SLO's farmers market will be topic of special City Council meeting today

The San Luis Obispo City Council will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. today to review options for managing the downtown farmers market.

The review comes after mediation between the farmers and Downtown Association, which the council ordered, appears to have stalled.

The issue of control came up in February, when farmers concerned about their future stake in the market expressed their apprehension before more than 100 people about a change that took control of produce sales at the popular weekly event away from the Farmers Market Association and put the Downtown Association in charge. The city provided mediation services to help find a middle ground between the two groups. Councilman Allen Settle called the rift a "public relations disaster."

Farmers said they fear they will become a smaller part of the event and that more emphasis will be placed on other vendors such as merchandise booths that bring more money to the Downtown Association.

The Downtown Association has said it is simply looking for a better way to stage the market and manage all the users of the popular Thursday night event.

The meeting will be held in the council chambers in City Hall, 900 Palm St.