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Rebuild Beacon Woods golf club by selling it now

Golf course sale gets messy Jan. 18 article

Rebuild golf club by selling it now

Gets messy? This has been a mess from the get-go. When Mr. Ferratto brought up the subject of selling the club at the 2008 annual membership meeting, the directors told him to canvass the members, as the board can only sell the club if that is what the members want.

During his petition campaign, Mr. Ferratto explained the shaky financial situation of the club and his plan to rebuild and restore it. Mr. Thaxton disputed his claims and said the club was in good financial shape. Then Mr. Thaxton hatched a plan for the club to borrow its way out of debt (ever see that work?) by mortgaging it to Mercantile Bank for $815,000. "This will insure our long-term financial security," he said. Well, fewer than 45 days after closing on that loan he announced to the members that the club was unable to meet short- or long-term obligations and must be sold. Who was telling the truth all along? Apparently not the board or Mr. Thaxton.

While Mr. Ferratto was working within the club rules and bylaws to save this club, which is so important to the entire Beacon Woods community, Mr. Thaxton and his gang have driven it to the very edge of foreclosure. Even after borrowing another $50,000 on top of the $815,000, the treasurer has talked about "having to fold up shop" and "close the doors" because they are at the end of the rope.

They had an income of over $1-million in 2008, then borrowed $815,000, then borrowed another $50,000, and somehow still managed to lose more than $200,000. That is over $2-million gone in 365 days.

Your article quoted Director Rydell saying "it's very confusing but we've got to look out for the membership." Gosh, I'm sure the members are happy someone was looking out for their interests and watching their money.

No wonder Mr. Thaxton wants to shift the responsibility to Judge Bray. He wants someone else in the limelight so the members won't recall the way they have been misled during his watch. It seems a sad legacy for a gentleman who was on the very first board back when the club was formed. Other than personal feelings against Mr. Ferratto and resistance "because he is using our rules to force us to sell to him," he has no valid reason for not following the wishes of the members and selling to Mr. Ferratto.

Of course, Mr. Ferratto could just wait and bid on it on the courthouse steps after foreclosure, but by then the course will be in terrible shape and the current members will be left out in the cold. The answer is simple: Do what your members voted to do. Sell it to Mr. Ferratto and let him start rebuilding now!

Yes, I, as Mr. Ferratto's real estate consultant, have an interest in this sale. It is how I earn my living. That being said, we should also think about all the other people who have an interest in this sale. The members have an interest, as the board has taken the club away from them and are following a seemingly secret agenda. The residents of the Beacon Woods communities have a stake in this, as the club is one of the reasons their more than 30-year-old community maintains an active resale market. Think about folks all over the country who belong to member-owned golf clubs. If this board is successful in taking the club away from the members, it can happen anywhere.

Sandy Barley, New Port Richey

Thaxton worthy of his club duties

Of particular interest to me was your phrase, "Brian Ferratto, a retired New York custom home builder who says his clients included pop star Mariah Carey and crooner Harry Connick Jr."

I wonder what place such name-dropping has in your story. Does the alleged fact that Mr. Ferratto's clients were Mariah Carey and Harry Connick, Jr. lend credibility to Mr. Ferratto's position in this case? If that is your motivation for including such statement in your story, perhaps Mr. Thaxton should drop a few names.

For example, perhaps you should know that Mr. Thaxton worked with the likes of presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of state, generals, ambassadors, and even had a private audience with a pope (not to mention Frank Sinatra). He worked for the Veterans Administration, the Department of State, and is an honorably discharged member of the Army, Marines, and Air Force. He lived in the Philippines, Paraguay, Portugal, Mexico, Ecuador, Spain, and Washington D.C., and has traveled to many countries as part of his service to this country.

Mr. Thaxton is the sole living founding member of the Beacon Woods Golf Course. Additionally, he has served on the board numerous times. He has volunteered his time, experience, and knowledge to the Beacon Woods Golf Course for over 30 years. What stake does he have in the sale of the course, or who the course is sold to? None, but to the members of the club and pursuing his fiduciary responsibility as a member of the board.

I'm sure Mr. Thaxton's family has urged him on multiple occasions to walk away, as he does not need to endure the stress of this litigation. However, he is not of the character to walk away or leave this situation to someone else.

Nancy E. Akins, Brandon

Re: Timber Oaks

Private property, but public hazard

The place is overgrown with weeds, and the Pasco commissioner says there is nothing he can do because it's private property.

I have written to him over the last two years about the closed golf course and people trespassing. Now, we have a homicide and a perfect place for criminals to hide in the tall weeds, not to mention what will happen if we have a hurricane and can't handle the water problem.

My property is also private and if my place looked like that, I would be fined. Still, the county does nothing. I say let the county cut it and place a lien on the property if the owner doesn't pay.

Roger F. Lind, Port Richey

Re: Littering

Litterbugs should be very ashamed

It's a doggone dirty shame. Our roads are trashed; litter is everywhere. So this one's for you, and you know who you are. If the shoe fits, then someone should throw it at you.

Yes, I'd love to throw a shoe at those of you who intentionally throw fast food bags, sandwich, snack and candy wrappers out your car window. Shame on you.

And yes, I'll throw a shoe at smokers, who feel no guilt throwing cigar and cigarette butts and empty cigarette packs out the car window. For crying out loud, use your ashtray.

How about a shoe for you inconsiderate citizens who nonchalantly discard Styrofoam coffee cups, plastic bottles, and soda cans out your car window?

And worse yet, a big boot needs to be thrown at you idiots who drink and drive, and then, without a moment's hesitancy, discard your empty beer and liquor bottles out your car window. You really should be very ashamed!

Construction workers and craftsmen deserve a shoe thrown at them. You load up the back of your pickup truck with trash only to have it blow out as you race to your next job.

And finally, let's throw a shoe at you real geniuses, who believe littering is okay, because you are providing someone with a job, never realizing that the cost of cleaning up your mess is flying out of your wallet in higher city, county and state taxes.

The solution is simple. Just don't do it! For local and state governments, why not raise the littering fine to $1,000 like some of our neighboring states and enforce it. Shame on you for being apathetic!

Yes, it's a shame, a dirty shame. Some of you brag about being a patriot and a good citizen; and yet, you are totally inconsiderate to your fellow citizens, who are constantly reminded of how truly ignorant some people can be every time they drive down the road.

Linda Ward, Homosassa

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Rebuild Beacon Woods golf club by selling it now 01/21/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 5:20pm]
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