I have been following the Events Center debate for years. But not until the recent final push to name the place after Sanford do the puzzle pieces come into place.
While we can all sit around and wonder if Sanford’s name was going to be on this place all along, I want to share these tidbits with you. You can draw your own conclusions . . .
Did you know that there was a get-out-the-vote (secret) committee within Sanford? Some of the member’s may or may not have included Dave and De Knudson, councilor (former) chair Sue Aguliar, Sanford volunteer coordinator Nona Bixler, wife of David Bixler, financial and budget analyst for the SF city council. It is also assumed that councilor Jim Entenman was involved since he sits on the Sanford board of trustees.
It is also very peculiar that the SF finance department’s director, Tracy Turbak, was in charge of the EC election. Municipal elections are typically handled by the city clerk. In light of the fact that former city clerk, Debra Owen was terminated right before the election it makes it even more peculiar. Especially when you consider that former county auditor (an expert of local elections) was named interim city clerk after Owen left, and she wasn’t asked to run the election. Why?
Having a secret get-out-the-vote committee isn’t that big of deal, actually I commend their efforts, though I disagree with what they were selling the public.
What makes it a big deal is that these same people are dictating whose name gets to be on the side of the building. Dave Knudson, VP and chief legal advisor to Sanford wrote the naming rights contract based on a series of ‘supposed’ secret meetings with a secret committee which might have been comprised of the same people that sat on the secret get-out-the-vote committee.
But as councilor Tex Golfing said in the recent EC contract working session, “There is a difference between ‘secret‘ meetings and ‘private’ meetings. These were ‘private’ meetings.”
The smoke couldn’t get any thicker.