Officials Not Pleased with Day Recommendation for Farmers’ Market

Chavez and Sternquist like Tuesdays, but Yu prefers Thursdays.

Written by RANDY SHUN / Published April 23, 2010

City officials will reconsider having a farmers’ market in January after City Manager Jose Pulido reviews the recommendation by Avant Garde and the Temple City Chamber of Commerce, the City Council decided Tuesday evening.

Program Director Robert Paz and Chamber of Commerce President and C.E.O. Linda Payne, a strong proponent for a farmers’ market, made a joint presentation at the December 1, 2009 city council meeting.

Both Paz and Payne recommended holding a weekly farmers’ market on Tuesdays and on the 5800 block of Temple City Boulevard, between Las Tunas Drive and Workman Avenue. Additionally, the pair suggested having an operator manage the farmers’ market, instead of the Chamber as previously noted.

“We really have done quite a bit of research,” Payne said.

Since being directed by the City Council in October, Paz and Payne have researched potential locations and days. Payne and Paz considered three sites: Temple City Park, a block near the Alpha Beta property, and the 5800 block of Temple City Boulevard that they are now recommending.

There is access to parking, better landscaping, and a “very good exposure” to traffic calming measures, Paz said, referring to the 5800 block of Temple City Boulevard. But holding a farmers’ market there would require closing down a major street, drawing concern from Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu.

“Our intent is to clog it,” Paz admitted. “Our intent is to block and create a traffic colony.”

Having the farmers’ market on Tuesdays was another concern Yu had. “I think Thursday is a good day,” he said. Yu justified his position stating many people now had four-day work weeks and thus would be able to go to the farmers’ market.

However, selecting Thursday causes a couple of other issues, Payne said. One problem is competition from neighboring cities, while another is not having the operator she liked.

If Temple City holds its farmers’ market on Thursdays, it faces competition from Glendora, South Pasadena, and Upland.

Family Festival Productions, the operator Payne and Paz preferred, would also not be available. The benefit of working with Family Festival Productions, Paz said, vendors, a food court and live entertainment. In addition, FFP has experience certifying farmers’ markets “what we really have to have,” Paz stated.

To obtain a certified farmers’ market, the City would need a designation by the Los Angeles County Health, which also requires three separate health permits.

For now, City Councilmembers Tom Chavez and Cynthia Sternquist have no problem with Tuesdays. Mayor Fernando Vizcarra and Councilwoman Judy Wong have not yet expressed any day preference.

The City Council hired economic consultant Avant Garde in March 2009. The consultant, which has been working with city officials on other redevelopment issues, has previously stated having a farmers’ market would be largely beneficial to the City and the Chamber of Commerce.

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