All that stood between the Menominee County Fair potentially being moved to a seemingly better location was one county commissioner.

Gerald Piche — the Menominee County Board chairman — cast a no vote Tuesday to make the issue an action item. By doing so, the county may have blown a golden opportunity to have the fair moved from Shakey Lakes Park to a more convenient location.

Fair manager Eric Tickler isn’t happy. We don’t blame him.

Let’s back track: On Oct. 22, Tickler told county commissioners he would like the fair moved from Shakey Lakes Park to a property nearer to U.S. 41 in Stephenson. He did not disclose the exact location of the property, but he said it would be purchased by the Menominee Conservation District and then a lease could be drawn up that allows the county to host the fair one weekend a year and keep assets on the property year-round.

The fair manager said the lease would be for 100 years. He said if the county has its own fairgrounds, even it is leased, the fair board can apply for grants that it hasn’t been able to before because the fair’s current buildings are technically owned by Shakey Lakes.

Moreover, the county wouldn’t incur any costs. Tickler said there are other funding sources available — from private parties and community members.

At that October meeting, Tickler warned the board, “If you keep it (the fair) out at Shakey Lakes Park, I can guarantee you in 10 years you will not have a county fair.” He explained at its current location, the fair does not make enough revenue to sustain itself long term.

Statements like that from the person entrusted in managing the fair are eye-opening and cause for concern.

That brings us to this week’s meeting when the drive to move the fair hit a crater-sized pothole. Commissioners needed to vote unanimously to make the issue of relocating of the fair an action item. That motion failed because Piche voted no.

Tickler made it clear, he was simply looking for permission to move forward with the plan. Nothing was going to be decided Tuesday night.

“Before we signed a lease with anyone, we would come back and present it to you on paper with all the details,” Tickler said.

He emphasized that time was of the essence in order to secure $65,000 in private donations.

County Administrator Jason Carviou further explained that even if the board on Tuesday voted to support moving the fair it could deny such a move later if the lease wasn’t acceptable to the county.

Most commissioners seemed to understand explanations by the fair manager and the county administrator. All except one — Piche.

The veteran commissioner said he supports moving the fair, but he said there were “too many hang-ups” at this time.

What does that mean?

We don’t understand how one short-sighted commissioner can derail an entire plan that had the support of the fair manager, the county administrator and every other commissioner. Maybe that policy needs to be reviewed.

Piche should have voted yes and let this process play out. There was absolutely nothing to lose. Later on, if there is something he doesn’t agree with or questions, he could vote against the plan.

Tickler, in public comment, said he wants to express his displeasure in the county board for its decision.

We don’t blame him —– although in reality the entire board shouldn’t be blamed. It was one person — Piche — who prevented this topic from moving forward.

We are not saying the Menominee County Fair should be moved to a new location. But when the fair manager submits a plan that he believes will benefit the fair and the county, it should not be stonewalled in such a manner.