The Fair Board has now received an avalanche of feedback on its ill conceived master plan, almost all of it severely critical. Hopefully, as they review these comments during the next several months, they will come to realize that this plan needs to be abandoned.
If they are paying more than lip service to the process they will ditch this plan before a powerful revolt bursts out into ugly conflict, there is a path that they can choose that will make sense for their future and their neighbors and constituents. The fairground does in fact need a master plan to guide its future and there are many talented and energetic potential partners ready and willing to assist. The sensible path for the Fair Board is to open up a planning process that invites many stakeholders to participate.
This site is one of the most prominent public places in the region. This site also sits in one of the richest natural environments in the region. It deserves a plan that is respectful of its natural environment and faithful to its public mission. We all share an interest in creating a financially viable plan that provides services without requiring subsidies from state or local governments.
We are publishing two alternative plan ideas in this issue (pages 8 and 9) which contain many intriguing ideas that deserve serious attention. We are not endorsing the specifics of either plan, but we believe they substantiate our belief that the local community is ready and willing to work constructively with the fairground on charting its future.
We hope the Fair Board members will see that is in their best interest to commit to a true public planning process.