We have just learned that the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market has lost its lease for the Veteran’s Hall parking lot and the County has decided to put a not yet formed new farmer’s market in its place. We are in shock.
A meeting is being held tomorrow (2/25) inside the Veteran’s Hall after the market at 1:30 and I invite you to attend. We will be explaining what happened and what you can do to help us. Also, a petition will be available to sign at the Information desk at the market. This will be given to the County Supervisors.
We also wanted to give you warning about an article that is appearing in tomorrow’s issue (2/25/12) of the Press Democrat containing some extremely misleading information about this development. The transition is not going to be smooth. The majority of vendors are not going with the new market. The present market was blind-sided and in our opinion, was not treated fairly by the County Parks Department.
In the meantime, I am passing along a message from the Manager of the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market (see below):
Santa Rosa Farm Market News*
February 24, 2012*
To Our Wonderful, Faithful Customers and Friends:
After serving the community in the Veterans Hall location for over 40 years, the market has lost its lease.
In late 2011, the Market was told its rent for the Veteran’s Hall was being increased by a 167%. In January, the new Board of Directors formed a Rent Committee to figure out what our members wanted to do and how to make that happen. In the meantime, the County Parks Director, Caryl Hart, awarded the rental contract to another group who wishes to start a new farmers market at the Veterans Hall. The County Parks Department did not give us written notice for signing a renewal, nor any deadline for responding. Had we known we had to provide an answer over four months in advance from the expiration date, we would certainly have done so.
Without your help, and maybe without some divine intervention, this market will need to relocate as of June 30, 2012 – four months from now.
What you can do?
1) Email and/or call the supervisor in your district and ask them to rescind this decision. To find out who your Supervisor is, you can go to
http://supervisors.sonoma-county.org/districtlookup.aspx?sid=1001 and look it up by ZIP code. Leave a message for each of them, if you like.
The phone number for all Supervisors: (707) 565-2241. You can leave voice mail. Just tell them you are a customer and like the Market the way it is and to please rescind the decision to terminate the lease of the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market. The Supervisors are:
Valerie Brown: (1st District)
David Rabbitt: (2nd District)
Shirlee Zane: (3rd District)
Mike McGuire: (4th District)
Efren Carrillo: (5th District)
2. Come to the Supervisor’s Meeting on Tuesday, February 28th at 2:00 p.m., and ask the supervisors to rescind this decision. The address is 575 Administration Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403. Show your support for the market and let them know that we like things the way they are. Let’s pack the place!
3. Email and/or call ALL of your friends who might care to do #1 or #2 above. Forward this email to them.
4. Give us your ideas – email me at email@example.com or call 522-8629.