NEW BEDFORD — Mayor Jon Mitchell is hoping what went on in a special meeting of the New Bedford City Council Tuesday night did not scare off the only company interested in taking over management of the Whaling City Golf Course.

The meeting was intended to be a vote on whether to approve W/S Golf Management and its owner, Bruce Carlson, as the new operators of the city-owned course. Instead, confusion led to the issue not being resolved, and golfers possibly having to wait longer to hit the links.

"It's not clear, in my head, exactly what happened last night concerning the vote on the new golf course contract," Mayor Mitchell said during his weekly appearance on WBSM. "There were some parliamentary maneuvers by the City Council to delay the vote. I don't want to characterize it; I want the City Council to go right back at it as soon as possible. We want to make sure we don't lose this contract, because there was just one bidder."

W/S Golf Management was the only bidder to take over the course, after Johnson Golf Management exercised its option to get out of its contract with the city back in September. Mitchell said Johnson had been managing the course for "about 15 years or so" but had been "losing money."

Mitchell said he planned on calling Carlson Wednesday afternoon to assuage any fears he may have after the bungled vote.

"I'm going to say to him, 'Hey, look, please be patient with the City Council. We're going to brief the City Council on the nature of the contract, and we want to make sure that you can come here and operate the golf course, and the golfers can use it," Mitchell said. "The City Council will take it up again next week, and hopefully everything will go okay. We're going to continue to talk to them and make sure they're fully informed about the contract, and then hopefully people can get out and golf."

Mitchell said the one "silver lining" is that with back-to-back Nor'easters sweeping through the region over the past week, no one has really complained about not getting out on the course.

"God willing, the weather will get better, and people will be out there on the course," he said.