City Council could vote soon on whether to close Whitehaven Golf - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City Council could vote soon on whether to close Whitehaven Golf Course

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council will soon vote whether to close the Whitehaven golf course.

As we first reported, Councilman Edmund Ford, Junior, who is also a math teacher, found questionable cost hikes at the golf course. The council saw it for themselves Tuesday.

A vote to close the Whitehaven golf course to save the City of Memphis money has opened Pandora's Box.

"Nothing in East Memphis is closing down, whether they say it or not," said golfer and Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism, who attended the city council meeting as a citizen, because he enjoys golfing at Whitehaven.

The city originally had four courses on the chopping block.

"All of them are in most of the urban areas with a heavy concentration of people of colors," said Chism.

Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism attended Tuesday's Memphis City Council committee meeting, as a citizen, because he golfs at Whitehaven.

"I want to make sure every council member has all the information," said Memphis City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr.

Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr. called for an audit of all city golf courses. Whitehaven's expenses raised some questions.

Tuesday, he showed his peers those findings.

"I believe that more eyes are open and I believe people want to see more equality," said Ford.

For example, the cost to fertilize Whitehaven's 9-hole golf course is the same as the 18-hole golf courses.

"They know something is happening within the confines of those numbers and they need to figure it out," said Chism.

In the committee meeting, no one could answer the definition of "rent" in the golf course's annual budget.

Ford said the red flag was a nearly 31 percent jump in the "rent" category from 2011 to 2012.

Until the issue is resolved, Crockett, Pine Hill, Riverside, and Whitehaven are closed for the winter.

They hope to complete an audit by early next year.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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