In the hands of voters

We fully support the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market’s plan to put its location to a vote

Last weekend, advocates of the Chico Certified Farmers’ Market and its Saturday-morning market announced they are seeking a ballot initiative in the general election that will allow citizens to decide whether the weekly event should stay at its current location.

We cannot think of a better way to once and for all put an end to the controversy over the market’s location at the city-owned parking lot at Second and Wall streets.

Debate about whether or not the event is good or bad for downtown business has been taken up by various factions for many years. Despite actual research conducted by Chico State University that claims the market is beneficial to commerce, several critics in the business community continue bleating on about how the opposite is true.

Meanwhile, market leaders have had no intention of ever moving the event. They have also refused to partake in stakeholders’ meetings organized by the city, charging the group was weighted in favor of business people. We don’t see it that way, but it is what it is. The bottom line is that neither side is budging.

We’re tired of the perennial arguments about the market’s location. We think the event is great where it is, but we also think it’s outgrown the space. If voters believe the market should stay put, hopefully that will allow it to expand to the other rows of the parking lot. If voters decide the Second and Wall lot isn’t a good spot, perhaps another location will be even better.

Either way, this is a chance for the community to have the final say.