If you want to ask a question of the Kosciusko County Fair Board, you’ll have to put it in writing two days before their executive committee meets to find out if they’ll discuss it or not.

This was the new policy set Monday night at the fair board meeting that goes into effect immediately, per Fair Board President Shane Checketts.

Checketts said the fair board is actually “only governed by the Robert’s Rules of Order, so we don’t have to discuss anything that’s not on the agenda.” Checketts also said they don’t publish the agenda, nor do they hand out an agenda to people who attend the meeting, and, as of now, they don’t plan to.

Those who attend fair board meetings will be able to ask questions or air concerns about the topics on the agenda during the meeting, but will be required to stay on topic and not go on too long. Checketts said part of this new rule is to avoid “long conversations” about topics that the fair board could be “blindsided by” or “unprepared to answer.”

Checketts said anyone who wishes to discuss a topic or has a question will need to do so in writing through the fair office, and an email will suffice. He later said though that someone can “call the fair office, as long as someone who answers the phone has the ability to write it down.”

Checketts also said that when someone puts a topic or question in writing for consideration to be voted on by the executive committee that they “shouldn’t be cryptic.” Meaning, he said, “don’t just say I have a few questions I want to ask. You guys want transparency from us, and we expect it from you, too.”

Late last year, Checketts – as a board member – encouraged the public to attend the fair board’s meetings to discuss their concerns, ask questions and suggest ideas. When asked by the Times-Union why now he seems to be reversing that stance, Checketts reiterated it’s to give the fair board time to decide if that topic should be aired in the public meeting, given the time by the board in the public setting, to control the length of discussion and to allow the fair board to be prepared.

When asked by the Times-Union how someone who wants to submit a topic or question will know if their topic or question made the agenda, Checketts said someone from the executive committee will tell them personally. When asked how anyone who wants to attend the fair board meetings could know what’s on the agenda to be discussed at a meeting so they could plan to attend and ask questions about those items, or if they would want to submit a topic for consideration for the next meeting’s agenda, Checketts simply said, “just come to the meetings.” He said people will know well enough what’s on the agenda because he reads through it.

An association member present at Monday’s board meeting suggested to Checketts that he provide a copy of the agenda on each table during the board meetings so people can see it and follow along. Checketts said they could consider that but the fair board doesn’t have to.

Checketts also told the Times-Union that he won’t publish the agenda because he doesn’t have an outlet to do so and that he “won’t put it on social media.” When asked why not the fair website, he again cited he doesn’t have to.

Also during Monday’s meeting, no monthly financial update was given because board treasurer Sheal Dirck was absent due to a medical issue.

When asked by the Times-Union about the pending motorized racing lawsuit between neighboring homeowners and the fair, former board president Kevin Harris said the fair still plans to continue with an appeal, although no such appeal has yet been filed, according to court records. Harris also said the board was unaware about a possible Board of Zoning Appeals process that could prevent them from racing on the grounds, even if they were to win their lawsuit.

The board also:

• Announced a pulled pork fundraiser is scheduled for March 13 and 14 in the Home and Family Arts Center building. Volunteers will sell the pork March 14 starting at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. or sold out. Cost is $9 per meal and will include cole slaw and baked beans, and pulled pork will also be available to buy by the pound for $9 per pound. Harris said in 2019 they cooked down 500 pounds of pork butts and made $2,200. This year they’re planning on cooking 750 pounds of pork butts and hope to generate $5,000.

• Said spots are available for anyone to serve on the long-range plan committee. Those spots are open to the public.

• Will vote on their top five themes for this year’s fair as submitted by 72 people through the fair’s Facebook page. The top three themes will be put up on the Facebook page this week for the community to vote on to pick this year’s theme.

The fair board meets at 7 p.m. the second Monday of the month. Anyone with questions will need to contact the fair office at 574-269-1823.