We hope you enjoyed our little April Fools joke. But keep in mind, this joke could become a reality if we don’t act! So, please visit the Saturday morning farmers’ market (2nd and Wall) and sign the petition!
Here are some other ways you can help:
Write a letter:
Write a letter to the editor in support of the market!
Enterprise Record: email@example.com
April 11 at the Rendezvous. Farmers’ market dinner followed by music by Steve Cook. Please view event details here. Tickets will be for sale via the event page (previous link), at the Saturday market, and at the FFM office during week. Please email us with any questions.
Collect Petition Signatures:
Pick up a petition at office 9AM – 12 Noon, M-F, at 333 Main St., #6 (upstairs). Collect ten signatures of friends and neighbors! We’re half-way there, let’s get this done!
Make checks out to Friends of Farmers’ Market and mail to:
PO Box 5281, Chico, CA 95927
Or contribute via credit card/Paypal here, or come by the table Saturday at the market. Please be generous, $35, or $50, or $100 will make a huge difference.
Call (530) 487-7085or write firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by office, or visit the FFM table at the market. We need you to do a two-hour shift 8:30-10:30 and 10:30-12:30 Saturday, or collect ten signatures from your friends and neighbors. We also need help mornings M-F at office.
THE EVICTION HAS BEEN MOVED UP! Following an emergency closed session meeting of the Chico City Council, in a vote of 4-3, the Saturday Morning Downtown Chico Farmers Market has been CANCELED, effective at the end of the Month. April 31, 2014 will be the last day of the CCFM franchise agreement!
The LAST MARKET in the Parking Lot at 2nd St. & Wall St. will be held Saturday April, 26th, 2014 from 7:30am-1:00pm
The Saturday Morning Farmers Market has been CANCELED INDEFINITELY. An alternative location has not been offered. It is unknown at this time if the CCFM will relocate the market.
This has been a test of the emergency APRIL FOOLS alert system. Had this been an actual emergency it would be December 1, 2014, and the Market WOULD BE CANCELED at the end of the month.
The City Attorney has confirmed that the City is evicting the Farmers Market later this year (effective December 31, 2014) and that’s why our Chico supporters are circulating the initiative for the November 4th ballot to extend our Lease for 6 years
A fundraising dinner is being held on the Markets behalf on April 11th at The Rendezvous (see the attached flyer). PLEASE HELP SAVE THE MARKET, SUPPORT THE INITIATIVE, SIGN THE PETITION, and GET YOUR SEAT NOW for the benefit Dinner and Concert!
Please join this event on Facebook.
Chico city officials attacked the validity of the Farmers’ Market Initiative last week. It appears that outside interests with inside connections are pressuring the council members behind the scenes. A lawsuit would cost the taxpayers of Chico tens of thousands of dollars. The Council rejected the lawyer’s opinion, and took no action.
For a hundred years, the people of California have had the rights of the Initiative, Referendum and Recall. The initiative will qualify and be on the November ballot.
So please don’t heed the “SCARE” tactics.
Letter Campaign! The market needs your help today. Write a letter to the editor in support of the market!
Enterprise Record: email@example.com
More ways to help:
FUNDRAISER: April 11 at the Rendezvous. Farmers’ market dinner followed by music by Steve Cook. Please email or call for more information. Tickets will be for sale at Saturday market and at the FFM office during week.
PETITIONS: Pick up a petition at office 9AM – 12 Noon, M-F, at 333 Main St., #6 (upstairs). Collect ten signatures of friends and neighbors!We’re half-way there, let’s get this done!
CONTRIBUTE: Make checks out to Friends of Farmers’ Market and mail to PO Box 5281, or go to PayPal at www.chicoffm.com, or come by the table Saturday at the market.Please be generous, $35, or $50, or $100 will make a huge difference.
VOLUNTEER: Call (530) 487-7085or write firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by office, or at table at the Market. We need you to do a two-hour shift 8:30-10:30 and 10:30-12:30 Saturday, or collect ten signatures from your friends and neighbors. We also need help mornings M-F at office.
Join us April 11, 2014 for a benefit for Chico’s longest running farmers market! Proceeds will help to keep the market thriving at its current location, as it has been for the last 21 years!
This event features a three course menu prepared by chef Nathan Johnson of The Kitchen Table. After dinner, guests are invited to dance to the music of Steven Cook and Friends.
As many Chico farmers’ market supporters know, the Friends of the Farmers’ Market has filed a ballot initiative that would put the future of the Saturday morning farmers’ market in the hands of the voters via the November election. A recent news story has quoted a city official attacking the validity of this Farmers’ Market initiative. To address this claim, the Friends of the Farmers’ Market has issued the following public response:
City attorneys do not represent the voters of the city. It appears that outside interests with inside connections are pressuring the council members behind the scenes. This lawsuit would cost the taxpayers of Chico tens of thousands of dollars. For 100 years the people of CA have had the rights of the Initiative, the Referendum & the Recall. The initiative will qualify and be on the November ballot.
We appreciate all of your support in our fight to keep our city’s Saturday morning farmers’ market thriving in its current location.
I’m writing because I am concerned about our initiative campaign and also about a legal challenge by the City of Chico.
We have about twelve to fifteen great volunteers who have collected nearly 2,000 of the 7,000 signatures we need (Thank You if you are one of them!). But there are several thousand supporters who have not responded. This is what we need:
I’m also worried about a legal challenge. The City Council will decide in closed session Tuesday night March 25 at 5:30pm whether to go to court to stop the petition drive. It appears that outside interests with inside connections are pressuring the council members. This lawsuit would cost the taxpayers of Chico tens of thousands of dollars to pursue. We are hopeful that a majority will take no action.
While we have confidence that the peoples’ rights will prevail in any legal proceeding and are prepared to vigorously contest any suit that might be brought, a legal defense will not be cheap. We need to raise $5,000 as a legal retainer to show that we are serious. Hopefully money we will never have to spend. We raised the money needed to start this initiative. Now we need to raise the money to defend it. Please contribute $100, $75 or $35 to help us defend the Market Initiative.
Checks can be made out to Friends of the Farmers’ Market, and mailed to P.O. Box 5281 Chico, CA 95927, or you can contribute through our PayPal account at www.chicoffm.com. You can also drop a check off to our table at the Market on Saturday.
FFM office: 333 Main St. #6 (upstairs) and open 9am to 12 noon Monday through Friday. Come pick up a petition.
Facebook name is Chico FFM, https://www.facebook.com/FFMChico , please like us!
Call us at 530-487-7085 or email to email@example.com.
Thank you –
Spokesperson, Friends of the Farmers’ Market
PS: Lets show that we are ready to defend the Market. Please send a check made out to Friends of the Farmers’ Market today to P.O. Box 5281 Chico, CA 95927.
PPS: Come witness the City Council decision regarding suing us Tuesday March 25 at 6:30pm at City Council Chambers.
SAVE THE DATE: We are planning a fundraiser for Friday, April 11. Stay tuned for details.
We have the petitions, thanks to the many contributions to pay for printing and legal expenses. Last Saturday a crew of volunteers collected the first 400 signatures. We’ll need to average at least 500 a week from here on to meet our goal. Here’s how you can help:
This weekend is our kick-off and if the weather cooperates we’ll spread volunteer circulators out into the community. Please let us know if you are available for the 10:30 – 12:30 time period for this special kick-off event.
Also we are going to use the power of the internet to spread the word. We have set up a Thunderclap campaign. If you are on Facebook just click onto the link below and urge your friends to sign the petition. Please do that today. If we get enough participation the message will be boosted to a much larger audience. This is free and a great way to launch the petition campaign.
Please click the link above to support the campaign. Also, please share this link on Facebook!
We’re almost there! We’re printing the required legal notice this week. We have the petitions typed up and ready to go to the printer. But we don’t have the money in the bank to pay our printing and legal bills. You are asked to give to many causes but the Saturday Farmers’ Market needs your help now. This is what we have been working for, for six months since the City cancelled the franchise agreement.
You can go to our website http://www.chicoffm.com/get-involved/ and use the Paypal link or you can send a check to PO Box 5281 Chico, CA 95927 or bring your check by the Friends of the Farmers’ Market table this Saturday. Several farmers have given $500 each. If you can give $100 or $50 or $35 we can tell the printer to roll the presses. Any contribution (personal or business) helps. Make checks out to Friends of the Farmers’ Market.
The Chico Downtown Farmers’ Market has thrived at the 2nd and Wall Street location for 21 years providing fresh food year round. A long term agreement will give the market the stability to pay for improvements and remove the year to year uncertainty that they have endured for years. Now is our time to show our appreciation and support. Please use Paypal or write a check today, or bring your check to our table at the market on Saturday.
Also, Chico Conservation Voters has a special brunch fundraiser at ARC (W. 21st Street and Park Avenue) on Sunday February 23rd from 10am to 12:30pm, hosted by David Guzzetti and Kelly Meagher. Part of their proceeds will go to our initiative. Please attend if you can. Admission is $25 per person, younger children will be admitted for free.
With your help we can launch this initiative now, for the November 4, 2014 ballot. We need to collect over 7,000 signatures of registered voters that live in the city of Chico (yes, we need volunteers to collect signatures). Please be generous.
PS – Please consider a $100 or $50 or $35 contribution today, make your checks out to Friends of the Farmers’ Market. Our post office box is PO Box 5281, Chico, CA 95927 or come see us at the booth this Saturday.
In an article entitled Top 10 Farmers’ Markets In The UK And Around The World from EssentialTravel.co.uk, Chico’s Farmers Market was ranked in the top five for international markets. The rankings were as follows:
4. Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, Barcelona
3. Port Louis Market, Mauritius
2. Wild Oats Community Farmers’ Market, Sedgefield, South Africa
1. Medina Of Marrakech, Morocco
From the article:
Chico is aptly known as the ‘City of Trees’, a nickname that becomes blatantly obvious the moment you drive into town – or cycle as the locals are known to do. The almond (pronounced ‘Amind’ in Chico) and walnut fields, as well as the oak trees lining the streets, are part of the charm of this agricultural city in Northern California. It also boasts one of the nation’s most festive and friendly markets, offering everything from fresh produce to local arts and crafts. Over the years it has developed a reputation for being a firecracker market that may be small compared to those in San Francisco or New York, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in good vibes, variety and top quality products. ”Fortunately Northern California is the bread-basket of America, almost any kind of fruit, vegetable, nuts and grain grows here,” explains Reid Seibold, one of the market’s key vendors and facilitators, in between helping customers and greeting a steady stream of friends and acquaintances. “It’s one of the few climates where everything does well. We’re uniquely set to have a great farmers’ market here. People are open-minded about buying from farmers directly, which also means that we’re well supported. It’s just great.”
By Ashley Gebb | ChicoER.com
CHICO — Supporters of the Chico Certified Farmers Market are pushing ahead with plans to have voters decide the fate of the Saturday morning market.
On Thursday, supporters filed an initiative at City Hall with a notice of intent to circulate a petition to qualify a measure for the November ballot. The plan is to ask voters to give the market a six-year franchise agreement and additional space at its East Second and Wall streets location.
“I really am optimistic. I think we are part of the community and a valued part of the community,” said Richard Coon, chair of the market’s board of directors. “I think the community will endorse the idea that is the logical spot downtown and we will move on and make it a better market and reconnect with the Downtown Chico Business Association.”
The market’s existing franchise agreement to use the parking lot at Second and Wall streets will expire at the end of 2014. The board of directors for the market and the City Council have not yet reached an agreement on what happens after Dec. 31, which is what prompted the initiative.
“It seems like since about 2004 it’s been an every-other-year situation of farmers being threatened with being moved or their lease canceled on that lot,” said Cheryl King, spokesperson for Friends of the Farmers Market, whose name is on the initiative along with former mayors Michael McGinnis and Karl Ory.
“We just decided to put all of that to rest once and for all and to get a long-term lease for the farmers,” she added. “They have enough to do just farming and bringing our food to us every week; they don’t have to deal with political upheaval all the time.”
The franchise request is for the use of the entire lot and adjacent sidewalks. Most likely, Coon said they would use only two of the four aisles in the winter months and perhaps a third aisle in the summer months and retain one aisle for parking.
The franchise would expire Dec. 31, 2020. Before it expires, the initiative requests an eight-year renewal question be placed on a general election ballot for city voters’ approval or rejection, and again every eight years thereafter.
“The Chico Downtown Farmers Market has thrived at Second Street and Wall Street for 21 years. The 80 small business that built this market attract 12,000 shoppers every month, many of whom also shop downtown,” King said in a prepared statement. “We ask the voters to allow the market the opportunity to improve and expand.”
The market would pay an annual franchise fee of $5,000, exponentially more than the $164 it pays now and amounting to about $1 per vendor per week.
Six years would give the market the stability to pay for improvements and remove the year-to-year uncertainty, Ory said in a prepared statement.
Next, the city clerk will write a letter to the city attorney asking for a notice of intention to circulate a petition and the preparation of a ballot title and summary. Once that is published in a newspaper and the group can provide an affidavit, it can start circulating for signatures.
To qualify the initiative for the ballot, market backers will need 10 percent of the 47,044 city registered voters to sign the petitions. They will have 180 days to collect the signatures, which will undergo an initial count by the city clerk and then be sealed and delivered to the county clerk for verification.
If the signatures are sufficient, it will qualify for a ballot measure.
Whether voters have authority to decide the future of city property is an issue for the city attorney’s office to examine after the measure qualifies for the ballot.
For years, if not since the market’s inception, supporters and many downtown businesses have disagreed about the market’s impact.
Market members say they bring vibrancy and shoppers downtown on Saturdays, but business owners say impacts to already-limited parking deter shoppers on what should be the busiest day of the week.
The market spent months last year trying to negotiate a new agreement with the city. They were seeking utility hookups for temporary bathrooms, an extension of the market’s lease and a discussion regarding franchise fees.
Concerns about impacts to parking and downtown businesses remained a barrier to changing the agreement.
In June, the Council voted to keep their franchise agreement in place until Dec. 31, 2014. Shortly after, market supporters set up a booth at the weekly event with a “countdown to eviction,” and have grown membership of Friends of the Farmers Market to 3,500 people.
An ad hoc committee that was supposed to work on market solutions never formed, Coon said. He has never received a formal proposal from the city to use any other city lot.
During a general membership meeting last summer, market members voted overwhelmingly to move forward with the initiative process, Coon said.
“Whatever the outcome, if the people of the city of Chico truly speak, that’s all I’ve ever asked for,” he said.
If the quest to put the issue on the ballot fails, he’s unsure what the next step will be. Discussion also has not taken place about what to do if the measure makes the ballot but gets shot down by voters.
“I suppose prudence would dictate we try to find another spot,” Coon said. “But looking at aerial photos of downtown, I can’t find any place that is better.”
Reach Ashley Gebb at 896-7768, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @AshleyGebb.