Thursday, 02 February 2023

Council gives final no to BoardStock

LAKEPORT – BoardStock is not coming to the city of Lakeport.


That was the final word from the City Council Tuesday night, following a third public meeting on the subject.


The council's unanimous decision at the end of Tuesday night's meeting effectively put an end to more than two months of discussion about bringing the extreme sporting event to Lakeport.


BoardStock promoter Rob Stimmel and Lakeport businessman Ron Campos had approached the city about hosting BoardStock after Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa decided in February not to host the event for a third year, citing problems with underage drinking.


Stimmel, who wasn't present for the meeting, said previously he believed his event was being blamed unfairly for Konocti Harbor's security and alcohol policies.


Earlier this month, Stimmel began negotiations with Konocti Vista Casino for locating BoardStock there in September rather than the original August dates.


Concerns about the event being located there but still drawing on Lakeport's police and fire resources, with no reimbursement agreements, got the discussions going with the city again. Campos recounted Tuesday that Mayor Roy Parmentier approached him after they began negotiations with Konocti Vista.


About 30 people attended the meeting, which was smaller than past gatherings. Rather than being more evenly split, the people who spoke seemed overwhelmingly opposed to BoardStock.


Lakeport resident Nancy Thornton said she left her daughter's softball game early to come and address the issue, which she said she feels strongly about.


"My big concern is the underage drinking," said Thornton, noting that people will find a way to bring in alcohol, despite the fact it would be advertised as an alcohol-free event.


"We need to do family and environmentally friendly events," said Thornton, citing the recent bass tournaments as an example.


"I think we need to promote a classy town," she added. "We have a classy town. We don't need to bring in this element."


Suzanne Lyons of Lakeport said she had a concern that the potential damage to the town's reputation could far outweigh any financial benefits.


George Smith, a 40-year Lakeport resident and retired math teacher, said it's often people coming from outside the community who cause problems at such events. As examples, he recalled the riots at Chico State's Pioneer Days in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and problems at the Stonyford Rodeo.


"I just picture something very similar with BoardStock," Smith said.


John Norcio, owner of Lakeport's McDonald's, said he wouldn't speak either for or against the event. However, he asked the council to be sure any contract they might sign be sufficient to cover their expenses. Norcio also was concerned that the city "still might be on the hook" for police and fire costs if Konocti Vista Casino hosts the event.


Not having control or access to reimbursement was a concern repeated throughout the meeting by Parmentier.


Officials said during the meeting that Stimmel had offered to give the city $40,000 to cover police and fire costs.


Elaine Jolin of Lakeport asked about whether it was better to have BoardStock hosted by the city or the casino.


"It's really a team effort to cover BoardStock," said Police Chief Kevin Burke, who explained that wherever the event is held police, the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the California Highway Patrol will be covering it.


Burke said it's hard to anticipate what the event would be like, because it's never been at Lakeport or Konocti Vista before. Later in the meeting, he ventured the event would be similar to how it was in the city of Stockton, where there was little problem within the city, but rather outside of its limits.


Alcohol was the major factor, said Burke, when it was at Konocti Harbor. "At Konocti, they made very little effort at all to control alcohol the last time it was held," Burke said.


As to concerns about tribal jurisdiction, Konocti Vista is private property, but Burke said he anticipated them asking for additional coverage.


"Most of the problems associated with BoardStock occur at the location where the event takes place," said Burke.


Despite assurance from Campos that security money would be paid, other objections couldn't be overcome, such as Councilman Buzz Bruns' assertion that the lake, which is already low, would be much lower during the suggested September dates.


Councilmembers also noted receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback from city residents when it came to hosting the event.


Councilman Bob Rumfelt said he worked with Konocti on security during previous BoardStocks. The event itself, he said, wasn't the problem, but the issues that came with it were.


Parmentier maintained, "If we have it here, at least we'll get paid for it."


No one at the meeting could say for certain if Stimmel already had signed a contract with Konocti Vista, including Campos, who said he was the one who first took the idea to Konocti Vista. Bertsch said he spoke with the casino, where they would only say their lawyers were exploring it.


Councilman Jim Irwin said he liked the idea of having the event in Lakeport to try to maintain control.


"With that said, I'm not comfortable at all with this contract that we have," he said.


Ultimately, the council came back to its previous stance and voted unanimously to decline the event coming to Lakeport.


In other council news from Tuesday, the council approved an employment contract with new city manager Jerry Gillham as part of its consent agenda.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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