Home » Featured, Island News

Councilman seeks to move Mif proposal

Submitted by on 1, October 19, 2010 – 5:00 am5 Comments

Vice Mayor Doug deHaan will at tonight’s City Council meeting ask his dais-mates to move forward on a plan to lease the Mif Albright short course to a nonprofit and to lay out some money from the city’s golf fund to secure a $250,000 grant to fix up the course.

DeHaan wants city leaders to finalize a lease with the Alameda Junior Golf Association to run the nine-hole course and to allocate $100,000 from the city’s golf enterprise fund in order to secure a grant from the Wadsworth Foundation.

“I’d like to move that forward and make sure we don’t lose out on the funding,” deHaan said. He said he’d like to make sure that upgrades to the par-3 course get done.

Golfers have said they’re concerned about the slow pace of negotiations with both the Junior Golf Association and KemperSports, the company vying to become the golf complex’s long-term operator. The foundation said it could be flexible after the city said it couldn’t meet their original deadline to accept the Wadsworth grant, though an official there told The Island in August that he’s been looking at other courses in the Bay Area and that the city needs to move forward by the end of this year.

They said they’re busily preparing for a new Mif. Golfers have hosted two youth-oriented tournaments, and a golf architect from the Wadsworth Foundation has drawn up an assessment outlining potential fixes for the course.

“I am pleased that Vice Mayor deHaan is not waiting for the city and has put the kids golf course on Tuesday’s agenda,” said Joe VanWinkle, who authored the business plan the junior golf association has offered for the Mif. “We cannot risk losing this generous grant from Wadsworth. I am confident the council will come together to support Alameda’s youth.”

The city closed the Mif Albright course in November 2008 but reopened it on a trial basis in the spring of 2009, and it remains open. Council members told city officials in March to negotiate with both the golf association and Kemper to run the Mif and the rest of the complex, respectively.

Golfers fearing the par-3 course could be closed formed a nonprofit they hoped could take over the course, which they said is needed by youths just learning to play the game and seniors who can’t walk a full, 18-hole course, and they quickly raised money to operate it. Their plans have garnered praise from both Wadsworth and The First Tee, a national organization that seeks to build character in youths by teaching them the sport.


  • Jon Spangler says:

    I will be very interested to see whether our Mayor and City Council members want to support a competent community nonprofit effort (the AJGA) or support fattening Ron Cowan’s wallet with a land swap. (I strongly support the former: losing recreational resources un order to increase a developer’s profits and garner limited city income from the development fees does not seem like the best choice for Alameda.)

  • Ron Salsig says:

    The proposal to save the Mif Course has reached beyond local politics. The national media has picked up on the issue. James Hahn first endorsed the proposal to allow the non-profit Alameda Junior Golf Club to operate the course on national television during a press conference last spring. The Golf Channel, based in Orlando, Florida, has chimed in. The First Tee, perhaps the best-known junior golf organization in the country, has been outspoken in their support of the proposal. Wadsworth has made a generous proposal to help, and other non-profit organizations have expressed interest in aiding the cause. These are powerful endorsements. Why on Earth would the city staff balk against these endorsements? Is it possible the city staff is not aware that the eyes of the nation are now staring in their direction? Can staff be that blind?

  • ct says:

    When Mayor Beverly Johnson accepted a $10,000 campaign donation from developer Ron Cowan’s Harbor Bay Isle Associates, she must’ve been at least dimly aware of Mr Cowan’s wish to swap a Harbor Bay parcel for the Mif Albright golf course. Since March, Interim City Manager Ann Marie Gallant has been putting off negotiations with the nonprofit Alameda Junior Golf Association while “City officials … asked [golf course management company] KemperSports to run the numbers on five fresh configurations for the course, including scenarios where the Mif was closed.” It will be very interesting to see how the City Council votes tonight, and if common sense does prevail, it will be even more interesting to see if City staff follows the council’s directive.

  • dlm says:

    ct — I’ve often wondered, are you the same person as “Charlie” who posts on Blogging Bayport, and “ctaylor” who posts on InAlameda? If so, then your name is Charles Taylor and I can’t find anybody wtih that name in Alameda — do you live here, ct?

    I have to ask, because I did find a Charles Taylor in Oakland who’s a business agent with the Carpenters Union. Funny coincidence.

  • ct says:


    Keep on connecting those fanciful dots.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.