Thursday night Farmers’ Market talks fail; city council called back in

May 17, 2010

A special San Luis Obispo City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. to determine why on-going negotiations between the San Luis Obispo County Farmers’ Market Association (SLOFMA) and the Downtown Association have apparently failed.

The meeting, open to the public, will be held in the City Council Chambers, 990 Palm Street.

Both organizations have participated in private talks, including mediation, since last receiving direction from the City Council on Feb. 2. The hope was to smooth out a plan where operation of the farmers’ portion of the Thursday Night Promotions could be returned to the SLOFMA.

Observers say that discussions stalled weeks ago and efforts to restart them have been unsuccessful.

“We have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting,” Arroyo Grande farmer Phillip Langston said Monday night. “We’ve tried just about everything, but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere.”

The controversy stems from a surprise move by the Downtown Association last January to terminate its relationship with SLOFMA and assume control of the Thursday night Farmers’ Market.

The SLOFMA had operated the popular events for more than 26 years.

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I heard our local radio channel the crush do an interview with a lady in Auburn California. They were asking her about the farmers market they had. As I listened I smiled, shook my head and thought outload, “I like that idea! That is how it should be here!” What she was saying about how Auburns downtown farmers market has ran for many years, and NO CHANGES, was it was all LOCAL. Everyone and everything was local. The furthust farmer or person who had a booth was only 12 miles away. They had produce, crafts, pies, jellies, whatever was brought in was strictly local. If anyone came to the market outside of the 12 miles were buyers and tourist. They don’t have any future plans of ever allowing things to change. Its been this way for years. Everyone is happy, nobody complains to make acceptions and change the rules. What it does is keep outsiders from coming into and taking profits from the local businesses and farmers and others who look forward to making some extra money. AND, it doesn’t end up hurting local business to the point we see here in SLO where after time it runs out our locals, hurts our local business owners. They have a HUGE support network to not allow that to happen which I over the years have seen here. Its nearly impossible to start a new business here let alone keep one prosperous. Our downtown association shows me and many others I talk to absolutely NO support. They don’t make any effort to let anything good happen downtown. How about the downtown criterium? They do nothing but complain, they make it expensive on overhead and demand all these unnecessary stipulations to where so much money goes out to the downtown association, among other things so that when its all over with the downtown criterium goes in the whole or barely breaks even. The DA doesn’t look at the positive of having the criterium here, how much business the store owners get. Do they look at it as a positive as in if the criterium wasn’t there drawing all those people they wouldn’t make all those extra sells? NO! They pick at everything so that they find something negative and go with that. So? They aren’t allowing the criterium this year. The best criterium scheduled all year which is all the cyclist favorites.

Which once again brings me to how they have to come in and take control of the Farmers Market which my family looks forward to once a year when they come to SLO.

DownTown Association, for once, get your noses out of it. Give it to the local farmers! For once, let our local people survive, make some money. What is the true hidden agenda behind this whole drama anyways?

first things first , this is as strait forward as i can ask in a open post to the slo chamber ….. who are the members of the downtown association and who is on their ruling body ? is there somewhere this is already posted or can this info be posted on the chamber site ? maybe someone at the trib or ccn could post it . let us first start with some transparency of who all the players are .

SLO Downtown Association:

thanks r.hodin but that site only gives the board members , i also wanted the actual downtown association members too . here is a post of mine from the trib earlier

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 .

NO ! NO ! NO ! I think the city council should not renew the contract with the downtown association .

The city council has lost all credibility with me , on one hand they do not want to pi$$ off their business friends ( that give them money and favors ) and on the other hand they do not want to lose actual votes .

Every person on the city council has talked about being a leader and/or leadership in their campaigns .

I do not see basically putting kids in a room with “personality” conflicts and saying work it out as leadership , do something or we will vote you ALL out , which is not a bad idea anyway .

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Let the SLOFMA take over and run the whole thing, the DTA is corrupt so can them.

If the city is reluctant to turn over the management of the Thursday night farmer’s market to the farmers and they do want to “detach” the DTA from that role, how about having the Parks and Recreation Department run the market?

Hey Bob, lets see a farmers market run by farmers what a concept.

If it were the Downtown Ass. Zoo they should have changed the name to reflect that change.

You can email the whole council at Let them know this is really dumb-support the farmers. The DTA is the creep here, and the city should fix this in favor of the farmers.

The whole essence of the thursday night event is the market where we can buy wholesome and local food.