As shocking as it may sound, the Borough of West Chester might do something exceedingly dumb and horrible where the West Chester Growers Market is concerned. The buzz around Chester County is that they are purportedly considering selling the lot that the market calls home!!!
How dumb is that?
I have been busy and was playing catch up with e-mail when I all but fell out of my chair last night. I had received an e-mail from Melissa at Applied Climatology LLC – I buy plants from her at the West Chester Growers Market. Here is what the e-mail said:
Hello Garden Club members!
We received some very concerning news last Friday. If you are already on the West Chester Growers Market mailing list, then you may have already received this news via the market newsletter.
The borough of West Chester is entertaining offers for the sale of the parking lot where we hold our market each Saturday morning.
I’ve attached a copy of the official letter that the market vendors have composed for you, our valued customers.
We hope you will consider writing to your local representatives to let them know what the market means to you. Even if you live outside of the borough, please consider writing these officials, as they need to hear from all of our loyal customers. The borough website in the attached letter will provide you with both email addresses as well as a general mailing address.
If you are as concerned about the market’s longevity as we are, please contact the borough as soon as possible.
We are grateful for all of your support – past, present and future!
Thank you very much for your time
Seriously?? Could the Borough Council and Mayor of West Chester be such whores that they would render homeless one of the BEST things about the town of West Chester in fair weather months? Would they really jettison the Grande Dame of local farmers markets? The market that inspired so many OTHER markets?
With all the emphasis on eat local, buy local (you know that little thing called the localvore movement) why would West Chester Borough be so dumb? Is all the borough wants to be known for something like that college party turned riot from last weekend?
The West Chester Growers Market has been a goodwill ambassador and champion of downtown West Chester since before there was a Business Improvement District isn’t that correct? Speaking of the West Chester BID, what do they have to say? Are they ALSO that dumb that they would be behind a decision that if made would take feet off the street in a town they are supposed to promote and support businesses in?
For Sale, Free, or Trade Chester County has posted a petition on Change.org. Please consider signing it and sending it along to everyone you know.
This is what the petition letter says:
To: Carolyn Comitta, Mayor Holly Brown, West Chester Borough Council Member Cassandra Jones, West Chester Borough Council Member Charles Christy, West Chester Borough Council Member Jordan Norley, West Chester Borough Council Member Thomas Paxson, West Chester Borough Council Member Stephen Shinn, West Chester Borough Council Member John Manion, West Chester Borough Council Member Staff, Borough of West ChesterKeep The West Chester Grower’s Market at Church & Chestnut Street!
We, the residents in Chester County, would like to ask for your consideration in keeping the West Chester Grower’s Market at it’s current location. The possible development no matter how high of a dollar figure can’t replace the community out reach that this market has created and sustained for 19 years.Keep The West Chester Grower’s Market at Church & Chestnut Street!We, the residents in Chester County, would like to ask for your consideration in keeping the West Chester Grower’s Market at it’s current location. The possible development no matter how high of a dollar figure can’t replace the community out reach that this market has created and sustained for 19 years.
As residents and fellow business owners, we ask you to sincerely think about our community. The Grower’s Market brings not only families and locals to West Chester, but it brings residents from all over Chester County. These residents then stroll the streets and patronize the local businesses around the Market. Local West Chester neighbors have found a sense of community on that lot like no other.We ask you to reconsider this decision. When making the decision, think of how many businesses have not be able to sustain and have had to cave to the economy and close in West Chester over the past 19 years, and then think about what it takes to keep something going for 19 years in a town, the West Chester Grower’s Market has pulled it off! Please do not stop them from Growing!
Sincerely, [Your name]
West Chester Does is also talking about this. “Market Faces Possibility of Losing it’s Place in the Community” and they provide a link to West Chester Borough’s public officials contact information. I like to go to the top so let’s start with the mayor:
Carolyn T. Comitta, Mayor
115 S. Brandywine Street
Tel: (610) 692-6521
Term to expire 2014
I don’t feel like putting up every e-mail as I am a little pressed for time, but go to the web page where you get contact information. Contact the borough council members and the Mayor. Sign the petition. You can politely remind them that a fair number of them are up in 2014. To me it is never too early to start election issues if they are thinking about things as dumb as getting rid of the farmers market.
I have to ask is West Chester Borough really poor or something? They can’t afford to keep this parking lot? Or are they just that greedy and short-sighted?
I also would like to know what developer wants this lot. They should be contacted too. Is this a developer who has also bought up a lot of land in the borough or a new Johnny Jump Up?
Do you all know that some of this market’s vendors do good things like participate in the Pennsyvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program? This program, the Pennsylvania Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) distributes checks to eligible seniors and Women, Infants & Children (WIC). These checks can be used at participating farm markets and roadside stands to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables which are grown (or are growable) in Pennsylvania.
This market is also about community, and no developer sucking up to a bunch of politicians can really create that except in the false, made for marketing material sense.
Please help save the market! If you tweet try a hash tag like #SaveTheWCGrowersMkt
Together we can save this market. It is a shame someone couldn’t buy the lot from the borough and give the market a 99 year lease or something, right?
The other alternative is if you own land this market could move to close to this lot with parking, please step forward. The easiest and most properly right thing is for West Chester Borough to sit down and leave the farmers market and that parking lot alone, but in case that doesn’t happen, it would be good to have alternatives that could save this awesome market.
Thanks for stopping by. it’s a sin truly the way politics can potentially ruin a good thing and tradition like this…..
would like to post something please
Mary Ann – this is not a community blog although it is often about community. You are welcome to post comments which will be reviewed before posting. Thanks for stopping by
As Mayor of the Borough of West Chester and a huge fan of our Growers Market, I can assure you that, as Borough Council President, Holly Brown said, “WE HAVE NO INTENTION OF LOSING THE GROWERS MARKET!!” All Borough Council members and the Mayor love the market, the vendors, the fresh produce and homemade goods and especially the way the market brings the community together each Saturday.
If Borough Council decides to sell Lot 10, I can assure you that the Growers Market will have a new home as close to the town center as possible. The suggestion to identify a good alternate site ASAP would certainly help quell the worst fears of all and allow us to enjoy the Market while Borough Council deliberates along with our citizens on what is the future use for Lot 10 that works best for the overall community. We should work on identifying that alternate site right away. Any suggestions?!
Thanks Mayor for the reply! Seriously, I think it is awesome that you will roll up on a blog and address something that is bothering Chester county residents. However, and I mean this with all due respect, if you guys are talking about taking the lot away from the market, don’t you think you should have a plan in place of where to move them if you want to keep them? As in have a plan in place before anything goes forward? As in before you entertain bids on the land?