Wednesday, December 02, 2015 • 09:14

Park Board awards Western Days, Rodeo to Optimists

The Valley Center Optimists were awarded the hosting job for the Western Day Festival and Rodeo for 2015.
June 25, 2014
The monthly Parks and Recreation Board meeting was held on June 18 at the Community Center, and it was a full house. The majority of attendees appeared to be there for the hot topic on the agenda of who would put on Western Days for 2015, as the subject was being discussed even before the meeting was brought to order and the Pledge of Allegiance recited.

Before the item was brought up on the agenda, Country Junction Deli owner, Abe Boulos, said how happy he was to see everyone, and beseeched the audience to put the community first, and intention expressed during the meeting to be in the best interest of such.

The issue over Western Days stemmed from an incident where the Valley Center Optimists reserved the Community Center for Western Days 2015 by filling out an application and putting in a deposit as of May 29, 2014. However, this year's organizer, Dana Chisolm, claimed she had already reserved it on May 14, 2014 via e-mail, with a promise to bring in an application and deposit by May 16, 2014 as she had a meeting with two board members on that day. Inexplicably, Parks and Recreation gave the 2015 date to Chisolm. This was baffling to many residents, as Chisolm had previously stated in the May 8, 2014 issue of her publication, Valley Center Press, in an article entitled "Western Days Dilemma," that it was "no skin off her back if the event died."

Consequently, an item was put on the Parks and Recreation Agenda to discuss not only this issue, but the fiscal results of Western Days for 2014. Chisolm began addressing the Board by asking if she still was going to be held to paying the community hall rental fees for this year. She claims that on top of the $15,000 she was granted, but had not yet received to date from County Supervisor Bill Horn's Neighborhood Reinvestment Program fund, an additional $6,000 was used to put on Western Days. General Manager, Doug Johnsen, said that since the grant was received through Parks and Recreation, and that Chisolm had, in essence, spent it all, that the $3,000 was due and payable. Chisolm countered that all she received was land use, and therefore wanted it waived. Johnsen held fast to the $3,000 fee.

The floor was opened to those who had put in a sheet to speak, and John McGlen from the Valley Center Optimists was the first to address the Board. He spoke about the desire of the Optimists to bring the Western Days festival and the Rodeo together. He said the Optimists "cannot work with someone who attacks their members (Chisolm) by writing spiteful letters and sending them to their international office." The desire of the Optimists is to create an event of which the community can be proud. He concluded by asking the Board for a reconsideration of the Optimist's application.

Joyce Holmes, a local realtor, followed up by letting everyone know she and the Optimists had run both Western Days and the Rodeo last year, but were unable to do so this year due to a lack of manpower, for which she apologized. She also thanked everyone for showing up to the meeting.

Informal commentary amongst those in attendance followed, with people addressing the Board with the belief that it would be bad business to allow Chisolm to run Western Days again next year, considering she had lost money on it this year, and had yet to pay for the rental of the Community Hall.

The Board confirmed their policy was "first come, first serve." According to Parks and Recreation Secretary, Sue Richmond, neither application nor deposit had been received by Chisolm's promised date of May 16, 2014. It also had not been received by the time the Optimists brought in their application and deposit on May 29, 2014. President Marcia Townsend made a motion to honor the Optimist's application. Board Director Larry Glavinic seconded the motion, but did amend it to request partial funds up front. The Board voted and unanimously accepted the motion to honor the application and deposit from the Optimists.

Consequently, both the Western Days Festival and the Rodeo for 2015 will be hosted by the Valley Center Optimists.

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