Lakewood Citizen Calculates Financial Loss of Potential Sale of Golf Club

Municipal bond analyst Steve Willson has taken a look at the Village of Lakewood’s proposed sale of the Red Tail Golf Club and written the following thoughts in a comment to yesterday’s article:

Some interesting numbers:

Steve Willson

Steve Willson

After twenty years, RedTail has lost $1.6 million in value, or 45% of the original cost to taxpayers. Even with the horrible loss in value since 2007, most residential and commercial property is worth more today than twenty years ago.

Strike one.

IF the Village actually GETS $1.9 million, the taxpayers will have incurred a loss on their “investment” of about 11% a year for twenty years.

Strike two.

Finally, the golf course raised the property taxes of the average family in Lakewood by around $250 to $300 per year, every year, for 20 years, and is still operating at a deficit.

Strike three.

And now Lakewood is busy speculating in real estate (excuse me, “engaging in economic development”) by buying land at 47 & 176 to “control” development.

I’m sorry, but Lakewood has no business risking taxpayer money like this.

They don’t need to own the land to “control” development.

In fact, they don’t need to “control” development, period!

If some private party buys the land at that corner and does something with it that meets code and zoning, that is their right.

How dare the Village risk taxpayer money because some government official has some grandiose idea about what might be there!

I’ve got an idea.

How about a big arena?

We can get some advice from Hoffman Estates about how their “investment” in Sears Centre is working out.

The fact is that, historically and across all types of government all across the county, governments have a horrendous track record of losing money at this type of thing.

If the Village board members want to risk their own money on real estate because they think it’s a great deal, they should do so.

But how dare they risk taxpayer money!


Lakewood Citizen Calculates Financial Loss of Potential Sale of Golf Club — 14 Comments

  1. Cindy, play connect the dots.

    I think Steve is going in the right direction.

    I don’t think there is a Statue of Limitations on Fraud.

  2. Did you not my applause? (You must be too young to understand my comment.)

  3. I heard you Cindy and I understood, go back to all my comments and connect the dots. Big cover up with that Golf Course.

  4. “It’s hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions into the hands of those who pay no price for being wrong.” Sowell

    The board members who voted for the fiasco should pay a price; if they don’t, what is the message to present and future boards.

  5. Sue, who were the Bond Holders, follow the money.

    Rich Flood should answer many questions regarding the purchase of that Golf Course.

    Who were the Trustees and where are they now?

    Home State Bank should also be questioned, they know who the Bond Holders were, check with the Trust Department.

    I am sure Steve Wilson could give you information, he seems very informed.

  6. I believe it was two Trustees that went to HSB and talked to the Pres. and Executive Pres., at that time.

    They were advised not to purchase the Course.

    But you see, one of the Trustees sat on the Home State Board.

    It would also be interesting if someone could get the Lakewood Village Financials, from that time period, and maybe the minutes of those Board Meetings.

  7. Rich Flood worked for Zukowski, Rogers, and Flood.

    Dick Zukowski also sat on the Board at Home State Bank.

  8. Now to help give credit, where credit is due, there was a book written by former Mayor George C Wells, entitled It’s That Way Everywhere, George.

    Good read.

    To start I would go to pages 432 and read about a Trustee, one in fact, helped cover this all up, regarding the Golf Course.

    Mayor Wells, was very aware of the corruption in McHenry County . . . what they did to him was criminal.

  9. Steve, what can the taxpayers do now . . . can any one be held accountable.

    Erin could open up the pandora’s box, but will she????

  10. There is nothing to be done about the original purchase of the golf course.

    It was 20+ years ago, so even if something untoward was done, the statute of limitations expired long ago.

    But what can citizens do today?

    If you live in Lakewood, go to a meeting and speak or call or write your Village trustees.

    Tell them what you think of the purchase of land at 47 & 176.

  11. I did not think there was a Statute of Limitations for fraud . . . if the Bond Holders were not real.

    Can the IRS do an audit??

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