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The REAL Question That Should Be Asked About the East Lansing Farmer’s Market Matter

I had read several months ago about the family farm in Michigan banned by the City of East Lansing from selling produce at what appears to be a city-owned (certainly city-run) farmer’s market.  Here is the website of the City of East Lansing Farmer’s Market.

Here is the gist of the controversy from the Detroit News (surprisingly sympathetic for a columnist of a major daily paper):

Last December, [Steve] Tennes, who owns the Country Mill Orchard and Cider Mill in Charlotte, wrote a Facebook post explaining his family’s Catholic views on marriage, and how their deeply held beliefs are why his farm won’t host same-sex weddings.

The city’s response — banning him from its farmers market — reminded the former Marine of the time he spent near the border of North Korea. Tennes could see into the country, and it impacted him how people there live their entire lives in fear of the government.

Everybody is lining up on various sides and a lawsuit is pending.  But no one has asked this question:  Why is a city owning or even running a farmer’s market?

Simple solution:  The City of East Lansing should privatize the Farmer’s Market – sell it to a company that will keep it running smoothly – maybe a non-profit.  Then they do not have to feel like they have to police the beliefs of those who sell produce there.

PS:  Even my tarantula attention span knows that the County of Hanover has a county-owned cannery.  There is even a Cannery Advisory Committee.  I could be persuaded otherwise but my position for now is:  Sell the cannery!  Could ensure access by allowing the private or non-profit owners to favor county residents if they choose.  This will cost me a cushy position as my supervisor district (Henry) needs a rep on the CAC – but it seems like the libertarian answer.  (Hanover County also has an airport and a business incubator, too!  Not sure how I feel about the county airport but the business incubator is clearly a private function.  Hanover, come out and be separate from all unholiness – even if it is only libertarian unholiness!)

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

3 Responses to “The REAL Question That Should Be Asked About the East Lansing Farmer’s Market Matter”

  1. xtron says:

    follow the money. even bet there is $$ to be made running the farmers market, so the city has a ready made cash cow. good luck getting them to sell or divest themselves of it. and the profit margin if probably too small to interest a privet entity.

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