Friday, January 27, 2012

An Honor Bestowed And PacAmp Amplified

It was a busy afternoon in Costa Mesa yesterday.


First, at 4:30 I joined more than fifty other people at the f
ormer Farm Sports Complex as it was dedicated to local hero and municipal legend, Jack R. Hammett.
Hammett, a former mayor and Pearl Harbor Survivor, has been inst
rumental in many of the early-day accomplishments Costa Mesa experienced. He has been a municipal leader for more than five decades and a mentor to many.
He was honored by residents, family, friends, fellow World War II patriots and politicians. During the nearly one-hour long ceremony many rose to praise Hammett for his many contributions to our community. Among those present were Mayor Gary Monahan, Ma
yor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, council members Steve Mensinger and Wendy Leece. Eric Bever was a no-show. I also saw Planning Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick and Parks and Recreation Commissioners Jeff Mathews, Ethan Temianka and Kim Pederson. About-to-be-lame-duck Assemblyman Allan Mansoor showed up festively dressed in what looked like pajama tops, indicating that he just got off a plane from Sacramento.
Brad Long of Costa Mesa Television was scampering around, camera in hand, so we can probably expect to see some good coverage of this very nice event.


I went directly from the dedication to the Fairgrounds for an "open house/workshop" on the proposed modifications of the Pacific Amphitheater. Soon-to-be-former-CEO of the Fairgrounds, Dr. Steve Beazley, guided a presentation of the initial proposals for the modifica
tions planned. He emphasized that they are in the very initial stages of this process - they just hired an architectural firm from Los Angeles - and that this meeting would certainly not be the only one.

Beazley fielded most of the questions from concerned residents - the room was packed to capacity, around 80 - and admitted that he didn't have all the answers yet. He did encourage any resident to call him for a one-on-one conversation, but was pressed to give a broader
presentation than I think he anticipated. He did tell us that the Board anticipates spending $4.5 million on the proposed changes and that any construction would not start until August, after the Fair has ended, and would be completed before next year's Fair. More meetings are anticipated this spring.

The meeting commenced a little late because the Fai
r Board had not yet finished its Closed Session. When they did come out and adjourn their meeting, many members stuck around and, at one point, were polled by one member of the audience on their individual commitment to retaining the same sound restrictions currently in place. Each said, one way or the other, that they supported the current sound level restrictions. It was of interest that members Kristina Dodge, Dale Dykema and Dave Ellis were not present. I didn't see Ellis at all, and Dykema and Dodge skipped out after their closed session.

Many residents in attendance asked questions that implied concern about ANY changes at the Fairgrounds with just a recognizable tinge of distrust in the Boa
rd. Of course, that's understandable considering the events of the past couple of years. In fact, one member of the audience asked about the noise restraints in the event the Fairgrounds is sold. Beazley did a wonderful tap-dance around that one and never did answer the question.

Now the architects will huddle with the Fairgrounds sound expert, Gary Hardesty, and work together to come up with a final design. More meetings will be held, according to Beazley - assuming he's around.

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Anonymous Proud said...

Finally, something I care about.

Jack is a true hero. So great to make his memory permanent in our City.

Geoff, now you can go back to complaining about change in our City, and toward those who make it.

1/27/2012 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Table42 said...

Hello Jeff,

I posed the following comment/question to the Orange Juice blog hoping to get a real answer but of course was ignored. I was hoping you may be able to provide some insight. Thanks

Sorry for always playing the devil’s advocate, but in the spirit of “who watches the watchmen” I always find myself drawn to scrutinizing self-appointed protectors of the common good since they are often as sketchy as those they are monitoring.

That being said, I have been to a couple of the more recent Fair board meetings and have noticed Jennifer Muir from OCEA and a guy a believe is an OCEA lawyer in attendance.

My question is: since, during board meetings, Berardino is not representing OCEA and OCEA does not represent Fair employees, is it a misuse of union funds to have these to OCEA staffers at the meetings? Are they off the clock (then fine)? Otherwise, why is OCEA paying people to be at meetings that have nothing to do with OCEA members? Are OCEA members aware that they dues are being used for non-OCEA business?

Thanks for listening. I would appreciate your thoughts on the matter.

1/28/2012 06:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Table42 said...

Sorry Geoff, did not mean to use the gutter spelling of your name. That was a question directed to you, the Pot Stirrer.

1/28/2012 12:51:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

No apology necessary...
As to your question... I have no idea why Jennifer Muir seems to be Nick Berardino's shadow at events like the Fair Board meetings. I don't have a copy of her job description so I don't know if there are any logical links to activities at the Fairgrounds. I suggest you drop her a note or call her at the OCEA offices and ask her...

1/28/2012 01:24:00 PM  

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