Setting the Record Straight
In past elections our candidates, for the most part, run positive campaigns that highlight their achievements instead of bashing other candidates. This time it is different and after reading the most recent mailers that have gone out with misleading and factually WRONG information about Dave Potter’s role in Monterey Downs, I felt compelled to set the record straight. I have sat on the Board of Directors of the Monterey Horse Park from its inception in 2003 so I was there and I know the true facts.
- Monterey Horse Park was formed by local equestrians to build the “high-quality equestrian center” that was designated in the Fort Ord Base Reuse Plan as one of its desired public recreational facilities.
- Monterey Horse Park was granted an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (“ENA”) with the County to process the entitlements for the Horse Park and was included in San Francisco’s 2012 Olympic Bid, with the goal of being the equestrian facility for the Olympics.
- When San Francisco was not awarded the Olympics, a new vision was needed so that the dream of having a high-quality equestrian center on former Fort Ord was not lost. At the same time, the County was worried that without the Olympics, the Horse Park may not be economically feasible and wanted an independent analysis of the project.
- Brian Boudreau was in front of the California Coastal Commission for more than 8 years trying to get permits to rebuild his horse farm after it burned down in a fire. He met with as many commissioners as possible in order to tell them his story. This process, known as ex parte communications, is available to all applicants and most take advantage of this opportunity to tell their side of the story instead of relying solely on a staff report to do it for them. The last mailer I saw said Potter admitted to privately meeting with Brian regarding his Coastal Commission application but that was an attempt to mislead readers into thinking something nefarious was going on rather than a standard meeting most commissioners and applicants have on all projects before the Coastal Commission.
- Dave Potter has always supported the idea (although not any specific design) of the Monterey Horse Park because, as he has told us, he feels it is important to honor the extensive cavalry history of former Fort Ord. He met with us and asked us to meet with Brian just so Brian could take a look at our project and see if he could help us.
- Starting in 2008, we met with Brian many times over many months and there was never a discussion of a racetrack or housing or anything specific other than the continuation of the horse park. He was not brought to us to build a track, but rather review and see if a non-profit horse park was possible.
- The Board of Directors, including myself and Doc Etienne, voted to bring Brian on as a director and even assign its ENA with the County over to Monterey Downs. With Brian and his team’s experience, we felt we found our answer to making the horse park a reality now that we did not have the Olympics.
- The Horse Park became a part of the bigger Monterey Downs project because one requirement of the County was that the entire project be economically feasible. Because the Horse Park is a non-profit, we needed other components to make a complete project that made everyone comfortable. We are now a separate entity that has partnered with Monterey Downs to get our approvals and build our facility.
- Did Dave Potter introduce Brian to our Board? Yes. But it was simply to ask a horse guy with development experience to look at a project to see how to help. At the time there was no track, no housing and in fact, no Monterey Downs company. Any statement to the contrary is simply untrue. I was there.
Thank you, and please remember to vote on Tuesday.
Tim Eastman, DVM, MPVM, ACVS
Director, Monterey Horse Park, 2003-Present
We’ve had many questions regarding the recent Monterey Downs events. Primarily, “how does this effect the Monterey Horse Park?”
The short answer is that we’re not sure. We know that, in the face of law suits by KFOW and Landwatch, the City of Seaside decided to rescind their approvals of the General Plan and Specific Plan, to de-certify the EIR, and to send the projects back to the Seaside Planning Commission for modifications.
Thursday was a huge step toward our dream of a Horse Park. The Seaside City Council certified the EIR. They also approved the Specific Plan and the General Plan, which will require a second vote November 17.
Over the past 20 years, horse parks in other Western States have contributed greatly to their communities. There is much more information regarding the economic impact of horse parks on local communities. Soon let’s be reading about the impact of the Monterey Horse Park on Seaside!
For anyone who has participated in a horse show, be it at the national, state or local level, there is no doubt that these activities generate a lot of money. The American Horse Council’s Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States study includes some impressive statistics that confirm the significant impact of the horse show industry.
Home to more equine events than any other city in the world, Oklahoma City is the venue of choice for more than a dozen top national and world championship horse shows, attracting riders from across the nation – and world – each year.
Not only do Oklahoma City horse shows provide family fun entertainment, they make a substantial contribution to the city’s economy.
Horse Shows in the Sun, Inc. is pleased to release the results of an extensive economic impact study of their 2014 horse show series held each January – March at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida.
Horse Shows in the Sun located in Thermal, CA is a seasonal venue offering a series of 8 horse shows each winter. Each week brings 3000 horses, 10,500 horsemen and horsewomen and 25,000 spectators to Thermal. Most importantly, $120,000,000 is added annually to the local economy in money spent on food, lodging, living expenses and entertainment. Imagine what a year round facility such as the Monterey Horse Park could bring in!
This Thursday, November 10, the EIR Certification will once again come before the Seaside City Council and this time we hope there will be a vote.
Thursday night’s Seaside City Council meeting was well attended by numerous MHP supporters and board members. A number of persons from the hospitality industry, real estate, and chambers of commerce spoke in favor of the three projects, as well as private citizens of Seaside. The Mayor and Council were forced to continue the meeting to November 10 due to a last minute legal submission of a multiple page document, but we remain optimistic and will keep you informed.
FIRST ROUND OF COUNCIL VOTES. We need every Horse Park supporter to demonstrate their support! Click through to RSVP or send a supportive email.