(Op-ed by Peter Children))
There are as many versions of what to do with the Fairgrounds as there are people living in this county. That is healthy and shows interest in a problem that has plagued this enterprise for decades.
The entire operation needs to be totally dismantled; there are far too many board members to be effective. There is little or no direction that has surfaced with positive ideas that could prove to be a solution.
We who live here have just seen the results of not voting; I am referring to the recent election of the City Council. Already plans are being concocted to find a way to ram a proposed twenty million dollar hockey rink down our throats in the downtown area. This will be attempted first without a public vote if they can figure out how to do it without going to jail.
If we were reasonable people, both the city and county would schedule sit down meeting to discuss an entirely new proposal to construct a first class facility that would be the envy of the entire state.
They should start by selling the current location and applying the revenue from the sale along with the black magic dollars that were going to be applied towards the most expensive hockey rink ever built in the upper Midwest and put it on the new fairgrounds. With the county as a partner we would not need to buy land as the county already has ample ground just 5 minutes West of the current location.
Both the fair board and the city council are elected and appointed to serve this area and community, to do what is most feasible and prudent for the citizens living here….well we all know that is not happening. The biggest deterrent isn’t lack of knowledge, it isn’t lack of ability, it isn’t lack of money…..rather it is a over abundance of ego. Too many fair board members who if had to take a test along with this newly elect council on what is actually best for every citizen living here, would fail miserably.
Lets not forget the County Board of Supervisors, its almost like they are not related to this problem….what a joke. If asked they will be quick to tell you that they have no authority over this failed fair, not our problem they say. Well maybe a new Board of Supervisors needs to be in those chairs that would make it their problem. If there is a quagmire over authority relating to the fair board, then head for Des Moines and sit down with legislators and get it fixed. Do something for Christ’s sake instead of sitting on your ass collecting $147.00 a day seven days a week…..with healthcare thrown in.
If you live here and the fairgrounds are in the city limits and looks like an area for abandoned cars and other trash, then its your problem. As long as no one does anything it will continue its decline. This coming year will prove to be very interesting to say the least.