FAIR BOARD VOTES NOT TO RENEW STUART TITUS' CONTRACT WITH HUMBOLDT COUNTY FAIR
Statement from Stuart Titus to News Channel 3: "I’ve considered myself very fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve as General Manager of the Humboldt County Fair Association for the past 22 years. During that time, a great deal has been accomplished, with nearly $4 million dollars invested in facility improvements and upgrades. I am extremely proud of all that’s been accomplished, so that the fairgrounds may continue to serve its many customers for many years to come. In addition to the many improvements made to the fairgrounds during my tenure, I’m also proud to say that, from a financial standpoint, the Association has never been in better shape, with an expected 2012 year-end reserve of nearly $490,000, or approximately 35% of operating expenditures. Most rewarding, however, has been the literally hundreds of people with whom I’ve had the privilege of working over the years, a list which is far too lengthy to mention here. And, of course, there’s the unique opportunity about being a part of the annual Humboldt County Fair that goes beyond the numbers and which cannot be captured or expressed in words. While I am extremely disappointed in the decision of the majority of the Board of Directors not to renew my employment contract at the end of February, my heart will always be with the Humboldt County Fair and I wish only the best for its future. In November, I received a positive response from the Executive Committee and full Board on my performance evaluation and our 2012 Goals and Objectives. Our most recent financial audit for the year 2011 also received a positive review, indicating once again that staff had done an admirable job accounting for public funds. And the proposed budget for 2013 shows a very healthy beginning operating reserve of 35%, with a year-end projection of about 36%. Our financial turnaround over the past four years has been nothing short of remarkable. But the board’s decision had nothing to do with my job performance. Instead, it’s clear that the basis for the majority vote not to renew my contract goes back to a meeting of the Executive Committee on April 30 of last year. At that meeting, I was told that certain board members felt threatened whenever I reminded them that they had to follow the Brown Act, as well as my decision to electronically record meetings of the Association. Lastly, I was informed that, as the silent partner of the Ferndale Enterprise, I should ensure that board members be “made not to look bad” in any stories which appear in the weekly publication. To accentuate these points, a certain member of the committee informed me that if I failed to take them into account, it could cost me votes when it came time for my contract to be renewed."