Davis appoints seven to fill fair board seats

October 23, 2001|By LAURA MITCHELL and DARREN SIMON, Staff Writers

Gov. Gray Davis has filled seven vacant seats on the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta board as part of a widesweeping action to make fair boards whole throughout the state.

This summer the local fair board, which runs the Imperial Valley Expo — home of the fair — was reduced to two voting members, Bo Shropshire and Mary Harmon, and one non-voting member, Lee Hindman.

The other board members left the board as their tenures came to an end and they did not seek re-appointment. Most board members remained on the board for a year beyond their tenure to allow Davis time to appoint new members.

Bill Blair, chief executive officer of the expo, said it was thought Davis would fill the vacant seats sooner, but there was a period from June to September when the local board did not have enough members to make a quorum.


The remaining board members could not take official actions, but they did meet as a committee to move forward on such issues as the fair's budget, which has been submitted to the state for approval.

The recently-appointed board members are:

· El Centro resident Richard Acosta, an insurance agent with Smith-Kandall Insurance and the vice president of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors

· Brawley resident Rosalinda Cardenas, a bilingual specialist teacher at Barbara Worth Junior High School

· Brawley resident Steve Escalera, an attorney with Horton, Knox, Carter and Foote

· El Centro resident Antonio Ramos, a division manager for the Imperial County probation department. Ramos is a member of the Eagles Lodge, a U.S. Air Force veteran and is a member of the Imperial County Law Enforcement Association

· El Centro resident Sedalia Sanders, a program manager with Imperial County Public Health Services and a former mayor of El Centro

· Heber resident Brenda Scaroni, owner of Scaroni Ranches and Valley Harvesting and Packing

· Imperial resident Ronald Schoors, the foundation director for Imperial Valley College and a member of the Friends of the Fair Board committee and the citizens' advisory panel for the fair.

The fair board members are appointed to four-year terms. The board meets once a month but can meet more if it chooses, Blair said.

Sanders said she is looking forward to serving on the fair board, adding the fair is an opportunity for the community to come together.

She said the fairgrounds offer cultural, historical and entertaining events throughout the year that culminate with the fair in March.

Patty McGrew, one of the board members who did not seek reappointment, had served 17 years on the board.

Her term ended in 2000, but she remained on the board for another year to allow the governor to make new appointments.

Other board members did the same.

McGrew said she thinks the new board will find the I.V. Expo in "good shape."

She said she is most proud of the Plaza De La Cultura, an area that is being used weekly.

"The fair is strong financially and in the eyes of the public," she said.

"Where we have left it, I hope the new board will take and fly with it," she said.

She credited the work done by Blair and said she is hopeful the new board will support him.

The board will meet Nov. 15. The first order of business will be to officially approve the fair's budget and to start getting ready for the 2002 fair, slated for March 1-10.

Staff writer Laura Mitchell can be reached at 760-337-3452 or

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