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Will there be a racing season at the fairgrounds this year?

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

What started out as a comment during open session became a topic later in the day during a closed session.

As is customary at the beginning of every Plumas County Board of Supervisors meeting, the public is invited to comment. The caveat is that the supervisors can’t respond because the items aren’t on the agenda.

There was no exception during the Feb. 21 meeting of the board when Curt Nieman, who is a race car promoter and has run the American Valley Speedway at the county fairgrounds, told the supervisors that his contract has not been renewed.

His remarks were followed by fair board member Kenny Chance who was concerned about how the fair board meetings are scheduled and canceled by the fair manager, John Steffanic. Chance said he was bringing the matter to the supervisors because he wanted to “make it publicly recorded that we have concerns about how things are being handled at the fairgrounds.”

County Administrative Officer Debra Lucero said that it sounded like the car race issue should be addressed in closed session since it involved a contract and suggested it be put on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting, March 7. However, Nieman said that would be too late, as another race is scheduled prior to that date.

County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr said if it could be deemed an urgency item, it could be added to the Feb. 21 agenda as a closed session item, which is what occurred.

Closed session discussions aren’t reported, but if any action is taken, it is reported to the public. According to the Clerk to the Board, no action was taken during the Feb. 21 closed session. So what happens next?

When reached for comment after the meeting, District 4 Supervisor Greg Hagwood, who represents the fairgrounds area, said he couldn’t address any specifics of what was discussed during closed session, but could say, that he was “very confident that Plumas County will experience a full and enjoyable racing season at the American Valley Speedway.”

As for remarks made by fair board member Kenny Chance, Hagwood could only say that the fair board is an advisory board to the fair manager on matters related to the fair.

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