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Rye Golf Club Struggles To Move Forward

This is Whitby Castle at the Rye Golf Club. The club's manager has come under fire from members for possible financial misappropriations and an alleged conflict of interest.
This is Whitby Castle at the Rye Golf Club. The club's manager has come under fire from members for possible financial misappropriations and an alleged conflict of interest. Photo Credit: Anna Helhoski

RYE, N.Y. – The future of the Rye Golf Club appears to be up in the air.

The city is deliberating its budget and is hiring an interim manager to run the club while there is an investigation under way into allegations of misappropriations of funds and conflict of interest by the suspended manager of the club.

“We’re not going to stand still … we have to keep our product, if we don’t have a product to sell then we’re going to be in bigger problems,” said John Duffy, current chair of the Rye Golf Club Commission. “The consensus from what I’m feeling is if there’s not a change at the club as far as management goes, we are going to have a problem. Obviously we don’t have any control over that, but that needs to be out there.”

The Rye City Council put Scott Yandrasevich, the manager of the city-owned club, on leave on Oct. 10 after he was accused of misappropriating funds and having a conflict of interest with the staffing agency he used to service the club over the summer.

Yandrasevich is accused of using the tips members put on their credit accounts for dining expenses to go toward club expenses instead of giving them to the servers. In addition, he admitted having ties with the temporary staffing agency RM Staffing, which he hired as far back as 2007 to provide workers.

Complete documentation of the Rye Golf Club’s dealings with RM Staffing have since been released through a Freedom of Information Act request. The full Rye Golf Club FOIL documents are available to read on the city's website.

Club members and the city questioned $2.2 million worth of payments to the company over the past two years, including large amounts of overtime.

“We are going to look at fundamental change of the operation (of the club) in terms of oversight and those things and we’ll be looking at that,”  Mayor Doug French told Duffy during last week's City Council meeting. “But in the interim, we’ve got to do the budget. It sounds like the commission is in favor of the budget in the interim, but it doesn’t really reflect your potential long-term ideas.”

The Rye Golf Club operates as an enterprise fund, responsible for the operation and maintenance of the facility. The city projects that revenues in the next year should be around $6,455,025, while expenses are budgeted at $6,379,621. Membership fees will remain unchanged for 2013.

Duffy responded to the city council, “In the short term, we really don’t’ have much choice. In the long-term we’ll start finding out what is real and what isn’t real. We don’t know that right now.”

As of late October, the Golf Club had $196,506 still available for obtaining equipment and improving the facilities, including the swimming pool. The club determined that the remaining money will be enough to fund any projects through fiscal year 2012.

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