Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday appointed to the Orange County Fair Board an attorney who worked to stop the proposed sale of the fairgrounds and a businessman whose company provided trash service to Newport Beach.
Attorney Ashleigh Aitken, 36, a Democrat from Anaheim, and businessman Stan Tkaczyk, 66, a Republican from Newport Beach, were appointed to replace Dale Dykema and Gary Hayakawa, who have been serving on the nine-member board since 2004.
They are scheduled to be sworn into their unpaid positions prior to the Fair Board’s March 22 meeting.
Aitken is a former assistant U.S. attorney and current counsel at Aitken, Aitken & Cohn, according to the announcement from Brown’s office. Aitken, the daughter of prominent attorney Wylie Aitken, was a member of the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society, which sued to block the proposed sale of the property to private investors.
Aitken said she is a longtime equine and agricultural advocate who takes her children to the annual fair. She said she is hoping to utilize the fairground’s resources to create programs that would benefit the community.
Tkaczyk is the former president of Rainbow Disposal Co. and is a member of the Benefactor Program at the Hoag Hospital Foundation. The husband of Orange County Register columnist Barbara Venezia, he said that one of his wife’s columns piqued his interest in the position.
“I grew up in Orange County, and the fair’s been something very special to me,” Tkaczyk said.
Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Anaheim), who was active in the fight to block the sale of the fairgrounds, praised Brown’s appointments.
“Apparently the governor sees the same qualities in these two outstanding citizens that I do,” he said in a statement. "... I look forward to working with Ashleigh and Stan in their new capacity to make sure the OC Fairgrounds preserves its long tradition of outstanding programs and services for the entire community.”