A reality superintendents cannot avoid: While the collection of golf course players' groups across the country respect the person and the work ethic of their home course superintendents, they do not extrapolate this feeling throughout the profession -- leaving golf course superintendents vulnerable to the whims/ignorance of their employers and any further unsettling economic news.
Unfortunately, more unsettling economic news is already upon us as an adverse economy faces new tax and debt burdens that will compromise the discretionary spending priorities of the estimated 27 million golfers across the country and put added pressure on golf course budgeting as well because the following measures are about to go into play:
- Twenty-one new Obamacare tax levies will be implemented starting next year.
- Continuing the present spending rate will elevate the national debt beyond $20 trillion by 2016.
- As the President has indicated, the anticipated tax legislation intended to reduce CO2 emissions will cause energy prices necessarily to skyrocket in excess of 25%.
Consequently, the above combination of fiscal events will likely threaten experienced superintendents': job security; compensation packages; and their department budgets will get squeezed well beyond present day norms.
All the above situations can be forestalled if superintendents will confront these challenges in the following ways (presented in the priority order of most important first):
- Create/maintain a visible presence as recommended in the Oct. 9th blog.
- Do not wait to be told what to do to offset new economic pressures; rather take the early initiative to reach a mutual understanding with employers relative to budget cuts that will be needed from year to year.
- When circumstances warrant, do not hesitate to voluntarily take the same percentage cut in salary as is mandated for the department's operating budget. Clearly, it is better to have 90% of a former salary than no salary at all - especially when taxes will minimize the impact of the cut in salary.
- Keep egos in check and do not price yourself out of a job salary-wise as many superintendents have a tendency to do.
Veteran superintendents who commit to the above initiatives will be safe in any economic storm. The above initiatives when acted upon collectively are virtually infallible.