To the editor:
It is wonderful to see people taking an interest in the development of the county farm into a new fairground and possible other facilities, as this will be a great benefit to the county and its taxpayers.
What is not wonderful is the fear-mongering being presented by John Priore. I appreciate that he has some concerns (if that is what it really is). What I do not appreciate is the misinformation that he and his proponents are spreading.
I would think that he would appreciate the fact that everyone is proceeding cautiously so that problems are kept to a minimum. This has been an ongoing process for several years and has not been kept a secret. The committee meets once a month, and they have welcomed people to attend.
Funds that have been spent have come from grants and donations specified for the development of a new fairgrounds.
Priore says that “so far proponents have put out little information on their initiative other than architectural renderings.”
They are having the public meetings (as requested by the county commissioners) before they can move forward with any other steps. Priore says it is a conflict of interest to have public officials on the committee. As a taxpayer, I appreciate that there are public officials on the committee overseeing the public’s interest.
Priore says the “ag association … now wants out of the business of running a fairgrounds.”
Fact: If this was true, the association would just shut down.
He also says the association “wants the county to build, fund, operate, manage and maintain the new facilities.”
Fact: If the fairgrounds are moved to the county farm, the association has to have input from other entities. The county is not going to just turn that land over without some say.
Obviously the ag association has some knowledge with running the fairgrounds, so it’s obvious that they should be a part of the process.
Each appointment has valuable input and knowledge to move the process forward.
Priore insinuates that there is a huge, secretive process going on. From all appearances, the secretiveness is coming from him and his proponents. At the July 8 public meeting, there were groups of people standing around outside talking, which is normally no big deal.
What I found out after the meeting was that they were selectively handing out papers as people arrived, which turned out to be a long list of questions they wanted people to ask and have answered.
When I was shown the paper after the meeting (not by them), I actually thought some of the questions were very good. My concern is why are these people being so secretive?
Priore and his proponents need to be careful of the finger-pointing. There are always three fingers pointing back. Man up and present your list of questions to the committee, so that when the solutions are found to your questions, the answers can be supplied.
One big concern of Priore and his proponents is proving that if “they build it, they will come.” If anyone pays attention to the current fairgrounds, it is booked almost every weekend.
This is not a facility that is only used two weeks a year for the fair. A larger facility will bring more business to this county.
I do not personally have a dog in this fight (as my children are grown), but I know what a new fairgrounds would do for the 4-H program and youth of this county. It helps mold some very responsible, respectful, dependable young men and women.
In the long run, we will pay one way or the other. I would much rather my tax dollars be spent on these kinds of kids than the ones who have no respect or concern for others.