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VC Fair Board OKs Oct. 23-24 gun show; tables change in Fair date policy

9 28 21 Fair

Ventura County Fair Board decided to retain its current policy to hold the Fair in July or August, with specific days to be set at its October meeting, when it met via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 28. It also voted 5 to 3 to approve a gun show Oct. 23-24 at the fairgrounds.

Board CEO Barbara Quaid said there will be a 2022 Fair, but had requested "a policy change to dates of fair to put on a successful fair with no dates or months, etc." 

The Ventura County Fair was canceled in 2020 and in 2021. The cancellation of the 2021 Fair was not publicly announced until several weeks after the Fair Board voted not to include the 2021 Fair in the Fair budget.

No policy change on Fair dates was approved at the Sept. 28 meeting after many members of the public spoke vehemently against it, with no one speaking in favor. The board said it will announce the specific Fair dates at its October meeting — in keeping with its usual policy — unless there is a reason to set another meeting to discuss the issue before then.

Quaid explained she had requested the change because several fairs are changing their dates due to the pandemic. She said she was looking at a date change, within just a couple of weeks of the current date, to accommodate every department of the fair, since the current fair is so close to the Orange County Fair to accommodate everyone and get the best concessionaires, carnival, exhibits, "every single department." 

The board also voted 5 to 3 to hold a gun show at the fairgrounds Oct. 23-24, with two conditions: 1. No unserialzed components or do-it-yourself firearms kits will be allowed. 2. A knowledgeble and qualified person will be hired to ensure the gun show is operated in compliance with Fair Board policies.

Former Ventura County District Attorney and Fair Board member Michael Bradbury of Ojai made the motion, which was approved. He explained that "ghost guns" are firearms with unidentified pieces or parts, so law enforcement has great difficulty identifying them when they are used in crimes. Several public comments were all opposed to gun shows at the fairgrounds, except for one.

The public was able to join the recorded Zoom meeting by logging into:

 https://us06web.zoom.us/j/4834214737?pwd=d0FrRzVFQUlUNG9OeUxFM0FuUG5qQT09Join or via the phone: 1-720-707-2699 Meeting ID: 483 421 4737 Passcode: 575554

Bradbury recommended in his director comments near the end of the nearly three-and-a-half-hour meeting that the board needs to "address an obvious lack of credibility" with the public. He said the board had talked previously about having a board training session and "it is time to stop talking about it and make it happen. I think we can make it a lot better. Thanking the public for being present is not going to make it go away. We have to deal with issues of our credibility with the public."

Since the meeting's Zoom capacity was only 100 participants, with some members of the public not able to participate, Bradbury also requested taking steps to increase the Zoom capacity for public participation.

 

 

 

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