Let This Be A Wake-Up Call…

As you may have read in yesterday’s Register, investor/developer Rick Julian contacted cigar-chomping courtier-columnist Frank Mickadeit to give him a big Christmas scoop:  He is putting in a bid to buy our Fairgrounds!  This should be a wake-up call to all of those who fantasized that Orange County and Costa Mesa, with their JPA (Joint Powers Agreement) would put in the winning bid.

And we only know about this Julian bid because he wants us to.  We have no idea what other entities are bidding in secret.  Sure, Rick seems like a nice guy in this article and perhaps he is.  This article is his charm offensive, and he is glowingly portrayed by Mickadeit, who loves him some rich OC businessmen!  But in Rick’s own words:

“If we can leave it as a Fairgrounds and improve revenue, that’s certainly the first choice. We buy and keep (properties). We generally don’t flip, and that would be my intent – to keep it forever.”

How NICE that that would be his FIRST choice – leaving it as a Fairgrounds.  Of course he would have to somehow “improve revenue” – actually he would need to, it’s his duty as the head of an investment firm.  The motto on his company’s website reads “We bring to each transaction the many years of experience and expertise necessary to achieve a maximum return.”  We’ve written extensively here about the measures a new owner would want to take to make the property more profitable, and none of those are changes any of us would want to see happen.  Plus the question is begged:  What are his second and third choices for the property, once he determines that a Fair isn’t quite lucrative enough?

Even if Mr. Julian has the noblest intentions in the world, and even if zoning ordinances weren’t just Swift’s famous “cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through,” what kind of American citizens would sit on their hands and rely on the goodwill of a rich, powerful man to safeguard their prized property? Not you and me, I trust.  And if we know about one Rick Julian there are many more lurking in the shadows planning to outbid each other when they’re done outbidding our local governments.  Keep up the faxing, fellow citizens, and let’s Derail this Sale! (I’ll have more for us to do later today or tomorrow.)

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.