May 1, 2014 4:05 PM
The Friends of the Farmers Market announced today that 7,000 registered Chico voters have signed an initiative petition to keep the Saturday farmer's market keep its downtown location.
The petition signers are asking the city council to adopt the new agreement or put it on the November 4 ballot for voters to decide.
FFM spokesperson Cheryl King said “Hundreds of petitions are still being circulated”. King is asking that circulators return them as soon as possible so all signatures can be counted. While 7,000 signatures is technically enough, they are still working to gather more to ensure enough valid signatures are obtained.
The state election code requires a minimum 10 percent (just over 4,700 signatures) of total registered voters in order to qualify.
"The state election code is clear," said King. “The City Council has only two choices once the signatures are certified by the county clerk: adopt the new franchise agreement, or let the voters decide."
Those against the petition claim the downtown market hurts local businesses through direct competition and takes away valuable parking.
Once submitted, the County Clerk has 30 days to check the validity of signatures.
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