Barrales resigns from Del Mar Fairgrounds board

By Joe Tash

Del Mar resident Ruben Barrales has resigned from the board of directors of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the agency that operates the state-owned Del Mar Fairgrounds.

The resignation, which leaves the nine-member board one member short, was announced Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the start of the board’s regular monthly meeting.

“After seven years on the board, I must now focus more of my time and efforts on my other professional and community endeavors, and allow others to bring their talents to the board,” said Barrales in his resignation letter, which was read aloud by board President Fred Schenk.

Schenk thanked Barrales for his service, and said he hopes Gov. Jerry Brown will move quickly to appoint a replacement.

Barrales is president and CEO of Grow Elect, a four-year-old San Diego-based political action committee that is dedicated to “recruiting, training, advising, and funding qualified Latino Republican candidates for state and local offices in California,” according to the group’s web site. Previously, he was president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this summer, Brown appointed Kathlyn Mead of Escondido, a Democrat and president/CEO of the San Diego Foundation, to the 22nd DAA board.

At its meeting Tuesday, the board also approved a logo for the 2015 San Diego County Fair. Fairgrounds officials had earlier announced the fair’s theme, “A Fair to Remember,” which will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, which was held in Balboa Park. Exhibits will also celebrate other world fairs. Officials also announced a partnership with the city of San Diego city to jointly promote the 2015 fair and Balboa Park.

In other business, fairgrounds staff said a request for proposals from companies interested in operating a microbrewery and restaurant in a building now occupied by an under-used satellite wagering facility on the fairgrounds property has been issued to 119 potential bidders.

Of those bidders, 64 were in San Diego, 51 in California and 4 from out of state.

The proposals are due Dec. 8, and staff hopes to come before the 22nd DAA board with a recommendation on a microbrewery operator at the board’s January meeting.