Emergency Fair Board Meeting Friday!
Earlier today the 32nd District Agricultural Association, also known as the Orange County Fair and Event Center Board of Directors, distributed a notice of a special meeting of the Board on Friday, September 17, 2010.
FIRST ONE SHOE, THEN THE OTHER...
The first item on the agenda for this meeting is a justification for calling such a meeting in the first place under the rules imposed by the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Law. Once that agenda item is dispensed with - we assume a justification exists for such a short notice - they will proceed to the second item - Sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds.
FAIR BOARD FIGHTING BACK?
Since the Board and staff of the Fairgrounds have a very good chance of losing their jobs with the two scenarios presently in play - the Costa Mesa/Facilities Management West purchase/lease offer and the State's reissuing a Request for Proposals for the sale of the Fairgrounds should the other item fail to materialize - it's really no surprise that the Fair Board is planning some kind of action. You may recall that their plan to enhance the profit sharing of the Fairgrounds operations was rejected by the State.
RUMORS, RUMORS AND MORE RUMORS
Rumors are running rampant around Orange County about just what this meeting might be about. Are they going to formally withdraw their "profit sharing" plan? Are they going to join forces with one or more bidders for the Fairgrounds under the new RFP? Are they announcing plans to approach the Emperor Larry Agran about moving the whole shebang to the Great Park in the event of a successful sale this year? Or - and this is the most provocative of the bunch so far - is the Fair Board going to sue the State to stop the sale of the Fairgrounds? Several calls to the Fair Administration today have so far gone unanswered...
WHO ACTUALLY OWNS THE FAIRGROUNDS?
In the current RFP there is the following verbiage on page 3, Property Description:
"Title to the Property is held by the 32nd District Agricultural Association (32nd DAA), a state entity within the Division of Fairs and Expositions, California Department of Food and Agriculture. The 32nd DAA, doing business as the OC Fair & Event Center, operates the Property as a fairground and event facility that is host to an almost year-round calendar of events. While title is held by the 32nd DAA, jurisdiction of the Property falls under District 32a (“District 32a”) which was created pursuant to the Authorization."
SOUNDS LIKE THE FAIR BOARD DOES...
Doesn't that sound like the Fair Board actually owns the property? If so, I wonder if a law suit to stop the State from selling it's property might actually have some merit. That would be an interesting turn of events, don't you think?
COULD ARNOLD FIRE THEM ALL?
Of course, the 32nd District Agricultural Association Board is appointed by the Governor and, I believe, serves at his pleasure. If the current board is, in fact, going to try an end run and sue the State to stop the sale, could he just fire them all and appoint another, more malleable, crowd? Just when you thought you'd seen all the drama possible in this scenario it takes another curious twist.
HUMMING THE JEOPARDY! THEME
So, I guess we just wait to see what shakes out of the meeting Friday. It might be nothing of consequence, but if that's the case, why the urgency? Stay tuned...