After a mutually-beneficial 42-year partnership, the Orange County Fair Board, led by Chairman David Ellis, voted 6-3 to give 18-months notice to the Orange County Market Place to cease operating on the fairgrounds in a clear case of retribution and political vendetta. The OC Fair Board’s claim that the OC Market Place was a failed business model fell flat when the Market Place announced that revenue was up by four percent compared to the same number of open days last year. After the Board’s legal counsel admitted that the OC Market Place had done nothing to default on its lease, it became clear that some on this Fair Board still hold a grudge over the fact that OC Market Place owner and operator Jeff Teller helped community activists expose the scheme of some Board members to snatch the fairgrounds from the public and turn it into their own private playground. Public outrage over political appointees abusing their power in an effort to hijack this public property rightly embarrassed some Board members and resulted in current Governor Brown cancelling the sale prompting some on the Fair Board to enact an elaborate cover up of their scheme. Today’s action is retaliation for the exposure of their scheme.
With the exception of Director Kristina Dodge and recent Brown appointees Nick Berardino and Gerardo Mouet who voted against the action taken, the millionaire political donors appointed to the OC Fair Board under former Governor Schwarzenegger gleefully exacted their vengeance on the OC Market Place this afternoon, with the result that the hundreds of OC Market Place vendors who are small business owners fighting for survival in this economy and their growing customer base looking to stretch their consumer dollar served as little more than cannon fodder in the eyes of some members of the OC Fair Board. Ironically, while Governor Brown was developing his jobs plan to support private sector jobs in California earlier this month, some members of one of his own state boards – the Orange County Fair Board – were hatching a plan to kill private sector jobs through this reckless retribution plan.
“It is pathetic that these Schwarzenegger appointees would use their political positions of power to exact a political vendetta and put hundreds of families’ livelihoods at risk in the process,” said Jeff Teller, owner of the Orange County Market Place. “For 42 years the Orange County Market Place has been an incubator of business in Orange County and it’s sad that political appointees can be so callous and have the power to put thousands of hard-working business owners and their families out of work because their effort to take over the fairgrounds failed. In the end, we believe in America and we are confident that justice will prevail.”