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Placer Supervisors respond to grand jury’s fair report

Say they will not terminate contract with fair association
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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The Placer Board of Supervisors disputed most of the assertions made by the Placer grand jury in its 2011-12 report “The Fair and the Unfair: A History of Continuous Neglect,” in a response published this week.

The current grand jury published letters regarding this report from the county supervisors, along with the county’s then-interim County Executive Officer Holly Heinzen and Director of Facility Services James Durfee in its “Response Report,” issued Dec. 20.

The original grand jury report issued in March said the current contract between the county and Placer County Fair Association was illegal and should be terminated because it violates the five-year limitation.

The supervisors disagreed with these findings, stating that the contract provides for the association to continue operations on a year-to-year basis until the contract is renewed or renegotiated. The supervisors said they would not terminate the contract.

The grand jury also found the county negligent in monitoring the fair association, which allowed the association to wrongfully make major modifications — without approval from the county — to the All American Speedway at the Placer County Fairgrounds in Roseville. These modifications allow for NASCAR-sanctioned events and, according to the grand jury, have produced numerous environmental problems.

The supervisors disagreed, asserting that the association bore responsibility in providing proper notice to the county and securing necessary permits. When the county got a letter in 2006 about track and ramp improvements at the Speedway, the work had already been completed.