Is The Barrett-Jackson Auction Deal Really Done?
Tonight, at the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, Councilman Eric Bever took a few minutes to pat himself on the back for whatever minimal role he played in the recently-announced coup of the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction agreeing to come to the Orange County Fairgrounds sometime next year - probably in the late spring.
AUCTION COULD BE A WINDFALL FOR THE CITY
I agree that having the Barrett-Jackson auction come to town will very likely be a large financial benefit to our city. Millions of dollars are typically bid on cars at these events and it should bring many visitors to our city.
FRICTION AT THE FAIRGROUNDS
However, all is not happiness and light across the street from City Hall. A new blog, OC UNFAIR, recently popped up and is being used to vent some pent-up anger about issues at the Fairgrounds - primarily against Steve Beazley, the head honcho at the Fairgrounds. Allegations have been made on this blog that Beazley and Fair Board Director and local political king-maker Dave Ellis are trying to manipulate the process to basically have the state sell the fairgrounds to themselves.
A DIFFERENT VIEW OF THE BARRETT-JACKSON AUCTION
Thanks to a heads-up from that site we were referred to a link which includes a long discussion of the complications of the Barrett-Jackson Auction as it affects existing businesses on the Fairgrounds site and the Fair itself. You can read that article HERE.
WHO IS PAYING ATTENTION?
It seems to me that a whole lot more attention is due in this matter. The Fair Board is appointed by the governor and has a history of handing out gratuities to pals in the form of free concert tickets and other amenities. Is there, as is implied, a concerted effort to hamper existing businesses at the Fairgrounds to grease the skids of a potential sale? If so, who's in line to benefit the most from this? Beazley? Ellis? Other board members?
WHERE DOES THE CITY STAND?
The City of Costa Mesa has a lot to lose depending on how this process goes. Perhaps our elected leaders should be taking a look at this situation to be sure the city's interests are being protected.