Who, Me? & More Fairgrounds Sale Stuff
First thing off the bat, let me thank the editors of the Daily Pilot for their very kind and completely unexpected selection of yours truly as part of the annual DP 103 list. The DP 103 is always a fun publication in which we are reminded of the contributions many of our friends and neighbors make to the quality of our lives. I'm honored and humbled to be included in this year's list - along with two shopping centers, one golf resort, a hospital, the O.C. Fairgrounds and "the recession". Yep, I'm in good company down there at #101. Thanks to Brady Rhoades and his crew for the selection, and to all the other folks on the list for their very real contributions. This is pretty heady stuff for an old guy with too much time on his hands.
Back to the serious stuff - the seemingly never-ending drama around the Orange County Fair and Events Center.
FAIR BOARD MEETING "VISITORS" (Note: Change below)
Thursday the Fair Board had their regularly-scheduled meeting and were visited by, according to all reports, over 150 enthusiastic visitors intent on stopping the sale of the Fairgrounds. Although I did not attend, members of the local media did a good job of providing us with coverage. You can read the Daily Pilot coverage HERE and the Daily Voice coverage HERE.
Gus Ayer at the OC Progressive Blog has a very interesting new development, HERE, in which he presents a time line that demonstrates that the Fair Board created it's new non-profit foundation to buy the Fair well in advance of the passage of AB22 by the legislature and before the governor signed it. There is innuendo that former State Senator Dick Ackerman was hired as a de facto lobbyist by the Fair Board to facilitate the creation of AB22 at a time when it was illegal for him to perform such work. I'm having a very hard time with what looks like a "fixed" issue - the Fair Board deciding the State should sell the Fairgrounds, then hiring a guy to make it happen and forming a foundation to buy it on the cheap. The stench of this situation is palpable!
RIGGY REJECTS OPPOSITION
Skimming the local blogs and Facebook pages produces some interesting situations, too. It seems that Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer - who started a movement to ostensibly "save the fair" - may have less altruistic motives. Apparently, several comments have been deleted or failed to be posted on Riggy's Save the Fair Facebook page. When confronted about this at the Fair Board meeting those in attendance report his reaction to be "childish", and that the comments deleted were "negative". Well, duh, Riggy - there are folks around who differ with your view of the world - get used to it. That stench mentioned above is lingering around Riggy, too. He's too tight with the GOP power structure and guys like Fair Board Vice Chair Dave Ellis for my comfort zone.
BOGUS CITY FACEBOOK PAGE UNEARTHED
Late this afternoon, after the original publication of this entry, I was made aware of a bogus Facebook page, designed to look like an official City of Costa Mesa page, which has a very obvious slant toward Righeimer's Save the Fair organization. It originally used the official city seal, which has subsequently been replaced by a logo. This site is obviously an attempt to further muddy the waters regarding just whom thinks what about the Fairgrounds sale. This has a familiar odor to it very similar indeed to other Riggy actions.
LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR ON AGENDA
In the agenda for next Tuesday's City Council meeting there is an item for the council to consider which strongly recommends they send a letter directly to the governor requesting him to quash the sale of the Fairgrounds. It seems advisable for those parties interested in this issue to make their feelings known that evening.
LAME DUCK TRAN
Although Assemblyman Van Tran pledged (to the press, mainly) that he will carry a bill to the legislature to quash the Fairgrounds sale, I'm thinking that such a bill has a much better chance of making it through if was co-authored by Assemblyman Solorio. Van, as a lame duck Republican in the Assembly, doesn't carry much weight. Solorio should sign on, too.
WRITE TO SOLORIO
So, here's a suggestion for you. Fire off an email to Assemblyman Jose Solorio through his legislative aide, John Nam, requesting him to either join Tran on a bill or to generate one on his own. Here's Nam's email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. I spoke with John today and he guaranteed to me that Solorio would see every email on this subject.
In the meantime, neighbors, here a couple reminders of what we're talking about here. You can view them over and over again throughout the weekend. Enjoy.
OC EQUESTRIAN CENTER BIG SUNDAY