Monday, May 16, 2011

Brown's Budget & The Fairgrounds

Retread Governor Jerry Brown presented his revised 2011/2012 budget today. You can read Brian Joseph's article from the Orange County Register HERE.


You can read the Governor's overview, HERE. Or, you can do the equivalent of pulling your fingernails out with pliers and read the full budget HERE.

One thing I was concerned about was the possible impact on the status of the Orange
County Fairgrounds. A clue was the final paragraph in that overview, which reads as follows:

Sell underutilized state properties. The revised budget proposes the sale of state-owned properties like the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Montclair Golf Course in Oakland, the Capital Area Development Authority in Sacramento and the Ramirez Canyon property in Southern California. These properties serve no state function and should be sold off to pay debt.

I saw that and it got my juices flowing. So, with a little help from my friends, we located "Reducing State Government", HERE. Once there, go to page 120 and find the last paragraph which states:

Develop a Comprehensive Policy for Fairgrounds - Individual legislative initiatives have been introduced to sell fairgrounds over the years. These proposals should be evaluated in the context of a statewide policy and a property by property review of fairgrounds. The Secretary of Food and Agriculture will develop a plan to be included in the Governor's 2012-13 Budget, addressing the future operation, maintenance and oversight of the Network of California Fairs, including real and personal property and the feasibility to restructure the governance of the fairs within this network.


We can assume that this little bit of prose, combined with what appeared to be a less-than-sympathetic grilling of Fairgrounds sale proponents by the appeals panel last weekend in Santa Ana, might give some hope to those who feel the Fairgrounds should stay as-is, under the control of the 32nd Agriculture District Board (The Fair Board). Yeah, I know - there's that whole smelly situation from a couple years ago when it appeared that the then-Fair Board was intent on snatching up the Fairgrounds at garage sale prices and feather their retirement nests. That's over and, with the amount of attention paid to the current Board these days, it's unlikely they will try that again.

Now we just wait for that appeals panel to digest what they heard and eventually let the world know. Tick, tick, tick...

Labels: , ,


Anonymous The Damage is Done said...

The only thing that could have saved the fairgrounds was for the fair board to purchase same in the summer of 2009.

Our fair board did their best to save those fairgrounds but "The Derailers" derailed their efforts with their sick and twisted plan to hand that land over to developers. I can't help but wonder who received the payola that was obviously handed under the table.

Developers have deep pockets and they almost always get what they want.

5/16/2011 10:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

By the blessed Excrement! the fairgrounds controversy is a deja vu
on the El Toro airport/Great Park controversy that went on some years back. It didn't turn out a Great Park, just a Pretty Good Park, but who remembers Cynthia(?) Coad and her two amigos any more? "A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man." --e.e.cummings.

5/16/2011 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

Anyone else concerned about the Fair Board Proposal to put commercial stuff on the corners of the property?

5/17/2011 07:37:00 AM  
Anonymous trizen said...

Jimmy, I don't know why that idea is getting so much attention since it has been kicking around for almost 30 years and was presented as one of many options to increase revenue at the fair. Only Reggie acts like it is a done deal.

5/17/2011 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous BulldozerBarney said...

Sorry, the fairgrounds is a giant waste of space. I am not concerned about putting commercial stuff on the corners as long as it is retail that people can actually use instead of a stupid big wasteland used once a year by families to visit shitty rides and eat shitty food.

Here's what needs to happen there.

Bulldoze everything.

Put in a master river lined outdoor mall with these things which Costa Mesa does not have.

• cheesecake factory
• buca di beppo
• massive state of the art theatres
• outdoor entertainment on weekends from 5:30-9:30pm on weekends
• costa mesa improv
• new bowling alley
• whole foods market

you get the idea.


or we can provide thousands of square feet for has been bands of the 80's to play once a year... a place to eat shitty food and pay $300 for a day at the fair.... and a nice big place for horse owners to roam.

and don't forget the awesome gem fair, or the sweet weekly swap meet where every aisle is the same shitty chinese products over and over.


5/17/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Ardent Fairgoer said...

Jimmy - What other choice do they have? The State is demanding money. The corners aren't used for anything but parking anyway. It should be no biggie (and I'm a dyed in the wool fairgoer).

Bulldozer Barney - Your idea pales in comparison to the fair. The fair, and all the other yearly events, have so much more to offer.

5/17/2011 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. West: Do we really have to read expletives here? I don't speak or write like "Barney," I can't see that you do and I'll bet your readers don't. There is enough trash around.

5/17/2011 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Anonymous, I posted your comment even though I usually don't - I expect you to come up with a name, any name.

Your point is well taken. I paused before hitting the "publish" button as I read Barney's blather. Since I cannot "modify" comments - only accept or deny them - I thought his use of foul language emphasized his limited intellect and placed his comment in it's proper perspective. I'm sorry you were offended. I'll try to do better.

5/17/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous trizen said...

Barney, CM couldn't support Triangle Square. Do we really need another empty "shopping experience"?

5/17/2011 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

As an educator I will say that the fair grounds is MORE than just the fair. It is great place for the kids to go and learn when they have their expos. Should it be taken away it will be deeply missed by many students and teachers.

I am sorry BulldozerBarney in no way values the educational advantages the Fairgrounds offers.

5/17/2011 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous BulldozerBarney said...

Okay let me re-try this.

First off, sorry for using the Sh*t word, i thought we were all adults. I will use the word crappy. I was actually trying to be funny but now i see that i looked like an a-hole. I am sorry.

I realize some of you who i have the utmost respect for actually love the fairgrounds and maybe i should not have approached this from a negative point of view.

But i see this city tearing itself apart from 2 sides, people are losing jobs, etc. To me this idea here is a no brainer.

I see nothing that great about the fairgrounds, i'm sorry. But this is my opinion.

We have this giant, massive, huge chunk of land. Sure there might be some fond memories, and some fun times to be had there, and the occasional educational visit for kids. But it just seems ridiculous to me to keep the fairgrounds as it has been for the past X# of years. It could be a gold mine.

The amphitheatre? I think we can all agree that it's a waste of space. The motocross thing? It's cool, i guess? The exhibits etc. for education? That's all great, yes.

The yearly fair is okay i guess, personally i think its kind of cheezy, but well some of you do not. Some years i go, some i don't.

So okay, you section off maybe 1/8th of the place for a massive retail center, next to the freeway so the noise doesn't bother anyone (it would be no more noise than the motocross, etc).

We need money don't we? Have you seen what they did in Tustin to the old base? They pretty much have something similar to what i'm talking about and the place is PACKED constantly. I mean jammed pack.

To give you all an idea of how big the fairgrounds is and what a waste of space it is, i want you to look at something.

I took the arial view of Tustin's The District and the fairgrounds from the same elevation and pasted it on top of the fairgrounds space.

You'll have to copy and paste this URL below to see the image but you can see clearly that i've pasted it into the top right corner of the fairgrounds. Look how much space you still have left.


Copy and Paste this:


You can keep all that space. Most of the things you people love are left untouched. Exhibit halls, equestrian, amphitheater, etc. all untouched.

Basically you'd be swapping the marketplace for this new retail type area with a TON of really cool stores and eateries. I think that improves the quality of life here and it would generate money out the wahzoo.

Trizen, you can't compare triangle square to this. It's not even in the same category.

To give you an idea of what's at Tustin's The District, look at this:

How much revenue do you think those places would generate for the city?

You have a major freeway dumping an exit right into the fairgrounds entrance. You have plenty of parking, etc.

Again i apologize for saying the SH word earlier. Maybe somebody out there will think this is a good idea.

There are a ton of successful businesses, restaurants, etc. that we still do not have in Costa Mesa that could be added to something like this.


5/17/2011 03:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Bulldozer Barney, you just described the vast wasteland of South County. Please do us all a favor and move there along with your Costco wardrobe. Not all of us want a generic homogenized and characterless city. I'll take Costa Mesa mom and pop businesses any day over what you just described. Living like a farm animal in South County sounds just about perfect for you.

5/17/2011 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous BulldozerBarney said...


Are you joking? Last time i checked South Coast Plaza and Metro Pointe were not filled with mom & pop joints.
You could go through the entire city and maybe have a handful of worthwhile mom & pops that are even still around or are even that great. I doubt that list of mom and pops generates that much income… and this plan would not jeopardize them always.

I doubt Haus of Pizza or Lil Pickle or Memphis or any of those types of places would be hurt. I do love those joints by the way.

While we have good places like this, by no means is Costa Mesa is by no means a mom and pop joint city. Harbor Blvd, 17th street, etc are entirely lined with commercial chains (with more on the way like five guys and chick filet) so i'm not sure what you're talking about.

We once had a mom & pop bowling alley, but they bulldozed it.

If you want to continue to eat all your meals at mom and pops, by all means go ahead. I think thats great. One shopping center would not change that.

If you think a giant empty parking lot serves the city better than some awesome restaurants and some cool entertainment like a kick ass bowling alley, thats your opinion but i can guarantee i would not want to hang out with you on a Friday night.

Empty giant parking lot that does absolutely zero from Monday-Friday, or a kick ass retail center with cool food to eat, cool stuff to do...... I vote for #2.

5/17/2011 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Exasperated said...

Bulldozer Barney, you are obviously a developer. Developers are swarming like flies right now. We don't need any more of you.

Please take your far fetched ideas down the road. Way, way down the road please. We like the fairgrounds just like they are.

5/17/2011 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous trizen said...


One thing you are missing is that CM doesn't own the fairgrounds, so anything the State does probably won't help CM too much.

5/18/2011 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Max said...

BulldozerBarney, the fairgrounds is perfect the way it is. It's not something you compare to a Cheesecake Factory or Costco. That's like comparing a National Park to Disneyland and saying it's underutilised. Our American culture is priceless. Plus, the last thing Costa Mesa needs is more cut through traffic through our neighbourhoods. Dealing with the detours of the Summer Fair once a year for 6 weeks isn't bad compared to every day.

5/18/2011 05:40:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home