Orange County Fair Preservation Society

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Appellate Court Stops Sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds

In a unanimous decision, the Fourth Appelate District Court cites a “flawed” process and states, “this sale cannot go forward.”

COSTA MESA, Calif. (June 7, 2011) – “In a word, this sale cannot go forward.”  With those words, the Fourth Appellate District Court unanimously ruled today that the attempt to sell the Orange County Fairgrounds to Facilities Management West had come to an end. Citing a flawed bid process as well as the fact that the Department of General Services (DGS) never provided a fair market value comparison of the property, the three jurists unanimously determined that the process was fatally flawed. The state legislature specifically reserved the opportunity to veto the sale if the terms compared to fair market value were not determined to be favorable to the state, but because DGS did not provide a fair market value, the legislature never got that opportunity.

 The appellate court noted that while this sale cannot move forward, the Governor could choose to start the bid process over again. As a result, the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society encourages local residents, business leaders and elected officials to communicate to Governor Brown the passion that our community has to protect and preserve our fairgrounds.

Sandy Genis, President of the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society said, “We are delighted that today’s Appellate District Court decision stops the current sale of our Orange County Fairgrounds but the property is still at risk due to 2009 legislation authorizing the sale.

We must still convince Governor Brown to permanently take our Fairgrounds off the auction block and cancel any possible sale. The Orange County Fair Board, which is responsible for managing the property, still includes members who conspired to put the property up for sale to begin with. We call upon the Governor to appoint Fair Board directors committed to the public trust and to the preservation of our Fairgrounds in public hands for all time.”

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