Fair board has failed to meet its obligations to community | TheUnion.com

Fair board has failed to meet its obligations to community

Other Voices
Jerry Henderson

The Nevada County Fair board has failed in its basic obligations to the community. The board members and the CEO must be removed from office by the governor. Here's why:

According to the fair board director's handbook, each board member is responsible, among other things, to:

1. Develop, support and encourage positive community and business relations.

2. Ensure the fair implements "best business" practices

Clearly the entire board, including the CEO, has failed the test to develop and support positive community relations. Regardless of how one feels about the use of elephants for entertainment, a rational person has to conclude that the board, by deciding to bring elephants to the fair, needlessly divided our community. The Nevada County Fair has always been an event enjoyed by everyone regardless of political or ideological position. The board has now turned this community event into a divisive event where people must choose to attend to support the use of elephants for entertainment or chose to not attend to show support for the protection of elephants from exploitation. Shame on the board.

The best business practices require that informed and rational risk assessments be made regarding board policy. The board, in electing to bring elephants to the fair, neglected to perform a proper risk assessment.

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It is standard procedure to evaluate the risk of an action by weighing the upside of an action against the downside. The upside of bringing elephants to the fair is that it might increase fair attendance. The downside is two-fold.

1. Performing elephants have gone on rampages, injuring people, sometimes killing people. This could happen if elephants are brought to the fair.

2. Many people are opposed to using elephants for entertainment. Bringing them to the fair could result in people refusing to attend the fair and thus reduce attendance and revenue.

A rational person would determine that the possible benefit of increased fair attendance is far outweighed by the potential negative impact of elephants at the fair. Clearly the board did not use the best business practices in deciding to bring elephants to our fair. Shame on the board.

Therefore, for the above reasons, community members must call on Gov. Brown to remove all of the board members who voted to continue the contract with the elephant vendor. Board members are appointed by the governor and serve at his pleasure. It may be too late to keep the elephants out of the fair, but the community must have a fair board that operates rationally and with intelligence.

Clearly, this shameful board has not acted in a rational and intelligent mode and has brought disharmony to our community. Use this link to contact Gov. Brown: http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php

Jerry Henderson lives in Grass Valley.

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