DEL MAR — The nine-member panel that governs the Del Mar Fairgrounds is once again down a director following the Oct. 1 resignation of Ruben Barrales.
“After seven years on the Board, I must now focus more of my time and efforts on my other professional and community endeavors, and allow others to bring their talents to the board,” Barrales wrote in a letter read by board President Fred Schenk at the Oct. 14 meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association board of directors.
Barrales was appointed by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007 to complete the term of a Poway defense contractor who resigned. He was reappointed the following year and continued to serve after his term expired in 2012.
Barrales was the deputy assistant to President George W. Bush and director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
He also served as president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and is currently president and CEO of GROW Elect, a political action committee that recruits, endorses, trains and funds Latino Republican candidates for public office.
“It has been a privilege to be a member of the Board of Directors,” Barrales stated in his resignation letter. “I am proud of our collective accomplishments, and I appreciate the hard work and dedication provided by the professional staff at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.”
Schenk said it was an “honor and a pleasure” to serve with Barrales and he was very appreciative of the “time, effort, energy and input he brought to the board.”
Unfortunately, we’re down to eight members, Schenk said.
When Kathlyn Mead was added to the panel in June it was the first time in about two years that the board had a full slate of directors.
Members are appointed by the governor to four-year, unpaid terms. Although it is a nonpartisan group, current members are primarily Democrats.
Del Mar Mayor Lee Haydu, a Democrat, said she was asked by several people, including current 22nd DAA directors and state Assembly leader Toni Atkins, to add her name to the list of potential appointees.
Last month the Del Mar City Council approved a letter to Brown’s deputy appointments secretary supporting Haydu’s appointment to the board. In a special meeting that followed a regularly scheduled meeting, Solana Beach council members agreed to submit a similar letter to the governor’s office.
If Haydu is appointed, it likely won’t be until after her term on council ends in December. At one point, current Councilman Don Mosier applied for a position on the 22nd DAA board but said he was told serving on the two agencies would be a conflict of interest.