Berlin council says yes to golf commission, approves new contract for golf pro

Berlin council says yes to golf commission, approves new contract for golf pro

Record-Journal


BERLIN — Timberlin Golf Course will soon be overseen by a golf commission.

The Town Council approved a new ordinance to create the commission at its most recent meeting.

“We’ve taken a lot of testimony, we’ve really looked at this issue for quite awhile,” said Mayor Mark Kaczynski.

The Ordinance Committee, consisting of Kaczynski and council members Kristin Campanelli, Brenden Luddy and Charles Paonessa, met several times in the last few months to discuss the ordinance.

The town-owned golf course off Southington Road is currently overseen by the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“They just don’t have the time and the personnel on the Park and Rec. commission to really spend time up at the golf course,” said Sebastian Senia, a former Parks and Recreation commission member.

Chairman of the recreation commission, Len Zielinski, said there needed to be a mix of residents, golfers and non-golfers, on the new commission. “I don’t feel you really want this to become a greens committee,” he said.

Councilor Rachel Rochette echoed his concerns and said there will need to be a balance of members.

The new commission, by ordinance, will consist of seven members serving a three-year term each, with staggered reappointments or replacements for two or three members a year.

Timberlin Golf Director Jonathan Zuk will work with the commission.

“It’s an important asset to the town, probably one of the biggest assets to our town,” Kaczynski said of the public course.

The council also approved Head Golf Professional Marc Bayram’s two-year contract.

Bayram, 34, has been the golf professional at Timberlin since 2010. The contract will give him another two years plus a one-year performance extension.

Zuk said there is a $850 overall increase through cart fees in the contract with a 2 percent decrease in the gross golf cart revenue Bayram will receive.

The annual retainer of $62,500 stayed the same.

Bayram will also be paying 25 percent of the utilities for the golf shop eight months out of the year.

Rochette said she is concerned about Bayram looking elsewhere due to the new contract. “This does not look like a win, necessarily, for the golf professional in terms of his overall revenue,” she said.

Bayram said Wednesday he was happy to continue his career at Timberlin and to be around for the 50th anniversary of the course, which opened in 1970.

“I understand that the golf course has been scrutinized a bit for running at a loss each season. I am willing to do my part to help the bottom line by agreeing to a cut in pay,” Bayram said.

The contract goes into effect Jan. 1.

akus@record-journal.com
203-317-2448
Twitter: @KusReporter


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