ABQ Shifts Muni Supers — Hope for Ladera? 0

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) May 18, 2011 — City Hall is shifting turf managers of three of the four City of Albuquerque municipal golf courses — notably sending the long-time supervisor at Ladera back to Puerto del Sol, where she worked years ago.

The move was welcome news at Ladera, which has suffered from a combination of poor maintenance practices and a leaky, spotty irrigation system that has left it in the worst condition in years.

For photos of the course taken by the president of the adjacent neighborhood association that depict Ladera’s embarrassing conditions, click here for earlier coverage.

The staff reassignments alone don’t address systemic problems in management, funding and accountability of the city’s golf courses, but they are being received by local golfers as a healthy beginning under the tenure of Mayor R. J. Berry.

“The changes are allowable according to our union contracts and city personnel rules and regulations,” Parks and Recreation Director Barbara Baca wrote in a May 17 memo to city councilors.

“These re-assignments have been done for management reasons.  This management decision will provide for continued quality and affordable golf at all four of our Municipal Golf Courses which are managed by the Parks and Recreation Department.”

The round robin of reassignments is as follows, according to Baca’s memo:

Molly Gallegos moves from Ladera to Puerto del Sol; Robert Trujillo remains at Arroyo del Oso Golf Course; David Salas moves from Los Altos Golf Course to Ladera; Leonard Berg moves from Puerto del Sol to Los Altos.

Berg, formerly the overall head of the city’s golf division, was demoted late last year to manager of the nine-hole Puerto del Sol course following unspecified disagreements with his managers at Parks and Rec.

In meetings of the city’s volunteer Golf Advisory Board prior to his demotion, Berg praised Salas as a capable superintendent who adeptly handled last year’s disruptions at Los Altos from a water utility pipeline extension project.

The reassignments are effective May 24, Baca said in her memo.

NewMexicoGolfNews.com will stay on the Albuquerque muni story with analysis and opinion.

–Dan Vukelich

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com

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