Support the Fair and Fairgrounds on January 26th!

 

It took 75 years to build a tradition at the Fairgrounds.  It will take one, three-minute vote by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to destroy it!  That is what is at stake January 26th!

 

There has never been a more critical time for community action to save an American tradition and heritage of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.  The county has put very little infrastructure support into the Fair and Fairgrounds since 1980 and only torn down buildings with promise to rebuild.  Other counties nearby have strong Fairs and Fairground use and have kept pace with the changing use and communities around them.  Now is the time to refurbish, rebuild and reconnect our community in Santa Clara County and you can assure this happens.  This community asset and heritage has the possibility to become a world-class facility and showcase the diverse Silicon Valley.  Do not miss this critical time to voice your passion for the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds and Fair.

 

IF THE BOARD VOTES “NO” to EVENT CENTER/FAIRGROUNDS 

  • The opportunity and location for a Fairgrounds is permanently gone
  • Another piece of the county heritage is lost
  • The Fairgrounds are completely demolished
  • Young agricultural scientists will not be able to quality for STATE FAIR
  • Youth Agriculture programs will weaken and eventually fail (enrollment and fair attendance is up)
  • TET Festival, outdoor music events like Island Reggae Festival held on the “Beach” and many more events will be forced to look outside the county
  • 100,000 people will need new sites to run their 5k community events (5-6 per year here)
  • Local non-profits & schools fundraising programs will be forced into more expensive venues with less space and outdoor access
  • Moving the fairgrounds won’t happen – cost prohibitive for land, infrastructure and buildings and it would never pass environmental impact studies

 

What can YOU do to help:

  1. Attend Tuesday, January 26th Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting. Our item is #19 on the agenda (click on agenda for 271MB document) and estimate time between 10:00am and 11:00am.
  2. Bring a placard or poster that says “Do Not Demolish My Fairgrounds”
  3. At the meeting submit a slip to speak 1-2 min max.  Be prepared and practice.
  4. Be vocal and spread the news about this critical meeting through your social contacts and media.  Your voice must be heard and more community input is needed! – They want transparency and public input.
  5. Reach out to your supervisor!  Go tohttps://www.sccgov.org/sites/bos/Pages/default.aspx and locate your supervisors and send them a message.  Let them know you support keeping the Fairgrounds and Fair at its current location and to preserve and improve at least 90 acres for Fairgrounds operations and community events throughout the year.  Let them know your passion.

 

Some key points from previous presentations and discussions:

  • Any proposal needs to feature much more than 30 acres and optimum is 90 acres for the Event Center/Fairgrounds/Fair.  Less than 90 is possible if some parking sharing was involved
  • The January 7, 2016 presentation was unrealistic in basic space needs for an Event Center and was lacking basic needs such as parking, attached open space for large gatherings, carnival placement, and RV parking for events.  For the best & highest use of this property – use 90 acres for Community Event Center/Fairgrounds
  • Yes, steps have been taken to become more relevant with events.  Example:  2016 Fair Theme of Full STEAM Ahead is focusing on science, technology, engineering, arts, agriculture and mathematics.
  • The Fairgrounds Management Corporation (FMC) has made a profit for the last two years with no funding from the Supervisors.
  • Right when Urban farming/farm to table/nutrition are ramping up, why get rid of fairgrounds
  • This county’s Event Center/Fairgrounds should not bethe smallest in the SF Bay Area.
  • It’s time to rebuild as a County Silicon Valley Event Center/Fairgrounds
  • Fairgrounds Event Center provides a taste of the county, local food, farm to table experience.
  • It needs to stay where it is – All other venues are miles away from the center of the population.  The cost to move is prohibitive due to land, infrastructure and centralized location.
  • Why displaced a community usage facility that is still actively utilized when the current facility could be upgraded with modernized restroom facilities, fresh painting, landscaping, resurfacing the floors, drop ceiling and other amenities for a 10th of the cost of relocating the fair grounds.
  • With community support you can create a legacy asset with funding from Santa Clara County Companies and individuals with similar passion for a world-class showcase property.
  • Youth voice – Adults are taking away our fairgrounds and selling out our future for us and the next generation of youth behind us. The next generation of youth will never experience a fair.
  • IF “No Event Center” we lose a uniquely American tradition and experience
  • Fairgrounds and Fair serves the whole community, not just athletes
  • Where is the huge transparent public input series akin to Martial Cottle Park?
  • No confidence supervisors or staff have found the right vision for 150 community acres
  • No confidence vote community public input has been sought out
  • Public input and transparency like Martial Cottle Park’s effort – Authentically follow the process
  • Replacing the fairgrounds for another “recreational use” would be costly and not have a huge benefit/use.  Better to keep the fairgrounds with all of it’s proven benefits and supplement it with other uses
  • Santa Clara County has a broader and deeper agricultural heritage that deserves a showcase like the fairgrounds that is a least as big as San Mateo’s
  • County consultants study stated an “urban fairgrounds” needs about 60 acres to provide all of the space needed to run a County Fair.(page 114under Sect 1.2)
  • The fairgrounds could co-exist with any future use the Board of Supervisors deems appropriate for the remaining parcel of land
  • If this is truly to become a “community gathering place,” (Glen Williams) we need to look beyond just revenue generating proposals.  Supervisor Wasserman stated at a recent board meeting “maybe this is a place that does not necessarily produce revenue, like libraries.”
  • If this is truly to become a “community gathering place,” (Glen Williams) we need to look beyond just revenue generating proposals.  Supervisor Wasserman said at one board meeting that “maybe this is a place that does not necessarily produce revenue, like libraries.”
  • The Master Plan states that funds from future leases would go to the fairgrounds or other needed programs.  When they did lease Fairgrounds land, the revenue did not come back to the fairgrounds to help maintain and/or update the facilities.
  • Fairground Acreage – Start Large – once you down size the fairgrounds there is no going back.  Make it too small it can’t be fixed.  If design slightly too big, then no harm done.
  • Keep it as an event center and not a park.  County Parks have many restrictions and limited hours
  • Replacing buildings will cost millions of dollars more than rehabbing existing facilities
  • Every building constructed on the Fairgrounds was built by state funding at no cost to the county.
  • It is time to rebuild a wonderful public asset and seek outside sponsorships to fund various upgrades needed to sustain the quality of the grounds. The Fairgrounds Heritage Foundation has been set up for such purposes. Let’s see what they can accomplish in soliciting large contributions from business, philanthropies and high net worth individuals and bringing back a community vision. This can only be accomplished with long term commitment.

January 26th Board of Supervisors Meeting Information:

The Office of the County Executive of Santa Clara County will be presenting their master planning update for the future of the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds Property Tuesday January 26th, 2016 in the Board’s Chambers at 70 West Hedding St., San Jose, CA 95110. The meeting will start at 9am, but agenda has yet to be published with docket number, providing a better estimate for discussion time.

 

Again, it’s imperative we get as much community attendance for this critical public discussion and presentation. You will have 2 minutes to address the Board of Supervisors prior to the discussion to provide input.  As you have heard, the proposed plans may or may not keep the Fairgrounds. It is vital that you and your family and friends attend this meeting and show your support for the fair.

 

If you can not attend in person, you can view the meeting on-line at: http://sccgov.iqm2.com/Citizens/Calendar.aspx?From=1/1/2016&To=12/31/2016.

 

Again, email and/or call your supervisor and let your opinion be heard.

“Who is my supervisor?” = https://www.sccgov.org/sites/bos/Pages/default.aspx

408 299-5001 to call and leave a message

District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman

Mike.wasserman@bos.sccgov.org

District 2 Supervisor Cindy Chavez

Cindy.Chavez@bos.sccgov.org

District 3  Supervisor Dave Cortese

Dave.cortese@bos.sccgov.org

District 4 Supervisor Ken Yeager

Supervisor.yeager@bos.sccgov.org

District 5 Supervisor Joe Simitian

Supervisor.simitian@bos.sccgov.org

 

In addition, a public discussion will be held at the offices of SPUR in downtown San Jose, at 76 South First St. at 6:00 PM on January 27, 2016, to which you are also all invited to participate. It you are not a SPUR member, there is at $10 charge.

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