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Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman: State Fair Board Will Continue

Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman: State Fair Board Will Continue
Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacey says rumors about eliminating state fair board aren't true.

Indiana State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy, Indianapolis, today emphatically put to rest rumors that the Indiana State Fair Board will be phased out after the conclusion of the 2014 Indiana State Fair.

Rumors were circulating over the past several days that the duties of the Indiana State Fair Board would be greatly reduced.  Some rumors also indicated the state fair board would be phased out.

With Indiana State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye at his side, Lacy told Indiana Prairie Farmer today that as far as eliminating the state fair board goes, the rumors are unfounded.

"We don't need these rumors going around," he insists. "Nothing could be farther from the truth."

State Fair continues: Indiana State Fair Executive Director Cindy Hoye, at the podium, voiced support for both the Indiana State Fair Commission and the Indiana State Fair Board during opening ceremonies August 1. Indiana Governor Mike Pence was next the podium (left), as was Andre Lacy, chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission (next to podium on the right). Indiana State Fair Board members were also on stage.

Lacy insists that the Indiana State Fair Board is an important body for the state fair. At one time the Indiana State Fair Board was the sole body governing operation of the fair and the fairgrounds itself. The Indiana State fair Commission was created many years ago, and charged with overseeing the facilities year round. All members are appointed by the governor.

The Indiana State Fair Board since that time has been responsible for operating the actual Indiana State Fair itself. Half the members are appointed by the governor, and half are elected by agricultural groups in districts across the state. The terms for elected directors are staggered.

Related: 2014 Indiana State Fair Open for Business!

This year Stan Poe's position is up for election in District 4. Poe, Franklin, currently vice president of the Board, would be eligible for another term, but he has not indicated if he will seek reelection.

Elections are handled by the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. Ted McKinney, director of ISDA, says the election for District 4 will occur this fall.

McKinney agrees that the rumors about the fair board being phased out are not true. "The Board performs a very important function in terms of putting on the fair," he notes.

What McKinney did say, however, is that some changes in how the Indiana State Fair Board operates may occur. The Indiana Attorney General issued an opinion earlier this summer stating that in terms of liability, it's unclear whether the Fair Board directors, who are considered quasi-employees during the fair, although they are not paid, would be covered by the state fair's liability policy. Each director is currently in charge of a specific department or activity during the fair.

McKinney says it will be up to the Indiana State Fair Board itself to decide what changes it should make. Also talking to Indiana Prairie Farmer today, he emphasized that the intent is for the Indiana State Fair Board to come up with a plan for how the Board can operate and stay within the guidelines of the attorney general's opinion. It's for the protection of everyone, including the directors, Mc Kinney concludes.

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