Protect Arvada Taxpayers would like to respond to the treatment its petition circulators received this past Sunday, September, 3, 2017, while at the Farmers Market.
In the future, we would simply request that our petition circulators be treated respectfully and civilly if there is any question about the area under the jurisdiction of the Farmers Market. Also, however, when petition circulators are in public areas that they be accorded the deference they are due — without interference — to exercise their constitutional rights under the First Amendment.
Since the Olde Town Square is seen as literally the ‘town square’ in Arvada, we encourage the Farmers Market to continue the forbearance they have shown in the past towards a variety candidates and political activities. The concept of the ’town square’ has a long tradition in American history as the central, open, community gathering place for citizens.
Protect Arvada Taxpayers will return to the public area adjacent to the Farmers Market after the Harvest Festival (where PAT will have a booth) to collect petition signatures. We look forward to continuing to meet many Arvadans and to a courteous relationship with the Farmers Market.
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Is Marc Williams willing to turn the popular Arvada Farmers Market into a political football?
After peacefully and Constitutionally being available for citizens at the Sunday Arvada Farmers Market in Olde Town for the past five weeks, today two Protect Arvada Taxpayers petition circulators were rudely escorted out of the public square.
Just remember the old saw: "In politics, nothing happens by accident. If it happens, you can bet it was planned that way."
The popularity of the Protect Arvada Taxpayers amendment and the notoriety of the $30 Land Deal controversy must be causing great consternation for those opposed to reform of the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) and taxpayers wanting to put the brakes on a system that has let City Hall giveaway nearly $50 million of land and taxes in recent years to private, for-profit developers and corporations.
The Protect Arvada Taxpayer petition circulators were doing nothing out of the ordinary at the Farmers Market. Petitions have been circulated there before; candidates for a variety of offices have campaigned there; and as mentioned above, the PAT circulators have been there for the past five Sundays with no incident.
Why couldn't the Farmers Market have just left alone these good Arvadans and Americans exercising their First Amendment right to "petition the government for redress of grievances"? Is the boss machine in Arvada really willing to make the Farmers Market a political controversy?
It further appears that the organizers of the Farmers Market stepped outside the rules in their actions today -- the "Fountain remains open to the public" -- the circulators were on the steps by the fountain, not in the market area.
An apology is in order and a promise to let any and all citizens utilize their free speech, freedom to assemble, and their right to petition.