By Robert K. Vicino/Del Mar resident
The city of Solana Beach held a press conference on Jan. 4, 2011 atop Solana Circle overlooking the Del Mar Race Track. They announced their concern for the Joint Powers Authority to oversee the future operations of the fairgrounds when, and if, Del Mar or any other agency purchases it from the state of California. Mayor Heebner did a terrific job of presenting the broader scope and need for control of this historic asset.
However, what was not said is there needs to be an assurance that:
• The facility will always be used for the greatest public benefit and access.
• There will always be a transparent and competitive public process to all appointments, bids, contracts, leases and development.
• No sweetheart deals will be made, including the proposed “Horseman lease” of the race track complex.
• All proceeds will remain within the JPA entity without distribution to any city or agency, other than for reimbursement for services.
The key is to make this regional amenity a mutual benefit for all, not for the manipulation of the power hungry few that typically leads to corruption and backroom deals. Somehow, I get the impression that the wolves, or is that the land sharks “are at the gate.” Slow this race for power and control down so we are not relying on a photo finish. Here’s to a JPA, so that the fairgrounds continues to be a public amenity and an asset for all that Bing would be proud of!