Monahan And The Fairgrounds
It's been a long, long day and my little fingers are aching from all the blog posting I've done today, but there's one last item that simply must be addressed tonight.
"FAIRGROUNDS" AND "THE VOICE OF OC"
I've steered clear of "Fairgrounds" stuff for several weeks. The issue has been percolating quietly in the background as the legal process slowly drags forward and Governor Brown's team tries to figure out a way to balance the state budget. Fortunately, our friends over at the Voice of OC blog - Managing EditorSantana, Jr., in particular - has been staying on top of the issue. His most recent post on the subject, date stamped Tuesday, can be read HERE.
COURT HEARING FRIDAY + AB35
Pending is a court hearing this Friday and Assemblyman Jose Solorio's bill, AB35, which supports the Fair Board's "revenue sharing" proposal, is supposed to be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, May 18th - delayed from Friday.
FMW & THE FAIR BOARD
The main players in this drama - the 32nd Agricultural Association (The Fair Board) - and the potential buyer of the 150 acre property, Facilities Management West, have recently ramped up their campaigns by sending communications to Sacramento within the past week in an attempt to influence the decision by the law makers.
LEMMON AND BEAZLEY MAKE THEIR PITCHES
Guy Lemmon, spokesman for FMW, sent a long epistle touting the wisdom and profitability of their deal last Friday, which you can read HERE. Dr. Steve Beazley, CEO of the Fairgrounds, sent a rebuttal, pushing the Fair Board's "revenue sharing" scheme on Tuesday, HERE.
MONAHAN - "SELL IT!"
However, the reason I'm writing this tonight is that Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan has also chimed in on this issue with his own opinion on this subject in the form of a letter, HERE, on official city letterhead, in which he strongly criticizes Solorio and his bill and advocates FOR THE SALE of the fairgrounds to Facilities Management West! This is a curious move, to say the least, since public opinion certainly seems to favor keeping the Fairgrounds as-is, even despite the questionable actions by the Fair Board leadership over the past couple years.
I do not recall this issue being on any City Council agenda in recent months, nor do I recall anything that was posted on a Closed Session agenda that resembled consideration of this issue, much less advocating the sale. Since Monahan's letter was signed by him alone, it may be safe to assume that he's using his position as Mayor to push his own, personal opinion and thereby misleading the law makers in Sacramento about the views of the residents of this city. I understand the motivation behind the communications of Facilities Management West and the Fair Board - they have very real vested interests at stake and could certainly be expected to advocate strongly for those interests. What I don't understand is Monahan's position.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR HIM?
The letter, clearly written by someone else, is so strongly worded and takes such great pains to criticize Solorio - the ONLY member of the Legislature who openly advocated for the resident's interests throughout this long ordeal - that it makes a curious person wonder just what Monahan might have to gain with this position. His letter benefits Facilities Management West, so I find myself wondering what in the world would cause the self-identified "populist" Mayor to take a position so opposite from that expressed by the voters of this city when they passed Measure C last spring.
DON'T LIKE THE SMELL OF THIS...
I wish I felt Monahan's position is straight from his heart, and that he has nothing personal to gain by using his office to express a personal opinion on an issue that affects so many people in his city - but I don't feel that way. I find myself wondering just what he has to gain, personally, by this act. In recent months we've seen him align with some members of the City Council that seem determined to destroy this city and wondered why. I find myself wondering if there is much more going on behind closed doors - or over a few drinks at his pub - that we, the voters of this city, should know about. There's a whiff of a pungent odor coming from the corner of Newport Boulevard and 20th Street this evening - and it's not corned beef and cabbage.
WHY THE BETRAYAL, GARY?
In this new era of "transparency" in our city government, perhaps our mayor could enlighten his constituents - beyond those sucking up suds in his pub - about why he wrote that letter - or at least why he signed it. I think we're entitled to know why he's turned his back on the voters of this city in such a flagrant act of betrayal. Let's hear it, Mr. Mayor. What's the deal?