Editorial: Yavapai College should make track decision

David Brinkley is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring motorsports back to the region at Chino Valley’s Old Home Manor. Yavapai College specifically asked for the right to refuse any motorsports facility near its Chino Valley campus when it negotiated its own lease.

The Town of Chino Valley has sent YC the outline of a proposed lease agreement with Brinkley for a motorsports track less than one-half mile from the YC Agribusiness and Science Technology campus.

The Yavapai College District Governing Board has every right to say no. They also have every right to look over the lease agreement and say this will work or this won’t (which is what the town and Brinkley are asking for).

And, technically, they have every right to ignore it, but they shouldn’t.

The YC District Governing Board did not include the proposed lease agreement on its November agenda, nor was it on its plate for the Tuesday, Jan. 10 meeting. There might be a logical reason for that, say because they didn’t meet in December and they had too much to deal with to add something that might be controversial. There were 41 items listed on the DGB agenda for Tuesday, more than is typical.

But the fact that school officials aren’t returning messages from reporters on the subject, and both Brinkley and town officials say they haven’t had an update, seems to indicate they intend to ignore the issue, because as Brinkley said, there is nothing compelling them to deal with it.

If the school rejects motorsports the District Governing Board are the bad guys who will then have to deal with the anger of racing fans from Chino Valley, Prescott, Prescott Valley and Dewey who haven’t had a local track for nearly two years.

If they approve it, the anger will come from residents in neighborhoods close to the proposed facility, who are concerned about increased traffic, noise, dust and declining home values.

It’s a lose-lose proposition for the board, so ignoring the issue might seem the best option, especially if they don’t want the track next to the Chino campus.

However, they asked for this veto power. They owe it to everyone, the town, Brinkley, neighbors and racing fans to make a decision and then live with the consequences. If you’re not willing to do that, then you shouldn’t have asked for that power to begin with.

— Ken Sain, news editor

Contact Ken at ksain@prescottaz.com.