The City of Santa Barbara is considering locations for the new police station and has selected the commuter parking lot on the corner of Cota and Santa Barbara Streets as one of the possibilities. This is the home of the Saturday Farmer’s Market, which for the last 35 years has been a community hub, pairing local farmers with members of the community. It is a primary income source for many of the member farmers and a primary food source for many shoppers.
It is unfortunate that the city would ask its inhabitants to take sides between two critically important functions — public safety and food security.
As a local farmer, this market is the heart and soul of my community. While there may be other possible locations for the Saturday market, the move would be a serious setback for the market association, one that could take years to recover from. Additionally, for some of our local farmers, a financial setback of this nature could be insurmountable.
We are asking the mayor and City Council to please consider another location for the new police station.
We are asking our community to stand up for us by writing letters, attending meetings, and of course coming to the market.
Noey Turk is president of the Board of Directors for the Santa Barbara Certified Farmers Market Association.