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Solana Beach city councilmembers gathered in council chambers on Thanksgiving eve expecting to review the response from Del Mar councilmembers about their proposal for both cities to combine efforts and buy the Del Mar Fairgrounds from the State of California.

That morning, David Ott, Solana Beach City Manager, received an email from Del Mar's city officials saying that the councilmembers needed more time to review the proposal and that they will meet in a closed-session meeting on December 1 to go over the offer.

Transferring ownership of the fairgrounds from the state to Del Mar has been a contentious issue locally and at the state level.

In October, state legislators battled over a bill introduced by Senator Christine Kehoe to sell the 350-acre fairgrounds to the city of Del Mar. The bill was later pulled so that amendments could be made.

During the following weeks, city officials and Del Mar's city councilmembers drafted a proposal to purchase the fairgrounds for $120 million and began negotiations with the Governor's office.

Since then, all parties had been communicating behind closed doors, until last week when Solana Beach officials submitted a proposal to Del Mar for dual ownership of the fairgrounds.

San Diego's state legislators continue to jockey for position. During the Solana Beach November 24 special meeting, resident Steve Ostrow commented on a survey conducted by an opponent of the plan, assemblyman Martin Garrick from North County.

"This week I received a survey from Martin Garrick's office. It's insulting that such a document coming from an assemblyman could be so biased," said Ostrow.

Councilmember David Roberts asked Ostrow if the document indicated who paid for the mailing.

"I think it was paid for by public funds," answered Ostrow.

Mayor Tom Campbell commented on Garrick's survey: "We share your concerns, and we are looking into that."

Solana Beach city councilmembers plan to conduct a meeting next week to review Del Mar's response to their proposal.

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