CEAV BLASTS CAL-EXPO BOARD
The CEAV Project gives written and oral testimony to Cal Expo Board citing the Board’s contempt for public process and participation; ineptitude at planning or managing the State Fair’s future; and, committing itself to the destruction of California’s public commons.
[The following remarks were made to the Cal Expo Board at its Regular Meeting on February 26th, 2010. The are a summary of separate written comment that was submitted to the Board on February 25th and February 26th. The full text of those documents can be viewed at CEAV NEWS]
Summary Remarks of Public Input
to the Cal-Expo Board of Directors
February 26, 2010
[supplement to written materials submitted to the Board on February 25, 2010 and, extended remarks submitted February 26, 2010
My name is Red Slider, I live two blocks from Cal Expo. I am the current steward of The CEAV Project (www.ceav.us) . The CEAV Project takes no position on the location or development of a sports arena for Sacramento.
We have read Mr. Kamilos’ responses to this Board’s 70 questions and we note that there are no questions among them that were solicited from the public through open public processes or in which the public was invited by Cal Expo to participate.
As a private business, Mr. Kamilos is entitled to work in private, behind closed doors, with Exclusive Negotiation Agreements (ENA) and with any ‘deadlines he wishes to invent to rush public entities into making such agreements. However, as a public entity, Cal Expo is charged to do the public’s business in an open and transparent manner . Yet, once again, the Cal Expo Board is engaging in an all too familiar and failed pattern of haste, secrecy, evasion, deflection and exclusion. Even now, this Board is discussing the matter of Mr. Kamilos’ proposal in violation of your own Letter of Understanding with the NBA. That device (LOU, clause 3-B), has been used by this Board, in the past, to block consideration or discussion of any ideas that conflict with the original Cal Expo/NBA arena plan. Yet, strangely, Mr. Kamilos and his group have found a way around this barrier, inserting themselves into proposal discussions despite the breach of that agreement.
CEAV is now asking that this Board stop these discussions with Mr. Kamilos immediately, table the matter and begin, in earnest, to call for public engagement and participation in the process, and otherwise serve to inform and educate itself and us about the whole range of options and concerns regarding Cal Expo’s future. Most of all, that Cal Expo give us, the public, the opportunity to educate the Board. All of the people of California are stakeholders in The California Exposition and State Fair and it is to them Cal Expo owes its full attention and responsibility.
We all wish to ‘save Cal Expo’, but the way the Board is going about it is not going to do that. Last year, someone on your Board said they felt they got into the NBA/Cal-Expo arena deal “a small step at a time” and didn’t know how they wound up where they did. In our documents, CEAV likened it to boiling frogs by turning the heat up a little at a time. Your own Board member, Mr. Stacy, analogized the matter to a ‘shotgun wedding’. But no matter how the process is characterized, it is time to turn off the heat, put the marriage proposals aside and think hard, out loud and along with the public, about what Cal Expo really wants to do with its life.
Use ‘Sacramento First’, if you like, as a model. Call for ideas, define concepts. Develop some ‘core principles’, which are sorely lacking, before plunging ahead on some exotic excursion with Mr. Kamilos, or anyone else for that matter. Either that, or risk wondering how you got somewhere you’re not sure you wanted to be in the first place. Above all, don’t expect the public to stand around waiting breathlessly for your return. We are not a cheerleading section for reckless adventures.
[oral remarks made to the Cal Expo Board of Directors, February 26th, 2010]