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Our opinion: Board members welcomed

October 24, 2001

Gov. Gray Davis appointed seven Imperial Valley residents to serve on the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta board, a move we are pleased to see because it means the board will once again be whole. For much of the summer, the board could not form a quorum because new board members had not yet been appointed.

While the fair board may not receive a lot of press throughout the year — except for the months of February and March when the fair is in full swing — the board is important in the Imperial Valley because the fairgrounds, known as the Imperial Valley Expo, are important.

The fairgrounds offer a central point for the Imperial Valley. It's a facility where events can be staged year round, bringing Valley residents together. And more and more we are seeing the fairgrounds used year round as a site for historical, cultural and family events. It's also as site for meetings on issues that affect the entire Valley not only a select few communities.

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It takes a strong board to make sure the fairgrounds are in good shape and that the organization is strong financially to maintain a high level of service to the community. There is a lot that takes place behind the scenes throughout the year leading up to the California Mid-Winter Fair & Fiesta. It takes a great deal to make the fair a reality each year and that is largely due to the work of the fair board and the fairgrounds chief executive officer, Bill Blair.

In recent years, our fairgrounds have come a long way toward becoming more accessible to the community, and those who have served on the board deserve credit for the difficult decisions they have made to make the fair stronger. Several fair board members also deserve credit because most of them stayed on the board a year beyond the end of their term to give Davis time to appoint a new board.

However, it is now time for almost an entirely new board to take the reins. It still has a tough job ahead in maintaining the momentum set by the past board. It must continue to work hard, together with Blair, to maintain the quality of the fairgrounds and of the annual fair.

We wish each of the new fair board members the best of luck in their new responsibility. Each new member already has a proven track record of taking part in civic duties and each brings to the board an ability to serve the entire Imperial Valley.

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