Downtown Association concedes to farmers

May 20, 2010

The Downtown Association agreed Thursday to allow the Farmers’ Market Association to manage the produce portion of the weekly Farmers Market in San Luis Obispo.

The Downtown Association unexpectedly seized control last January after more than 26 years of leadership by the farmers’ association. Supporters of the farmers asked the city council to intervene and restore power to the farmers.

The council voted to have both organizations work together with a mediator in the hope that they could work out an amicable plan.

Observers said that discussions stalled weeks ago and efforts to restart them had been unsuccessful.

On Tuesday, the City Council warned the Downtown Association that if they did not come to an agreement with the farmers’ association, they risked having their contract with the city canceled.

Management will now be returned to the farmers’ association pending approval by the county agricultural commissioner.

The agreement allows the Downtown Association to continue to manage the Thursday Night Promotions’ portion of the downtown event.

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Fact is that the merchants are paying for a lot more than any services realized from the DTA. In fact many say that the DTA is nothing but a drain on them. The merchants should be allowed to elect their own Association and direct whatever fees are necessary to pay for trash, barricades etc. They don’t need a group of over paid, city appointed, power freaks to pay a few bills for them. The FMA can organize the market place without the unneeded or unwelcome interference of the pesty DTA.

Most merchants pay $55/year. That alone is worth the overflow traffic from Downtown events, if you are savvy enough to use the traffic to your benefit. Again the FM VENDOR fees pay for the city services…not tax dollars.

And, the fact is, you actually CAN elect your own association. There are annual elections, the nominations for candidates are open to the entire membership. How many of those who don’t like the DTA have ever run? How many actually vote?

DTA meetings are public, anyone DTA member can run for the Board, any community member can sit on a committee. There is no city-appointed staff working for the DTA, the staff is hired by the Board.

If the FMA ran the market, the complainers would find something else to complain about. If you don’t like how the DTA operates, then get involved and be effective!

It used to be 55.00, now the amount is just under 250.00

Also the rates are stacked against smaller people, the bigger your gross, the less % you pay, startups and strugglers near the bottom pay the bigger percentage rate.

Where do you get your facts?

If you’d like to know who the DTA members are, go to your city business tax office. Members are ALL businesses bordered by Palm, Santa Rosa, Nipomo and Pismo Streets, defined by city law. It’s not a secret.

In regard to who pays what, FYI, the DTA pays the city directly for costs related to the market, including:

Barricades, and the labor to put them up and down

Trash collection and street cleaning



These are all paid for by the vendor fees. Fees which, historically, the Farmers Market Association complain about paying.

Look, I’m no fan of the DTA administrator, but if it weren’t for the DTA, there would not be a farmer’s market as you know it, it would not generate the tourist dollars that it does, and SLO would lose all that occupancy tax to Pismo and Morro Bay.

-Former Downtown Biz owner

i feel the city council should cancel it’s contract with the downtown association completely . at least look into the excess , wasteful amount of money the city subsidizes the downtown association with . here are just a few things to question .

– the trolly ( bought with grant money ) only runs a loop from the motels on monterey to higuera to marsh and back to monterey . it could go to the madonna inn , marigold etc but it doesn’t . the city (you and me)

pays for the place to park it , maintenance , insurance and the diver .

– the extra law enforcement for thursday night you guessed it the city pays

– the workers that put up the barriers and take them down that’s right the city pays

– there maybe some kind of insurance for the event guess who ?

– the extra garbage containers and collection the ….. cccccccity .

– please post anything else you can thing of .

we the tax payers of the city subsidizes the thursday night farmers market while the downtown association members reaps the benefits . like i said before the city council should cancel it’s contract with the downtown association completely and move the admin. part back to the city which could save or create a few job with benefits for a few people . i thoroughly enjoy thursday night farmers market and hope to in the future .

asthecrowphlies, it’s no secret: any business within the Downtown Business Improvement District (D-BID) MUST be a member of the Downtown Association.

The businesses are required to pay $.55 per $1000 in gross receipts. Believe me, there are MANY businesses downtown that want nothing to do with the Association or Cash, but what are we supposed to do? It’s a small town and an even smaller business community.

thanks SLOW i know what your saying i do a lot of business down town too..

earlier post

” Mz Cash should post the list of ALL the members of the Downtown Association . is there some rule in the

city charter that says PUBLIC associations contracted to the city can hide and lurk around in the darkness .

i’d like to know who these members are that the downtown associations represents . i have to believe there

are members that do not support what the downtown association is trying to do and of course i’d like to

know the ones on the other side , too . ”

i still think we should know who are the members of the downtown association .

Did you not read the post by “notaslosnob”?

The members of the Downtown Association are all the businesses in the downtown corridor. Hence the name. Walk around downtown, and wala – members.