Good News and Bad News
As anticipated, the Costa Mesa City Council pushed three items on it's agenda Tuesday night off into the future - October, to be exact. The Garcia Recycling issue was pushed off until October 19th. The issue of the school on Red Hill was pushed to the same date even though the appellant requested a date in January, 2011. The controversial LED signs at Triangle Square were shoved off until October 5th.
LATE START SETS THE TONE
The council arrived very late to the meeting, just before 7:00 p.m., having spent nearly two hours in closed session discussions about bargaining unit contracts and the lease agreement for the Fairgrounds.
PUBLIC SAFETY OUT IN STRENGTH
In a show of strength and unity, nearly 150 members of Costa Mesa public safety groups, predominantly law enforcement and their friends and families - including several small children - all wearing white t-shirts emblazoned with the phrase "I support public safety" packed the council chambers to overflowing. They sat or stood quietly as the meeting progressed, then departed following an impassioned presentation by their union president and a supporting short presentation by a representative of the fire association. Their absence left only a couple dozen people left in the auditorium. According to sources, four of the five bargaining units contracts expired September 1st and the agreements made last year to help with the budget dilemma died with those contract expirations.
FAIRGROUNDS LEASE FINALLY SIGNED...
The good news in a long night was the passage of the final version of the lease between the Orange County Fairgrounds Authority and the tenants, Facilities Management West, even though Katrina Foley attempted to get what she felt were important details resolved before taking a vote. Eventually, however, the council voted 4-1, with Foley voting no, to finally approve the deal.
...BUT IT MAY BE TOO LATE
However, the bad news came in the form of a press release late Tuesday afternoon by Assemblyman Jose Solorio and published in several media outlets, including the OC Weekly by Matt Coker, HERE, in which he tells us that Assemblyman Solorio, the city's main supporter in the Assembly, has decided to recommend to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to kill the sale completely. If that happens, after we finally got a signed deal, it will be tragic for our city and for the future of the Fairgrounds.
DGS ENTERTAINING OTHER OFFERS
As you know, the State Department of General Services placed the Fairgrounds back on the block last month and the proposals and deposits are due at the end of September. A successful bidder will be announced no later than the end of the year.
WAITING AND WORRYING...
We are left to simply wait and see about the fate of the Fairgrounds sale, hoping against hope that all the time and money spent on this process will not be in vain.