It was with sadness but not surprise when I read that the Benton County commissioners had approved the new fairgrounds master plan.
In the article it stated that ”although the plan had drawn sharp objections from members of the local dog and horse communities … no members of the public turned out to speak for or against the master plan." Nobody showed up because throughout the entire process the Fair Board consistently made a sham of the public process.
Since the Fair Board first proposed the plan there have always been significant members of the horse and dog community at every single board meeting, only to be ignored. Not a single individual or a representative of the business community showed up at any meeting in favor of the plan. In addition, after the first consultant stated that the plan was a bad idea, the board simply hired another who agreed with them.
I am also disappointed in the commissioners, who received significant email from the dog and horse community opposing the project and instead voted to spend $30 million in the hopes that the fairground complex would someday turn a profit.
Albany (April 3)