I wish that, when presented with a street closure request by Mr. Cipponeri who sought to completely supplant our non-profit, volunteer Turlock Certified Farmers' Market-time, place, and location-that the Turlock City Council had simply accepted the permit for review and turned it down.
I have been following the controversy in regards to the farmers market, I read where Mr. Cipponeri and his father in-law had contributed to then-candidate now Mayor Gary Soiseth. I am surprised nobody has made a bigger issue of this.
A city is made up of roads, sidewalks, parks, schools, and stores. Most importantly, a city is a community of various individuals living their lives. Different cities have different characteristics and atmospheres. They carry in them different experiences and histories. They mean different things to different people. However, in what seems to be this simple question, one finds that the complexities of life are demonstrated in the social fabric of modern civilization, the city.
It became clear during the Turlock City Council meeting of Feb. 20 that the debate over the future of the city's farmers' market is in large part a debate over the future and character of Turlock.
As committed downtown business owners, we have enjoyed contributing to the revitalization of Main Street over the past few years. We have been delighted to see the Farmers' Market evolve and bring so much life to our downtown. However, the success of the market has not come without sacrifices being made on our parts, most specifically related to a portion of Main Street being closed each week.
Turlock is a great city with a lot to be proud of, from our college campus to our fairgrounds to our downtown. We are just as fortunate to have an institution like the Carnegie Arts Center in our own backyard. The unique events they offer to all residents– including world-class art exhibits, free family activities, classes, concerts, lectures, dance, poetry and theater programs – make our city and region a more enriching and exciting place to live. They even play host to the Sunshine Strummers, a local ukulele group that I've been known to frequent from time to time!
It makes us incredibly sad as current members of the Turlock Certified Farmers' Market when we read the Turlock City Council is still considering who will get the upcoming market. It's hard to understand what there is to consider when the town already has a good market, a market that has proven itself year after year. Derek Griffin has done an amazing job as the acting manager, bringing in vendors and adding special events to offer a market for all of the community. Young or old, there is something for everyone.
Over the past few weeks, I've read many letters supporting a market in downtown Turlock. I too am a supporter of a market in downtown Turlock. Unfortunately, the current management of the market (Turlock Certified Farmers' Market or TCFM) failed to apply for a street closure permit for the 2016 season before another party (Golden State Farmers Market Association or GSFMA) applied. Based on past practices, street closure permits are processed by City staff to the first party to apply; in this case, it was GSFMA.
We are aware that establishing a place in the community takes trust and is accomplished through years of hard work. The Modesto Certified Farmers Market has been operating for the last 37 years in the same location as a result of said trust. We feel we have a loyal customer and vendor base because of this stability. Establishing that base has taken years of constantly tailoring the market to the needs of the community and customer base.
This letter is written in support of the Turlock Certified Farmers' Market. The Greenery sincerely appreciates the hard work by volunteers to develop the market over the past several years. As a local business, we understand the dedication and hard work it takes to create and grow an event like the farmers' market, as well as rally local support year after year. We feel that TCFM is composed of hard-working individuals that have worked hard merely for the cause of the market.
I want to express the experience I had with the Turlock farmers' market of 2015. It was my first year as a vendor and it was a wonderful and fun event! It was extremely organized, stress-free and supportive, and a happy place to be. I looked forward to each Saturday with excitement and gratitude. The community was brought closer together and folks from surrounding towns fell in love with our market, and therefore our town! It was a win for vendors, customers, businesses and the town as a whole.
I thoroughly enjoy our current downtown farmers' market. Saturday mornings during the market season is a treat for me. Prior to opening my shop downtown, I treat myself to a cup of coffee while I walk among the various local produce stands, food stands, and craft booths. Can this be replicated by another individual or group? Perhaps. But, I stand with the Turlock Certified Farmers' Market. Why? In short, because the staff and board of directors have created something special. Our market, and I call it "ours" because it belongs to our community, offers locally grown, locally sourced, locally created ...
I have been a resident of Turlock for the last seven years. I am a mom of two elementary school age kids, the current president of the MOMS Club of Turlock SW, Delhi and Hilmar, a Girl Scout Troop leader and a classroom volunteer.
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