Contact: Steve Stagnaro
Direct Line 408-354-5145

December 8, 2011

Watsonville, CA – New and interesting opportunities have opened up prompting Santa Cruz County Fair Manager Michael Bethke to resign his position effective Monday, December 12, 2011.

Bethke explained "I was not planning on leaving this soon, but the timing seemed right so I'm going to move on to some fascinating new career and teaching adventures starting in January." Bethke wanted to stay on long enough to complete all of the environmental reports for the Watsonville Farmer's Market, which will now be available for the Board to approve and certify after December 19, 2011. Bethke has offered his services this next year as a pro bono planning consultant, working alongside the RCH Group, the Fair’s Master Plan consultants.

Board President Rob Marani noted that although the Fair struggled with many litigation issues and costs this past year, "Michael has done a commendable job in addressing and resolving the numerous legal challenges we were facing. I truly wish him well in his new endeavors."

The Fair Board of Directors has a previously scheduled a meeting set for next Tuesday, December 13, 2011, to address on going Fairground needs.

The Fairgrounds is home to the Santa Cruz County Fair which celebrates the rich agricultural history of our community and people, and invests heavily in bringing this heritage to our youth. The annual Fair is held the second week of September at the Fairgrounds located on Highway 152 just east of Watsonville. Information on the Fair, and the Fairgrounds - a year round entertainment and event venue, can be found at

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