Local News

Feb 3, 2010 3:05 AM by Andrew Masuda

Farmers plead with SLO City Council about Farmers' Market

Area farmers packed the San Luis Obispo City Council chambers Tuesday night, asking to be put back in charge of Farmers' Market.

Members of SLO County's Farmers' Market Association are upset about a recent change in management of the city's popular Thursday night event.

Recently, the Downtown Association gained control of the produce section, which to this point, the Farmers' Market Association operated.

Dozens of farmers said they feel like they're getting squeezed out of the event and worry their livelihoods are at stake.

The Downtown Association says it had to step in after a Farmers' Association representative resigned from its board last November.

"This is a liability issue for the Downtown Association. It is a situation that we felt we needed to act on quickly in order to take care of the farmers and in order to take care of the Downtown Association," said Natalie Tartaglia, president of the Downtown Association Board.

"No, let us make the change and they can assist us in making the change. You know that we as farmers know how to contrast and control our costs," said Ron Schletewitz, owner of Fruit Factory.

Mayor Dave Romero says the council's goal was to hear the facts and eliminate the public's concerns about the change.

The Downtown Association will hold its board meeting Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 a.m. at City Hall. The public is welcome to attend.

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