But because I am not a member of my local Chamber of Commerce, and will never join due to my dissatisfaction with national policies, I apparently have no say on what happens in front of my property.
I found out yesterday that the two main downtown blocks of Fallbrook will now be shut down to vehicular traffic from midday Friday through Sunday per new edicts from the Chamber.
Although I am mostly open by appointment, I try to be open every Saturday morning. How will my clients load anything heavy out? Who decided to burden them with this draconian restriction?
And why wasn't I ever asked how I felt about it? Neither was my wife at Caravan, or Dave at Mostly Windows across the street or the lady next door at the Yoga Studio or Ron Wylie at his gallery or any of the other merchants I have queried this morning, which includes Chamber members.
Who gives these people the power to act unilaterally without input from all the merchants and property owners? Was there a poll of some kind taken?
The street has now been shut down Friday and Saturdays for several weeks. My wife stayed open in the beginning, as did several other merchants but it quickly became apparent that people were there to eat, not to shop. Now I want to support our local restaurants as much as the next guy and do, but was any thought given to the impact on the rest of us?
Today, typically our busiest day of the week, the street is a ghost town. A customer just stopped in to the jewelry store and said he almost didn't come over today because of the street blockage.
Now we have a Farmers Market coming too. Bring non tax paying vendors in to compete with the local merchants, just like the Avo Festival. What is sad is that with Prohibition leaving, there is exactly one restaurant on our block, Smalltown, and as much as we love them, the rest of us will lose access to our business fronts so that they can participate.
I just want a seat at the table and I don't want to have to join the Chamber or be online on Friends of Fallbrook to find out about things that impact me and my wife's and my business to this degree.
At the very least we should have been properly noticed about their intentions regarding the street shutdown and had an opportunity to speak our mind.
A merchant sent me this letter from Lila today:
I am emailing in regards to our community collaboration project to make downtown more pedestrian friendly that you requested. . You all had asked to close the streets….so the pilot program has begun. The streets will be closed Friday through Sunday for continued outside dining and walkability. A farmers market will be starting next Saturday from 10-2:00. It will be on both blocks as originally discussed, with certified on one block and noncertified on the other. Alvarado will remain open
We are also planning other legal events that will hopefully bring more people into downtown.
I know how hard it is and I am working hard to help make your dream a reality.
I would like to meet in a couple of weeks to discuss conceptual maps and ideas that you may all have. Please send dates that will work for you the second and third week in October. Also better times.
I am excited about the Market and hope that it will bring new people to your doorsteps!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know.
I am not going to belabor this or mark it up beyond a little bold emphasis but who requested? Who asked that the streets be closed? Who decides when this experiment ends? Do Chamber votes count more than other people's votes and do we property owners and non chamber merchants have any say in the matter whatsoever? Are we trumped by the restaurateurs? Or are we just petty, selfish people for wanting to access the front of our shops with our cars and our customers' vehicles three days a week?