From: "Ken Jakes"
Sent: Friday, January 23, 2015 5:58:08 PM
Subject: The Hidden Agenda
The Farmers Market makes another stupid decision, or is it ? (what is really the hidden agenda?)
Members of the Council,
I am sending this email in hopes that you are outraged about the recent boondoggle of the Farmers Market. Because of my conservative values I will be the first to tell you there are problems on the Market that need to be addressed. Every year it's costing the tax payers tax monies to stay open. This needs to be resolved. There needs to be a fix. However, evicting vendors who pay year round revenue to the city, who have cut their teeth so to say on the market because they have been on the market all of their life, is not the answer.
The retail produce vendors who buy and resell produce have been given notice to leave the Market. The Farmers Market new rules are that you can only sell what you raise. The retailers do buy from the local growers as well. This will be sucking the last breath of air from the Market. Have you ever seen a home grown banana? How about a nice juicy home grown pineapple? And by the way, say goodbye to those white seedless grapes. I hope you see the picture. I could continue, for the list is rather long.
The Market claims they are going to bring growers in from out of state to fill the short comings. Well let me just use one word that will stop many items, "transportation." The sheer cost of the logistics will sink the ship. When the growing season turns to only California for supplies, do you think a local grower will come to the Nashville Farmers Market? When the total United States is under severe freezing conditions and all crops are gone, do you think those growers will cross our borders to deliver to the Farmers Market? What about all those imports that arrive at our docks by ships? I guess they are history as well.
Oh, and let's not leave out the flea market vendors having restrictions placed on their goods as well. I won't go into all that because I believe I have already painted the picture clear enough.
This is either the dumbest decision ever made by the Farmers Market or either the most clever by the Administration for the Market to fail because they have other plans for the property. If the latter is the answer then Mayor Karl Dean and his Administration needs to just state we have that property in our sights and the Farmers Market needs to quit acting like this decision is for the good of the Market.
The Metro Charter provides a Farmers Market for the LOCAL GROWERS, not some grower from Michigan, Georgia, and Ohio. The large wholesalers have already been driven from the market placing the Market in the red for revenue .When the retail vendors are gone, the last source for the local growers to sell their products is gone. Do you really think that a local grower, with any size operation, would sit at the Farmers Market to sell a pound of tomatoes when he is needed at the farm producing the goods ?
The more I think about it the clearer it gets,
Ken Jakes is a citizen activist often exposing government waste and corruption. He is in the produce business and is a candidate for Council-at-large.