Bud Emerson | Klish Way and Sam Borgese | 10th Street
The Del Mar City Council held a public workshop on March 9 “to receive input from the public on the proposed fairgrounds purchase and the Public Benefit Trust Governance Model.” Mayor Don Mosier briefed the group on the current state of negotiations with the State and outlined the proposed “Trust indenture” which would legally bind Del Mar “to continue the use of the property for the San Diego County Fair, horse racing, equestrian shows, agricultural related events, open space, environmental and wildlife protection, and education events.”
Mosier outlined three key components of the proposal: a lease to a regional governing entity to operate the fairgrounds, a lease to a private entity to operate the race track, and Del Mar authority to regulate zoning and development. An enterprise fund will be established to ensure operational self sufficiency and debt payments. These operations “will not be a part of the city of Del Mar’s General Fund.” The briefing paper said the proposal “is more like a compensated transfer of public property from one government entity to another than a sale.”
The briefing was followed by vigorous small group discussions among attendees, followed by reports from each round table. Attendees expressed “nervous support” for the idea of finally getting local control of the property. Concerns were raised about the lack of financial details of the transaction, the financial feasibility of the operation, and the balance between regional and local responsibilities in the proposed governance model.
The Council members all expressed appreciation for the input and promised to increase their efforts to keep the community informed , to solicit more input , and to hold more workshops.
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