhouse tickles my interest

To the editor:

Does a non-golf player ever get to use a course’s park-like grounds?

Does a golf course have value other than in its greens and its smallish cups, strategically placed on or in them? I ask this because there has been discussion in the local press about the H. Smith Richardson Golf Clubhouse Committee bonding resolution on a clubhouse.

It’s not the clubhouse that concerns me, it’s the request for funding for one or for an improved clubhouse that tickles my interest. Since I’m not a player and I gather that the course, if not the clubhouse is for the exclusive use of players, unlike other Fairfield town properties, the beaches, for instance.

Although not advertised, ever, as far as I know, the club is open to the public to enjoy. Does that mean that I’m welcome to sit on the porch, bring my own refreshment and follow up with a good book to read? Or, maybe, pick a spot under and unobtrusive peripheral, majestic tree, along a surrounding trail, say, to view nature, or to listen to the twittering of an unusual bird? I’d love to do some birdie-ing of my kind.

I’m happy that the first selectman initially put the kibosh on the other two selectmen who voiced their approval of the golf committee’s plan to support funding for a new building. I’m sorry he later relented when money was found elsewhere for projects.

The “elsewhere” in question is the town’s Public Works Department, an overwhelmed department that’s frequently underfunded for projects that need doing, such as park maintenance. Who in town will get to use these newly paved roads on intentionally private property ... a public golf course? Golf players who pay their fees.

I just wonder, what are the rights, if any, of a non-club member, considering the club is serviced and supported by the town treasury in its use of club properties, under circumstances, such as they are? None, I gather. But I suppose a reason for putting some club items in the town’s budget, possibly, makes it of legitimate interest to a small taxpayer like me.

Stupid, am I? Just asking because I like my parks in town and see them underutilized. Perhaps the reason is that they are not maintained. I do not know if this is the tree warden’s job, but I believe what’s good for one gander is also good for another. Perhaps the first selectmen ought to walk the trails or let me walk the peripheral walkways around the golf course. Fore!

Gerard Coulombe


State has too many commissioners, departments

To the editor:

So, Ned Lamont is appointing his own management team in the form of department heads, or commissioners. Good for him.

Before he finishes that task, he might want to take a breather, look around the state capital complex, and consider that the state has too many commissioners, too many departments.

The current state departments of Social Services, Housing, Children and Families, Public Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Developmental Services, and Aging can and should be consolidated and reorganized into a single Department of Health and Human Services. That would mean one politically astute commissioner of HHS and a few focused and qualified deputies.

I could write a 100-page treatise on why the change would move state government out of its half century old organizational mentality. I could go on about how it would improve state services and do it at lesser cost with less bureaucracy and fewer layers of management.

Instead, I will just hope Lamont asks the Legislature to approve the needed change, the reasons for which should be obvious.

Jim Brown