A Fair Mess

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I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but this whole Orange County Fairgrounds sale, start to finish, sickens me.

And hear me right: at the end of the day, I don’t care quite frankly if the fairgrounds sells or not. As long as the Orange County kids have regular access to Centennial Farms year round and I can get a corn dog and an Orange Julius once a year while I walk through a few buildings, I’m good.

But, to get your arms around the mess at hand, you have to go back to more than a year ago when the governor came out and said the fairgrounds land would be sold to help with the state budget deficit.

What a joke! In reality, any money realized from a sale would do no more than pay the interest on the state’s massive debt for a few days. Imagine that, $96 million going to several days’ interest.

But that’s OK, wink, wink. This is politics and with politics there’s always another motive behind the next curtain.

Why does the old show “Let’s Make a Deal” come to mind? Where is Monty Hall when we really need him?

But back to the point. The state begins doing what the state does best: it starts spending money. It schedules and conducts hearings, it conducts bidding processes and auctions, it conducts follow-up discussions. And state-level politicians get involved.

They all fail. Repeatedly.

Eventually, though, the land is auctioned off and a deal apparently is done. Not the first time, but the second time.

And not before more politicians are added to the fray, this time in the form of the Costa Mesa City Council.

And they bring their own agenda: local control. Their control.

A Newport Beach group, headed buy such quality local names as David Pyle, Guy Lemmon and Richard Dick, “wins” the auction rights.

Their company is Facilities Management West, and “winning” may be the biggest misnomer here.

They “win” the opportunity to put forward a massive amount of their own money. The also get the opportunity to defend themselves as the sudden bad guys in a process that was doomed from the start.

But again the politicians fumble and bumble. No decisions are made. No one takes the lead.

Do you see a pattern here?

Last week the process appears to have returned to square one.

No deal.

It’s shameful, especially on the state level, that no politician has the wherewithal to champion such a cause, even for discussion’s sake, at the state level.

It’s a reminder, once again and especially on the state level, of everything that’s wrong with politics today.

It’s also a reminder that a November election is just two months away.

Now more than ever people need to get registered and people need to vote. We have a mess on our hands and this local issue is just one example.




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