As you prepare to fend off the onslaught of witches, hobgoblins, Michael Jackson look-alikes and all the other little scary characters who will knock on your door Saturday night, I thought I'd give you something else scary to think about.
ALL "FAIR", ALL THE TIME
At the Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday they will have their deliberations bracketed with issues concerning the potential sale of the Orange County Fair and Events Center.
CLOSED SESSION ON FAIRGROUND PURCHASE?
First, during their closed session beginning at 5 - don't bother going, it's not open to the public - item 2 on that agenda reads as follows:
Conference with Real property Negotiators - Property: 88 Fair Drive.
Agency Negotiator: Allan Roeder, City Manager. Negotiating parties: State of California. Under negotiation: price, terms of payment. Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.8.
WHO'S BUYING WHAT?
In case you're wondering, 88 Fair Drive is the Fairgrounds address. Sounds like we're negotiating the purchase of that 150 acres, doesn't it? Wonder if anyone will "report out" the results of that part of the closed session when the regular meeting convenes?
CITY ATTORNEY OPINION ON A BALLOT MEASURE
Then, on the agenda at the very end of the meeting, there is an item under Old Business, number 1 in which the City Attorney will provide a report requested months ago by Gary Monahan and, most recently, again at the last meeting regarding the placement of an initiative on the ballot relating to the Orange County Fairgrounds Land Use designation. You might recall that, when this issue was raised at the last council meeting, the stand-in City Attorney Harold Potter, opined that the thought there could be a liability issue if the city placed this on the ballot and it caused the property to diminish in value. Gee, really, Harold? That's the whole idea, isn't it? Don't we want to make the purchase of the Fairgrounds to be unattractive to those who want to develop it? The opinion should be interesting.
SOLORIO AND TRAN PUBLIC HEARING
By the way, I suppose anyone paying attention knows there is a public hearing on the Fairgrounds sale being held on Monday, November 9th, in the City Council Chambers beginning at 9:00 a.m. Since the auditorium only holds around 250 people, reservations are required. You can call John Nam in Assemblyman Solorio's office at 714-939-8469 to reserve a spot. As I mentioned before, this event will be televised live that morning by Costa Mesa TV, channel 24 on Time Warner Cable and will also be streamed live, the link for which can be found on the city web site. It will also be archived for later viewing and will be placed in the replay rotation on CMTV. Among the participants expected are Councilwoman Katrina Foley, Jeff Teller from the Orange County Marketplace and Rick Hanson from the Equestrian Center.
I wonder if anyone will ask the hosts, Assemblymen Solorio and Tran, why they voted to sell the Fairgrounds? I also wonder if Mayor Mansoor will be present, since the Benito Acosta trial is supposed to begin on the same day.
YOUTH BANNERS ON AGENDA
Also of interest late in the agenda is an item which considers a modification of the code to permit more liberal use of signs and banners by youth sports groups. While it's relevant on it's on merit, it's especially interesting in the context of Gary Monahan's request at the last meeting for the Code Enforcement folks to ease up on enforcement on illegal signs on businesses to help them out during the economy.
NO ANSWER ON MONAHAN'S BANNER YET...
You will recall in a recent post that I showed you the new sign at Monahan's pub. This is the same photo. Check out those lights - think they're big enough? After nearly a week since my inquiry the question remains - does it violate the current code? Finally, apparently because of the political sensitivity of this issue, I heard from the new Chief of Code Enforcement, Willa Bouwens-Killeen, this morning. I was told that no one has yet examined the sign, but someone will go measure it and assess whether it meets code requirements early next week. We'll see...