March 22, 2018 Fair Board Meeting Agenda (Thursday at 9 AM by Choice)

Fair Board Meeting (2)

The complete agenda is available here

More information including copies of contracts listed in the agenda will be available on the  Monday before the Thursday 9 AM Board of Directors meeting.  There is no significant update on the Master Site Plan process even though work is continuing in the back rooms without the public being asked to participate. 

Issues to watch are:

Contract amendment for Spectra, the onsite caterer which holds the alcohol license and operates the Orange County Market Place.  Update on the struggling Orange County Market Place. (Agenda Item 9B) A copy of the current contract with Spectra and for the OC Market Place are available on the Fairgrounds Documents Page. 

Centennial Farm Foundation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Issues: Centennial Farm Foundation is legally separate from Centennial Farm and does not own, operate, or provide a significant source of funding for Centennial Farm. Centennial Farm Foundation has been asked to sign an MOU formalizing the relationship with the OC Fairgrounds (Orange County Fair and Event Center) and has not signed the MOU after a long wait. The Board may take action regarding the MOU at this meeting which is not expected to make a significant change in operation of Centennial Farm. 

California Assembly Bill 2396 Discussion: This is a bad bill which allows conflicts of interest and removes competitive bidding rules, among other changes. Kill the bill!

Committee/Task Force/ Liaison Reports will be given on these areas (Agenda Item 9A):

Pacific Amphitheatre Operation Evaluation & Review Task Force (Director Berardino, Director Tkaczyk): This task force hired the former manager of the Pacific Amphitheatre under Nederlander when the noise problems occurred to assist the task force in reviewing Pacific Amphitheatre operations and making recommendations for changes. A no-bid contract was used for the hiring.

Centennial Farm Foundation Board (Director Cervantes)

Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation Board (Director Berardino, Director LaBelle): Note that Heroes Hall Veterans Foundation does not own, operate or provide a significant source of funding for the Heroes Hall Museum. 

 Financial Monitoring Committee (Director Pham, Director Mouet)

 Legislative Monitoring Task Force (Director Berardino, Director Aitken)

 Master Site Plan Task Force (Director La Belle, Vice Chair Ruiz)

 Tenant Liaison Committee (Director Tkaczyk, Director Berardino)

 Equestrian Center Task Force (Director Aitken, Director Tkaczyk)


Questions or Comments can directed to:

CEO Kathy Kramer

Board of Directors Members (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) choose to not have email addresses to allow the public to contact them. Contact the Board by emailing Summer Angus and asking that your email be forwarded to the Board members. 

Public records requests can be submitted to


CEO Kathy Kramer to Make Appearance at March 6, 2018 Costa Mesa City Council Meeting

Check It Out (1)


CEO Kathy Kramer will make an appearance at the March 6, 2018, Costa Mesa City Council meeting which starts at 6 PM at 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa to make a presentation at the beginning of the meeting agendized as "2. Upcoming OC Fair Events & Information – Ms. Kathy Kramer, CEO, OC Fair".  As this is an information item and does not have a staff report detailing what is being presented, CEO Kathy Kramer should stick to providing information about upcoming concerts, events, classes, and similar items and refrain from discussion of any and all issues regarding the Master Site Plan, Board of Directors decisions, upcoming items on the Board of Directors agenda, or any matter which is not strictly informational. Council Members should also refrain from discussing issues which do not appear on the agenda with CEO Kramer at this time. 

If CEO Kathy Kramer wants to discuss those items with the Costa Mesa City Council, she needs to come back and ask for the item(s) to be placed on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.  Similarly, if the Council wants a discussion of issues involving the OC Fairgrounds,  Council should place the item on the agenda with a staff report prepared and with both the Council and public allowed to ask questions and make comments regarding the agenda item.


Background on CEO Kathy Kramer

Kathy Kramer has worked as:

Director of Sales and Marketing for Harrah's Casino and Hotel in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Midwest Regional Director of Sales and Marketing for Six Continents Hotels and Resorts in Omaha, Nebraska

Vice President of Convention Sales and Marketing for Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska

Deputy Director of Phoenix Convention Center and Venues: Ms. Kramer was part of the executive team that oversaw a $600M expansion project tripling the rentable space to nearly one million sq. ft and placing the convention center in the top 25 convention centers in North America. The expansion of the Phoenix Convention Center permanently changed the area around the property and led to the development of hotels and restaurants near the property. 

Vice President of Business Operations at Northlands in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada










Take a Day Off Work to Attend Master Site Plan Reveal on April 26, 2018


Bullhorn Meeting (1)

The Master Site Plan selection will be revealed on Thursday, April 26, 2018, Download Master Site Plan Notice _February_Board_Packet during a meeting which starts at 9 AM when most people have work, school, or other commitments. Despite repeated asks for evening meetings, the Fair Board chooses to meet at a time when it is hard for people to attend their meetings. The meeting time is by the choice of the Fair Board and nothing in statute says the Fair Board must meet during the day. Oversight of the planning was done by a member of the building trades whose employer can benefit from the project. 

The proposed schedule is:

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Agenda items 1-9 (including Call to Order through Governance Process, workshop/training to be last governance item)

10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Short recess for room re-set (if necessary)

10:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  Workshop/Training to commence

12:30 p.m. – 12:40 p.m. Short recess as boxed lunches are delivered for Board of Directors and members of the public

12:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Workshop/Training to continue through working lunch

2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Wrap up of final Agenda items (Board of Directors Matters of Information and Adjournment)

The Fair Board does not stream or make video recordings of their meetings. This is another choice made by the Fair Board.  With over $40 million in cash and cash equivalent reserves Download Financials_February_Board_Packet, there is no shortage of resources.

The Fair Board is expected to present plans to begin the process of creating a convention and expo center with year round, daily, heavy use. As the process is being led by CEO Kathy Kramer who worked on the $600 million remodel of the Phoenix Convention Center  with the assistance of VP of Operations Ken Karns who helped to convert Western Fair in London, Ontario, Canada to a year round entertainment and expo center and CEO Kramer celebrated a $1 million sales month in December 2017 Download Million Dollar December_January_Board_Transcript, the project will have major impacts on Costa Mesa. The remodel of the Phoenix Convention Center triggered development of hotels and an entertainment district


Contact Fair Board Directors

The Fair Board Directors are: Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Douglas La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Nick Berardino, Robert Ruiz , Sandra Cervantes, Stan Tkaczyk

Fair Board Directors do not have official email accounts for their jobs, again by their choice. Email Summer Angus, Board secretary, and ask her to forward your message to the Fair Board Directors.  Summer Angus

Contact CEO Kathy Kramer 


Contact VP of Operations Ken Karns










Why Can’t the Buildings We Have Be Used for Community Events?

Money Question (2)

Good question. High costs to use the facilities keep community groups on limited budgets from using facilities. Unlike a city facility which is open to all users able to pay a nominal fee and meeting published user guidelines, Fairgrounds staff pick and choose the events to be allowed on the property. Anyone find it odd that rowdy events which sell a lot of alcohol and fill up the parking lots at $10 a car take priority over a community group trying to find a reasonably priced place for a meeting?

We Spent $252,369 on the Master Site Plan Process and All We Got Was One (1) Public Meeting?

WTF Nautical Flags (3)

Yes. The Public own the OC Fairgrounds and paid all of the bills for the Master Site Plan process. Fair Board Directors and staff made a decision that the Public would only be granted one (1) meeting in the evening to give their input. A decision could have been made to include the Public on equal footing with the Fair Board Directors, staff and contractors, but the Public did not make the cut.

Does the Fairgrounds Need Public Approval for Construction Projects or Bond Financing?

Starburst Question (2)

No. The OC Fairgrounds is able to make changes to their property without involving the Public, who own the OC Fairgrounds. As a State Agency, the OC Fairgrounds is not subject to the same planning and permitting processes which the Anaheim Convention Center and Resort Area are subject to. The OC Fairgrounds is considering issuing bonds, using tax increment based financing, or other public financing tools to enact the Master Site Plan. As a State Agency, the OC Fairgrounds is not required to get public approval for planning, building, financing, or building aside from the CEQA process. The OC Fairgrounds does not have the same noticing or hearing requirements for planning and permitting as cities have, which means projects can be undertaken without telling the Public. These actions can be taken at OC Fair Board meetings held once a month at 9 AM on Thursdays.

Fair Board Meeting on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 9 AM

Fair Board Meeting (2)


The OC Fair Board meets at 9 AM * on Thursday, February 22, 2018. A cost benefit analysis is being done regarding the Master Site Plan. The work is supposed to be done in mid-February. The Board has refused to provide the Public with updated information regarding what is being decided in the back room. Agenda to be posted on Feb 12, 2018.

The Board meeting is held in the Administration Building at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Due to construction on Arlington Drive, enter through the Main Gate on Fair Drive and drive around the Pacific Amphitheatre to reach the Administration Building. 

*They choose to meet at this time.