Mark Marney, deputy director of golf, took trip courtesy of Toro

Watching iconic grass grow

Deputy director received travel, food, and lodging to tour golf courses
  • Deputy director received travel, food, and lodging to tour golf courses

With the turn of the new year, most talk of grass around San Diego city hall tends to concern the cannabis variety, but last summer Mark Marney, deputy director of golf, took a different kind of trip.

According to a disclosure report filed the day after Christmas, Marney received free travel, food, and lodging worth a total of $1095, courtesy of the Toro Company, maker of lawnmowers and related golf course and irrigation equipment. Marney’s four-day tour began June 8 in Bloomington, Minnesota, with stops in Tomah and Sand Valley, Wisconsin. The purpose of the journey, per the document, was to “tour iconic golf courses and discuss course agronomic practices and tournament preparation.”

Marney also got a chance to “review the Toro Company’s Engineering and Product Development test and manufacturing process and facilities,” as well as to “provide feedback on current products and future products.” A year ago this month, Toro announced it had “finalized a 12-year equipment and tournament support agreement with the City of San Diego and Torrey Pines Golf Course.”

Said Marney in a company news release heralding the city’s deal with Toro and its distributor Turf Star: “Using top-notch Toro equipment, backed by the strong support of the team at Turf Star, allows us to put our best foot forward as we look to host some very important golf events in the next few years.”

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I've never heard of a "deputy director of golf." Does this guy work for the City? Or Torrey Pines Golf Course? Attribution needed.

Checking reveals Mark Marney holding the position as a Deputy Director working for the City of San Diego. It also shows he earned total salary and benefits of $152,806.00 in 2016. Deputy directors are part of the City’s management team, one level below Department Director.

The City of San Diego owns the Torrey Pines Golf Course along with several other municipal golf courses located throughout San Diego. Golf courses are units of the City’s “enterprise” department like water and airports. They are NOT funded through the city’s “general” fund, like police, fire and library. Enterprise departments are suppose to pay for themselves through fees and rents.

"deputy director of golf." job created for political pay back.

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