Righeimer at center of Fairgrounds Flap – STILL!

Norberto Santana, Jr. over at the Voice of OC has an interesting update on the negotiations between the state and the City of Costa Mesa over the purchase of the Orange County Fairgrounds. It seems that Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer is again at the center of controversy, again.

The plan presented at this week’s council meeting by City Manager Allan Roeder is in some ways straightforward.

The city will pay the state $96 million for the 150-acre tract near the 55 and 405 freeways and finance the purchase through a partnership with one of two investor groups: Facilities Management West or a partnership between Advanced Real Estate Services and American Fairs and Festivals, which is a group of current operators at the site.

City officials are also working to establish a joint powers authority to administer the site and may be seeking partners such as the county or the nearby community college district.

There are, however, many details left to iron out and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants an offer on his desk by May 21. And so far officials have shown more of a penchant for dysfunction and Brown Act violations than they have for shrewd deal making.

At the center of a brewing controversy involving the city’s negotiating team is Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer, who has been accused by fair activists of threatening them. Last month Righeimer also inadvertently admitted to Voice of OC that he had taken part in illegal discussions about the fairgrounds negotiations.

And this week, Councilwoman Katrina Foley said from the dais that Righeimer had threatened her, saying that if he was not appointed as an advisor to the negotiating team, he would blow up the deal altogether.

It seems that there is always some person involved in our local government process who thinks that they can dictate what happens. In this case it is Jim Righeimer, who couldn’t get elected as a dog-catcher if his life depended on it, who thinks he’s in charge.

Read the rest of the story here: Fairgrounds Negotiations (and Allegations) Go Public.

  1 comment for “Righeimer at center of Fairgrounds Flap – STILL!

  1. RichardfromHB
    May 10, 2010 at 10:14 am

    If you look at the proposed ballot initiative available at Costa Mesa’s website, it seems to avoid the agreed sound limits that are contractually required through 2023 when it states:

    “However, pursuant to a 1990 Court Order (Case Nos. 42 07 28 and 55 65 08), exterior noise standards comparable to the City’s noise regulations have been applied to the property. Noise sensitive uses include neighboring residences, Davis Intermediate School, and Costa Mesa High School. The court-ordered noise restrictions apply to the operation of the Pacific Amphitheater.”

    The neighbors were not successful in those cases in enforcing the CONTRACTUALLY agreed limits of the OC Noise Ordinance slightly extended to 11:00 pm. The CITY is not doing the neighbors any favor in ignoring this protective standard that the starry eyed OCX judges refused to enforce. The City’s consituents deserve better than a Becky Bailey-Findley sponsored reopening of the Pacific Amphitheatre. The GPA should reflect the contract limits.

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