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Assemblyman tries to stop sale

His new bill would rescind offer to sell Orange County Fairgrounds. Costa Mesa city councilwoman thankful.

December 02, 2009|By Mona Shadia

California Assemblyman Jose Solorio on Wednesday introduced a bill asking the assembly to rescind the proposed sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds.

At a special session of the assembly, Solorio introduced Assembly Bill 1590 and asked his fellow assemblymen to support it.

If it passes, the bill would repeal the section of a July Assembly bill that authorized the sale of the fairgrounds.

Solorio’s staff also handed a letter to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office asking him to cancel the sale.

Although Solorio voted for the sale of the 150-acre fairgrounds in July, he’s now opposed to it.

“I did vote for the bill in July to balance the budget,” he said Wednesday. “Since then, there have been a number of questions and disturbing facts. I conducted a hearing, and at the hearing, what I found is this whole process has been tainted by misrepresentation, miscommunication, conflict of interest, questionable legal and ethical activities, and I’ve also learned that there’s potential constitutional barrier regarding the sale of the property.”

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In his letter, Solorio asks Schwarzenegger to address all issues of concern before going through with the sale and “to be mindful that this process would be a precedent for future state property sales,” Solorio said.

The fairground was put up for sale in October as part of a plan to sell high-valued state-owned properties to help narrow the state’s deficit.

Although seven properties were proposed by Schwarzenegger, the fairgrounds was the only one to go on the market.

“I’m hoping that the community throughout Orange County would rally behind the bill to ultimately reach the governor,” Solorio said. “If the governor would stop the process, then there would be no need to move the bill forward.”

Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley said she’s very pleased with Solorio’s move to stop the proposed sale.

“It’s great to know that someone in Sacramento is finally listening to what the people of Costa Mesa and Orange County want — to stop the sale,” she said.

“Residents should be alarmed that no one has listened until now. Thanks and appreciation go out to the residents and businesses that have rallied to let our position be known. Don’t stop now. We need you all to write to your state representatives and demand that they vote for AB 1950 to Stop the Sale of the O.C. Fair.”


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