Last week it was reported that Baxter M. Hayes the Owner of Brushy Mountain Golf Club in Taylorsville had filed a civil lawsuit against Alexander County Schools. The lawsuit also named the Alexander County Board of Education, Alexander Central High School Principal Doug Rhoney, ACHS Director of Athletics Joanna Crew, School Board member David Odom, and Michelle Hartness as defendants. Today Mr. Hayes issued the following statement:
Brushy Mountain Golf Course (Brushy) has a rich 50-year history in Alexander County. I purchased Brushy in 2013 to save it from bankruptcy. I wanted Brushy to be an asset to Alexander County and also to be the best it could be. I upgraded the golf course, built a club house, and added a restaurant, conference and event center, and lodges.
Investing in Brushy is one way that my wife, Patty, and I have chosen to give back to Alexander County—we have personally, and through Brushy, donated dollars, facilities, services, equipment, and supplies to Alexander County Schools (ACS) and its golf teams . We are proud of the golf team members who grow up at Brushy and go on to play at the college and professional levels. We want every ACS student to be successful, whether they golf or not.
ACS and its School Board are accountable to the community for the tax dollars they receive in funding as well as the donations they receive for sports teams, booster clubs, bands, and other ACS and student activities. All monies received through cash, in-kind donations, fundraisers, or otherwise, should be transparent and documented.
Last year, I asked for a copy of the golf teams’ budgets, which we expected would include donations Brushy and I made for ACS’s benefit. When I asked questions about the ACS’s recordkeeping and documentation, ACS representatives began attacking me personally. They falsely claimed that I was charging the golf teams when emails show that Brushy did not bill ACS. Instead, emails show that Brushy and I made clear we would continue to support ACS as before. Asking ACS to account for the monies received for the golf teams should not spark this kind of controversy. What do they have to hide?
Town and ACS officials have used their positions, authority, and community status to inflict significant damage to Brushy and Patty and I, despite their duty to act in the best interest of the Town and ACS, its students and their families. Brushy currently employs 30 people, so when they intentionally harm Brushy’s business they hurt Brushy’s employees and the Alexander County community as well. They continue to threaten us and Brushy.
My intent in filing the lawsuit was to bring accountability and transparency to ACS. Alexander County residents have a right to know how their monies (tax dollars and personal donations) are spent. I have made every effort to resolve this matter amicably, but they refused to meet or mediate.
Baxter M. Hayes
Last week School board Attorney Joel Harbinson issued this statement:
“It is my opinion that this is a frivolous lawsuit and has no basis in law or fact. We look forward to trying this case in court where we intend to fight it vigorously.”