Del Mar Fairgrounds Chief Defies Furlough Order - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Del Mar Fairgrounds Chief Defies Furlough Order

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Employees at the state-run Del Mar Fairgrounds are ignoring Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's order to stay home two days a month without pay to save California some cash.

Fairgrounds chief executive Tim Fennell notified his employees in a Feb. 4 e-mail that he would not enforce the governor's furlough order, saying he needs his full staff to operate the facility, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

The furloughs, which went into effect this month, affects all state employees and represents a 9.2 percent salary cut for the average worker.

Schwarzenegger said it would help bridge the state's $42 billion deficit.

The Del Mar Fairgrounds employs 175 full-time workers and 200 to 1,800 part-time workers, depending on the event schedule.

In his e-mail, Fennell wrote that ``imposing the Furlough Program would negatively impact our ability to host and produce events, resulting in less tax revenue, less jobs and less economic impact to the state,'' the Union-Tribune reported.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture overseas all of the state's fairgrounds. Department spokesman Mike Jarvis declined to say whether there would be any consequence to Fennell's decision.

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