Greenwich Time (Sunday)

I’d like to call a mulligan on Griff restaurant bid

- David Rafferty David Rafferty is a Greenwich resident.

Ever set up a GoFundMe page? Actually, I hope not because it usually means something terrible or tragic has happened and you need to solicit the help of strangers to get back to a semblance of normal. But if you never have, the GoFundMe people will happily provide you with tips on how to best create a page that’ll generate maximum sympathy for your cause. Tips such as, “Use personal introducti­ons,” “Define the essential pieces of your story,” “Share your challenges,” and “Form connection­s with donors.”

Makes sense, I guess. If you’re down on your luck, or some tragedy has befallen you and you need the help and generosity of others, throwing your story out there to the universe in the hopes that others will listen to your plight and say, “I should help,” well, at a minimum, it can’t hurt.

But beyond the tragic GoFundMe stories there are also those that can be classified as folks just trying to make up for some really bad decisionma­king. You invested in an expensive honeymoon but your spouse left you at the altar. You truly thought your son would get that baseball scholarshi­p but a previously unrecogniz­ed inability to hit a curveball means you have to actually pay for his college. Please help me out, those GoFundMe pages will cry. Or maybe you looked at three business proposals for your company and instead of picking the one that would’ve paid the most, you picked the one that paid the least, and now you look like a dope. Ooh, what could that GoFundMe page look like?

Hi, my name is Greenwich P. Taxpayer, and

Let me tell you about one of our town treasures, the Griffith Harris Golf Course. It’s a beautiful place, run by the town, and one of the best things about it has always been its on-site restaurant.

I’ve been living here in town my whole life. And no matter who is in office or what political party is in charge, I know I can be sure of one thing: my taxes will always be artificial­ly low relative to the needs of the community. Like all real Americans, I’m proud to live in a town where raising taxes is done only under the threat of thumbscrew­s, and only when we can blame it on the “other guys.” Which is what makes maximizing every dollar raised in town so gosh-darned important.

But first, let me tell you about one of our town treasures, the Griffith Harris Golf Course. It’s a beautiful place, run by the town, and one of the best things about it has always been its on-site restaurant. Recently however, the proprietor at the Cobber North restaurant had a falling out with the club manager leading to an acrimoniou­s breakup, followed by the town soliciting bids for a new restaurant to take its place.

Well, final bids were considered from three very reputable local restaurate­urs, with offers ranging from $206,100 to $257,000 over the life of a three-year plus two option years deal, payable directly to the town for the right to setup and run the Griff ’s restaurant concession. Astonishin­gly however, in a town where every dollar is counted, hoarded and debated, the powers that be selected the lowest bidder, leaving as much as $51,000 on the table.

That $51,000 could have been used for town infrastruc­ture upgrades. Or to pay for another investigat­ion into bogus

claims made by rightwing trolls. That was our money we were entitled to, so today, in the ultimate expression of a public-private partnershi­p, I’m asking the universe to help Greenwich recover the 50 G’s it could have banked if our first selectman hadn’t awarded this contract to the third best choice. Please give generously. Seriously though, it sure must be nice to be a Friend of Fred. In this case, nepo-baby Mike Bocchino gets to keep his patronage position as manager of the Griff amid swirling negative rumors about his qualificat­ions, and after doing an excellent job of angrily running off the incredibly well-liked Cobber North. Then when the town seeks out solicitati­ons for bids from qualified concession­aires who could run the restaurant, the plum prize is awarded to another local Friend of Fred, even though it meant leaving money on the table. You decide what to call this behavior. I’ll go with Griff-ting

 ?? Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo ?? The 13th hole at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course in Greenwich.
Hearst Connecticu­t Media file photo The 13th hole at the Griffith E. Harris Golf Course in Greenwich.
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