Yes, Directors receive free tickets to the concerts in the Pacific Amphitheatre and The Hangar as well as events in the Action Sports Arena.
Directors have assigned blocks of seats in the Pacific Amphitheatre. Each Director has six (6) seats assigned to them. The assignments for 2017 were:
Row AAA 1st row in pit: Nick Berardino seats 13 to 18; Barbara Bagneris seats 19 to 24.
Row BBB 2nd row in pit: Douglas La Belle seats 7 to 12; Gerardo Mouet seats 13 to 18; Ashleigh Aitken seats 19 to 24
Row CCC 3rd row in pit: Stan Tkaczyk seats 11 to 16; Sandra Cervantes seats 17 to 22
Row DDD 4th row in pit: Robert Ruiz seats 9 to 14; Newton Pham seats 15 to 20.
The 2018 budget for the OC Fairgrounds was discussed and approved in November 2017. Budget questions were emailed to CEO Kathy Kramer a few days before the meeting and were not answered. The same questions were asked during the November 2017 Board meeting when the 2018 budget was discussed and were not answered. Attempts to follow up to receive answers to questions about expenditure of public money have been met with obstructionism. OC Fair Board Directors are supposed to be serving without compensation and it is unclear why these expenses are needed.
During 2016 and 2017, OC Fair Board Directors received free nightly catered gourmet dinners for themselves and their families; free concert and admission tickets for themselves and their families including tickets to more than one event per day; use of a private bathroom costing over $14,000 for the 23 day run of the OC Fair; and use of a public employee tasked with being the Board Concierge to coordinate tickets, dinners, and guest lists for Directors. The OC Fairgrounds can't answer public records requests but has enough staff to give the Board a Concierge to manage their busy days of free dinners and free tickets. Executive Management, including those who are responsible for overseeing public records requests, are also recipients of the free nightly catered gourmet dinners and concert tickets.
CEO Kathy Kramer appears to have the support of the Directors (Ashleigh Aitken, Barbara Bagneris, Nick Berardino, Sandra Cervantes, Doug La Belle, Gerardo Mouet, Newton Pham, Robert Ruiz, Stan Tkaczyk) in keeping this information under wraps as no Director answered the question at the November 2017 Board meeting and no Director has compelled release of the information after being made aware of stonewalling on the part of staff.
What Was Asked & Not Answered
Note: The account numbers refer to line items in the 2018 budget.
Regarding account 5150 Directors Expense budgeted at $11,597, what are the activities, personnel, and other items paid for with this money?
Regarding account 5155 Directors Meeting Expense budgeted at $12,300, what are the activities, personnel, and other items paid for with this money?
What is the budgeted amount in 2018 for the nightly catered Board/Business Development dinners held during the OC Fair? What is the budgeted amount in 2018 for Board Concierge services? What is the cost in 2018 of the complimentary parking and OC Fair tickets given to the dinner guests?
Will private bathroom facilities in the Board/Business Development dinner area be provided in 2018? What is the justification for these facilities given that the dinner attendees walk past a bathroom on their way into the event?
Has there been consideration of replacing the area used for the nightly Board/Business Development dinners with a revenue generating activity such as space rentals to concessionaires and vendors or creating a restaurant open to the Public? The restaurant would allow OC Fair patrons to dine on the same food as the 32nd DAA Board members while generating revenue for the 32nd DAA.
What are the costs including face value of tickets and staff time to fill orders associated with Directors and their families receiving complimentary tickets to the events held in the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar, and Action Sports Arena in 2018?
Will Directors be able to receive tickets to more than one event in the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar, and Action Sports Arena per day in 2018? What is the face value of the tickets received from attending more than one event per day in the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar and Action Sports Arena?
Will the Executive Management Team be gifting themselves complimentary tickets to the Pacific Amphitheatre, The Hangar, and Action Sports Arena in 2018? What is the face value of the tickets gifted to the Executive Management Team?
Has there been consideration of relocating Directors from the premium pit seats to less expensive seats and placing all of the pit seats on sale to increase revenue for the 32nd DAA? This move would generate revenue for the 32nd DAA while reigning in costs.
Contacting the OC Fairgrounds
Public records requests can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org
CEO Kathy Kramer can be reached at email@example.com
Board Director Email Addresses Added May 3, 2018
Chair Barbara Bagneris firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice Chair Robert Ruiz email@example.com
Ashleigh Aitken firstname.lastname@example.org
Nick Berardino email@example.com
Sandra Cervantes firstname.lastname@example.org
Doug La Belle email@example.com
Gerardo Mouet firstname.lastname@example.org
Newton Pham email@example.com
Stan Tkaczyk firstname.lastname@example.org
No, technically speaking. Directors are supposed to be serving without compensation. Practically speaking, Directors are paid with free tickets, catered dinners, concierge services, free carnival rides, and free drinks, among other perks.