Detroit City Council approves Rackham site management contract

The potential of Rackham Golf Course closing down because of a lack of a management contract has been avoided.

Article by Mike Koury, Woodward Talk  (March 28, 2018)

At its March 20 meeting, the Detroit City Council held another vote on a contract with Signet Golf Associates II Inc. to manage, operate and maintain the services of the Rackham, Chandler Park and Rouge Park golf courses, and this time passed with on a 5-4 vote.

Detroit City Council President Pro Tem Mary Sheffield said she submitted the reconsideration for the vote, as they had one member absent at the last meeting, Scott Benson, and she felt that the whole body should have the opportunity to vote. Benson voted to approve the contract, along with Sheffield, James Tate, Andre Spivey and Raquel Castañeda-López.

“I do support a long-term contract and I believe … before us is a bridge contract, and the city is investing capital dollars into the courses as well,” she said. “It’s not the best contract. I also have to echo the sentiments of my colleagues about the (selection) process, but at the end of the day, we do have a situation right now where we can see golfers not being able to golf this season. And so for me, it’s important to get the golf courses open to continue to work with the administration to figure out how, moving forward, we can have that 10- to 12- to 15-year contract.”

The contract’s terms are a two-year deal for $180,000 total. There was concern that if a contract wasn’t approved before the deal with previous site manager Vargo Golf Co. expired on March 22, the golf courses would have to be closed.


Detroit Chief Procurement Officer Boysie Jackson said in an email that Signet was chosen based on several criteria that were evaluated by a large evaluation committee, and the city doesn’t have any concerns with Signet’s qualifications to manage the courses.

“The process of selection was criticized by City Council from bad and erroneous information (fed) to them from outsiders who did not have all the facts,” he said. “The Office of Contracting & Procurement and Law Department reviewed all protest questions and found absolutely no issues with the selection process.”

Huntington Woods City Manager Amy Sullivan said the city is pleased that the Detroit City Council was able to come to an agreement on a contractor to open Rackham on time.

“We look forward to the investment into the golf course that the bid company has promised,” she said.