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  • Writer's pictureDale Rottschafer

Is there a pot of gold if club goes bust?

What if Southglenn Country Club could be sold and someone could profit from it? Or conversely, what if the transferring of Club assets including the property to the SRD could financially hurt someone?

SRD is a solution to SGCC financial woes, SRD has ability to continue operations, SRD has ability to repay debt. Yet a private interested party with fat financial backing has staged a formidable coup to extinguish the SRD initiative – Why?

Let’s cut to the chase, Southglenn Country Club BY IT’S OWN ADMISSION is struggling to make ends meet. People who do NOT live in our neighborhood and/or have personal financial interests tied our community asset are saying that the residents should abandon efforts to protect their property. What is troubling about these recent “grassroots” lobbying efforts is that not only do those involved have nothing to lose should the club fail, it looks like they could actually have something to gain should SGCC go under. Again, ask the question, why would someone who doesn’t live in our neighborhood be willing to spend thousands of dollars trying to keep their golf and swim facility independent from community oversight?

The answer to these questions starts with fact that SGCC owes $224,000 of promissory note debt which includes a payment of $112,000 due in 2015 that was not paid due to the Club’s financial challenges. The people who are behind the “grassroots” fliers look to be related to one of the club’s largest note holders. While there are many difficult issues being raised during this critical time, the uncomfortable truth that people with personal financial interests in the club may be behind lobbying efforts to kill the SRD should raise concerns on many levels. Again, why would people who don’t live in our neighborhood be spending thousands of dollars trying to convince us that the SRD is a bad idea? Would being related to someone who is owed money by the club be a motivation? Is the golf course or pool so special that these non-residents are willing to spend thousands to keep their right to golf and swim?

As noted before, there are many difficult issues being raised during this critical time, perhaps the most relevant of the issues is who gets paid should the club fail and be sold to outside interests? The goal of the SRD is to prevent this situation from happening but this question is extremely relevant should the SRD fail and the club continues on a path toward financial insolvency.

OK, with that said, here’s more.

As is typically the case, outside money influencing local politics seems to always be about personal financial interest. The bankroll behind “grassroots” fliers and lawn signs introduced himself as Todd Bowling and said he didn’t live in the neighborhood, but his father-in-law did. Another “grassroots” flier delivery person introduced himself to an SGCA board member as David Kopischke. He also does not live in the neighborhood. Who are these non-residents and why are they spending so much money on pretty full-color fliers (two sets, no less) to distribute door to door, and 4-color double-sided yard signs? Why are they maintaining a website and a Facebook page with the sole purpose of defeating the SRD initiative? Why didn’t they instead spend all of this money to encourage membership to the club they purportedly want to save? I don’t know who coined the phrase, “Follow the Money”, but I think it would be wise to pursue when someone hands you a flier or you see a sign in someone’s yard.

More Facts To Consider

As an organization exempt from income tax, SGCC’s 990 tax returns are available online on many different sites, and the returns are “Open to Public Inspection.” (Three such sites are listed below. The first site requires a login, but information is free)

I have been reviewing several years of SGCC’s tax returns. In the links below, I am using the example of 2014 simply because some of the information fields are larger. The information is consistent in subsequent years. You can find 2014 returns here:

In Part X Balance Sheet under “Liabilities,” line 22 and line 24 show the outstanding balance of the sprinkler note.

· Line 22 is $105,000 owed to “Interested Parties,” which are “current and former officers, directors, trustees, key employees, highest compensated employees, and disqualified persons.”

· Line 24 is unsecured loan payable to unrelated third party in amount of $119,000.

· The two combined is $224,000, which is the amount SGCC Treasurer indicated was outstanding at the annual meeting in November.

2014 Form 990 Southglenn Country Club Balance Sheet

Part X Balance Sheet indicates the loans from interested parties have to be disclosed in more detail on Schedule L, Part II. It includes the name of the interested person, their relationship to SGCC, what the loan is for, original principal loaned to SGCC, and what is due to that person.

2014 Form 990 Southglenn Country Club Schedule L, Part II - Loans to and from Interested Persons

In looking at the names on this list of interested parties, I am struck by the fact that several of the most vocal “grassroots” proponents fighting against the SRD initiative are related to some of the note holders. A quick search on social media and shows Bowling and Kopischke relationship to Aylsworth. Even in our neighborhood a name on the noteholder list is familiar. Mike Elliott appears as a note holder, he was president of SGCC last year, and was party to a radical move by the rogue board who endorsed 3 candidates out of 12 – Todd Bowling, David Kopischke, and Ed Schell – husband of the SGCC secretary Sandy Schell, who had another year on her term. Does it make you wonder who else is on the list of third party note holders?

The core motivation behind the SRD is to give residents a vehicle to protect our community asset today and in the future. If the SRD initiative fails on Monday, our future is in the hands of others and those inconspicuous others are not just SGCC leadership today but those that follow in the future. It is that simple.

Dale Rottschafer

Co-chair, Committee to Form SRD

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