Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fairgrounds Sale Quashed

Before I could even sit down in the Council Chambers last night my cell phone began vibrating with text messages and at least three people approached me to see if I'd heard the BIG news - that the 4th District Court of Appeal that afternoon tossed out the sale of the Orange County Fair and Event Center (Fairgrounds) to Facilities Management West. Joe Serna has the story in the Daily Pilot, HERE.


According to Serna, Presiding Justice William Rylaarsdam wrote that the State Department of General Services screwed up (my words) by not having an outside appraisal of the property done before making
the deal with FMW. According to Serna, Rylaarsdam wrote, "The Legislature reserved for itself the opportunity to veto the sale if it was not satisfied with the terms of the sale in comparison with the fair market value of the fairgrounds. It never got that opportunity... any future sale must begin at square one."

As you might expect, the folks at Facilities Management West are not pleased with this outcome. I suspect the image on the left of FMW President Ken Fait shows just about how he felt receiving the news. In a statement sent to me this evening their spokesman, Guy Lemmon, said, "We disagree with the appellate court's decision. We are weighing our options, and considering an appeal. The sales process was open, fair and in full compliance with the law.

The appellate court's decision will have a chilling effect on the governor's plans to sell nonessential assets to address the current fiscal crisis.

On the other side of the issue, Serna quotes Orange County Fair President and Chief Executive Dr. Steve Beazley as stating, "I think what this does is the inevitable - it puts it in the hands of the governor. There's many w
ho thought this was going to be his final decision the whole time."

Serna quotes Fair Board Chairman David Ellis as stating, "The ball's in the governor's court."

So, now we wait to see if FMW appeals this decision to the State Supreme Court and/or if Governor Jerry Brown finally makes his position known on this issue.


As an aside, there were mixed feelings in Council Chambers tonight. Former Mayor Sandra Genis was so giddy about this news that I thought she might
cartwheel down the aisle. Former council member Katrina Foley also showed up to be sure the council heard the news. There was only one smiling face on the dais when the news was announced, first by Genis, then by Foley - that of Wendy Leece. The council majority didn't seem pleased at all - which made me smile all the more.

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Anonymous Original Max said...

I would hope the county sues the DGS and Fair Board for such a dirty sale and is able to protect the fairgrounds from future criminal acts.

6/08/2011 01:24:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Excellent news indeed. Maybe the people's luck is changing :)

6/08/2011 03:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Save the Fairgrounds said...

Someone mentioned to me the other day the word "kickbacks"- a very serious word. Whenever I heard the accusations of kickbacks, City Council members and the O.C. Fairgrounds I would just shake my head in agreement. Watch out City Council and GOP friends in Irvine- we know what you're up to!!

6/08/2011 05:03:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Monahan and Righeimer backed the wrong horse. The whole "Save(Sell) the Fair" effort was finally killed last night.
Now we still have to deal with those Fair Board members that conspired to place the Fairgrounds in jeopardy in the first place.
We're not done yet, not by a long shot.

We are having a weekend of Fund Raising and Outreach July 9 and 10.
Volunteers are needed!

July 9 and 10, one hundred percent of proceeds from sales of Bob’s Ice Cream at the OC Market Place will go to the fight to save the equestrian center and stop the sale. For a minimum donation of $3 you get an ice cream and help save the fairgrounds, too. Look for the booth under the giant Pepsi at the OC Market Place.
Please help support the OCFPS! Come and enjoy an ice cream!!!

Volunteers Needed! We are also looking for volunteers to hand out fliers and work at the outreach booth on July 9 and 10. Shifts are from 10:00 to 12:30 and 12:30 - 3:00.

Please email or call Lisa at or 949-244-8615

6/08/2011 07:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

Can someone help me understand the current revenue sharing proposal by the Fair Board that includes a Hotel and Retail in the corners. An active proposal?

I thought that is what we do not want? Without control and influence by Costa Mesa?

6/08/2011 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Brad Shefmire said...

Dam Straight I'll be at Bob's Ice Cream helping to raise funds, sign me up. Wonder if we'll see any "Save the Fair" City Council or Fair Board members there to help? What about you Jimmy Fitz?

6/08/2011 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Fitzy go ask your friends Riggy and Ellis.....that's what They want. That isn't the profit sharing model we are striving for.
Don't be surprised when you discover that you aren't high enough up the food chain for that scheme.

6/08/2011 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

Thank you Greg Ridge, your comments are as helpful as they have ever been ...

6/08/2011 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I'll be more helpful Fitz, when you are stopped from wrecking our fine city.......

I remember Monahan and Righeimer when they started this Fairgrounds fiasco, and your buddy Mansoor ,who you had a fundraiser for, whored out for FMW , right to the bitter end.

If you want to find out information go ask someone else.

6/08/2011 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous OCFPS is Dishonest said...

The only whore in this dog and pony show is you and your crooked friends Gericault.

You are kissing up to the Tellers, the equestrian center and a major developer, ... big time!! If you get your hands on that property it will become just one more monster mall.

You must think the fair going public is both blind and stupid. The OC Fair Board acts in our best interest, YOU and your friends DON'T!

6/09/2011 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous aselyz said...

Original Max, why would the county sue DGS or the Fair Board? What does the county have to sue over? It is state property.

6/09/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Original Max said...

aselyz, The Fair Board has stated that the 32nd DAA owns it. In some ways it doesn't matter which government entity owns it. It was a publicly owned piece of property that the fair board tried to sell to themselves in a highest bidder auction engineered by lobbyists they hired. That's a huge conflict of interest that Barbara Venezia spotted 2 years ago.

6/10/2011 06:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Speech Police Here said...

Original Max you are dumber than mud! The fair board was trying to buy the fairgrounds to keep it from being bought up by developers like FMW and turned into a shopping mall or high rises. It was the governor's idea to sell the fairgrounds, not theirs. You obviously weren't at the initial meeting. Tsh, tsh.

Baloney for brains Barbara isn't capable of spotting anything. She's way too busy inserting foot in mouth. I don't know how she has kept from being sued.

6/10/2011 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Original Max said...

Speech Police, why did the Fair Board hire Dick Ackerman? Are you saying they didn't hire him or other lobbyists and law firms to make sure it sold?

6/11/2011 12:30:00 AM  

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