Del Mar ‘s efforts to purchase the fairgrounds property are proceeding optimistically, but there are hurdles that remain before the purchase is final.
Not the least of these hurdles is overcoming the vociferous objections by the current Fairboard Directors who see a plum political appointment quickly evaporating and will marshal their formidable political forces to thwart an obvious win-win for the state and the region. We have support from the current Governor should the legislature pass the bill before his term ends.
Approval by the next Governor is not certain.
If good sense prevails and the purchase is finalized, it will at last bring under regional and local control, influence, accountability and environmental protection over one of the most important properties in the county. It is likely that a newly constituted governing body would work in the best interests of Del Mar and Solana Beach which are most impacted by the property management and in the interests of the entire San Diego county. This new body would govern the operation for the good of the region versus the crass, narrow commercialism of the current Board.
And, control of the property development would enable us to unite the fairground with a more vibrant village core, protect the environmental purity of the lagoon, and help to revitalize the horse racing and equestrian industry.
The best part of today’s headlines is that the proposed purchase would be cost neutral to Del Mar residents. There would be no obligations placed on the City’s General Fund nor the imposition of new taxes on residents or property. Kudos to current city leaders for creating a financially prudent purchase strategy.
We now enter a period of community discussion that we think should and could have occurred earlier without jeopardizing the negotiations. This purchase will require the support of Del Mar residents so the particulars of the proposal need to be fully aired. Ideas and suggestions from knowledgeable citizens could be helpful during this final period of negotiation. Surely there will be expressions of fear and concern that forces outside our control could bring unexpected financial burdens to the city.
From what we know today we believe these concerns and fears are slim and vastly outweighed by the positive events that are certain to occur from a change in governance of the fairgrounds. Among our citizens are individuals with consiberable experience and expertise in complex business and financial transactions. We urge the Council to take advantage of these resources.
Del Mar has a history of being ardent protectionists and conservators of the environment both locally and regionally. Evidence of this commitment sits adjacent to the fairgrounds in our impressive lagoon restoration program.
The purchase of this property should be seen as a continuation of the historical environmental activism of our community.
It is only natural for the community to stand behind this purchase with thoughtful discussion and unity. This is what Del Mar does best.