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San Joaquin Fair manager Debbie Cook resigns

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Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 6:18 am, Thu Sep 23, 2010.

Debbie Cook, who has spent 23 years with the San Joaquin Fair, has resigned. Her last day was Sept. 15.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and this fair for 23,” Cook said. “It was just time.”

She was deputy manager for 19 years before taking over the top position in January 2009.

While dealing with Cook’s departure, the board is looking at the possibility of moving the fair date from June to August beginning in 2012, according to Mitch Slater, a Lodi resident who serves on the fair board. The move could be made now that the California State Fair has moved its fair dates from August to July, Slater said.

However, the determining factor, he said, would be whether the California Horse Racing Board sets the racing dates.

Cook, who lives in Stockton, said she has no specific plans except to spend more time with her daughter, volunteer at the elementary school her daughter used to attend and get some rest.

“What I officially did was resign,” Cook said. “I have enough vacation time to last me a couple or three months. If I don’t find anything, I will collect retirement. I’m old enough to retire.”

The fair board will have a special meeting at 1 p.m. Friday at the Stockton fairgrounds administrative office, 1658 S. Airport Way.

The board will be deliberate and take some time to hire Cook’s successor, Slater said.

When asked what she considered her major accomplishments, Cook said, “Oh I don’t know. I never thought about it.”

Upon reflection, Cook said she is proud that food concessionaires frequently complimented her about how easy and helpful the fair staff was when setting up their stands for the fair each year.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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