From Iceland — Golf Course Hotly Debated in City Hall

Golf Course Hotly Debated in City Hall

Published April 6, 2010

The proposed funding of the expansion of a golf course has created a heated – but unsurprising – debate in city hall.
The golf course in question made a deal with Reykjavík in 2006 to the tune of 230 million ISK for their expansion. Now the club is asking for the money to expand, and predictably, leftists are opposed to spending the money on a golf course while conservatives have no problem with the idea.
“This year we need to make cuts of at least 50 million crowns,” argued Leftist-Green councilperson Sóley Tómasdóttir. “At the same time we need to cut 50 million crowns from the youngest children in this city. Does the [conservative] majority not know that the economy collapsed? Are they unaware that libertarianism failed?”
Former Reykjavík mayor and conservative Vilhjálmur Þ. Vilhjálmsson countered the argument saying that golfing is a great recreational opportunity for the unemployed. No, we’re not making that up. Another conservative, Gísli Marteinn Baldursson, argued that golf has become extremely popular lately.
Meanwhile, another Leftist-Green, Hermann Valsson, pointed out that, “This is an agreement that was made before the economic collapse, and now we have to fund it. What about the other agreements that are awaiting approval? What are our priorities here?”
The mayor, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, herself a conservative, argued that the golf course deal was already done four years ago, and that city residents of all ages use the golf course, which sees some 300,000 visitors yearly. Social Democrat Dagur B. Eggertsson said that the mayor was “hiding behind an old agreement” in order to avoid making the cut.

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