Solorio won't block fairgrounds sale

He says his goal is to make sure the taxpayers get the best deal. No word yet on whether Latino caucus will allow sale to happen.

June 30, 2010|By Mona Shadia,

Editor's note: This corrects an earlier version in which the first paragraph implied that state lawmakers would not block the sale of the Orange County Fairgrounds. In fact, only some lawmakers have said they would not block it.

A member of the Legislature's powerful Latino caucus said Wednesday that some state lawmakers do not intend on blocking the planned sale of the state-owned Orange County Fairgrounds to Costa Mesa based on the city's controversial stance on illegal immigration.

Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) of the Latino Legislative Caucus said that he and other lawmakers are disappointed that the City Council declared Costa Mesa a "Rule of Law" city, but want the best deal for taxpayers when it comes to the fairgrounds sale.


"I think we're at the stage that the city has worked in good faith with the state of California," Solorio said. "And at this point, I'm going to sit down with both the city and the state to learn about the agreement and make sure it's good for the residents of Orange County, and also good for the taxpayers of California, and find out if I could possibly help the city move forward with the proposal."

Solorio did not say if his fellow Latino Legislative Caucus members will take the same direction to help the city acquire the 150 acres near the Costa Mesa (55) and San Diego (405) freeways in Costa Mesa.

"I think that's a separate conversation, and I'm very displeased that the City Council took that action," Solorio said. "But as you know, I've been working for a long time on this Orange County issue, and I owe it to the residents of Orange County to look at the proposal and see if it makes sense for Orange County residents and the state of California."

Faced with intense opposition to the sale from countywide residents, Solorio and Assemblyman Van Tran (R-Westminster) in December co-sponsored a bill to reverse the sale. Assembly Bill 1590 would have rescinded a bill that authorized the sale of the fairgrounds last July.

California put the fairgrounds up for sale in October in an effort to shore up funds for its nearly $20-billion budget deficit. After dismissing public bids in March as too low, the state began negotiating a deal with Costa Mesa.

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