Petition statement to be delivered to Yakima Farmer's Market Vendors and Customers

Remove Yakima Farmer's Market leaders

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Remove Yakima Farmer's Market leaders

To be delivered to Yakima Farmer's Market Vendors and Customers

Petition Statement

Make Don Eastridge and Market President disclose financial records or resign
There are currently 69 signatures. NEW goal - We need 100 signatures!

Petition Background

By the ruling of the Yakima Farmer's Market manager Don Eastridge and it's President, Dimmick Delights can no longer vend at the market despite being there for the last 10 years selling it's famous lemonade and roasted nuts. The manager wrote on a letter of dismissal saying it was due to "lack of response this year and years of pass years of problems" (see attachment 1). Dimmick Delights believes this vague ruling came after I decided to whistle blow to board members last year that the manager Don Eastridge was acting fraudulently. The board, has repetitively requested that the market manager provide financial records and receipts that show the whereabouts of thousands of dollars that the market receives from farmers, small businesses and corporate sponsors. It is even questionable if the market has ever filed a tax report or received a tax refund. We believe that some board members are intimidated to take a stand against removing Don as a Manager in fear that they too will face the same outcome that we are experiencing. I assure you there are many people who are willing to take on this position and see the market succeed and flourish myself included.
Since whistle blowing the market manager Don Eastridge has made extortionist comments that suggested, "By creating problems for the market, he would make sure that Dimmick Delights would never be allowed to vend at the market again." He followed through with his threats. For the past 2 months the market manager has created fabricated excuses that Dimmick Delight's vendor application was in non-compliance and claimed it was incomplete. For this reason Don has disallowed us the right to vend or products. It should be noted that for 10 years we have operated our business the same and have never had issues surrounding our application. Up until this year, Don was even one of our valued customers. All of this activity started once the whistle blowing occurred and board members started to question financial records and lack of receipts. When we requested a special board meeting to discuss the situation, the President responded by sending off emails to other board members calling Dimmick Delights liars. Stating that, “Dimmick Delights lied about having liability insurance.” The slanderous comment is not true at all. In an effort to get a better rate we switched companies. We currently are covered under 2 policies until one expires and have never been without a policy. (See attachment 2) Our question is why would Don only allow us to return to sell nuts and not lemonade? If we were non-compliant wouldn’t it be in the best interest of the market to help its vendors serve their customers? How are placing limits on their business helping them?
Don Eastridge continuously uses his authority to make decisions without the board's approval. The current Treasure is also concerned about the financial standing of the market. Since volunteering for the position over a year ago she has yet to get any receipts or answers to questions she has about the expenses and assets belonging to the market. She is considering leaving her position in fear it destroy her career. While my time as a board member I witnessed several meetings where Don used excuses that the computer crashed and all the records were lost. Recently it was brought to the board’s attention that the market even had accounts in collections. As an accounting major I can tell you this is textbook fraudulent behavior.
Don has exercised his absolute authority. He has placed limits to what and how we marketed our products even how we make our product (see attachment 2). According to him he has absolute authority to remove vendors and make revisions to the Bylaws. It is our understanding that the board members have not approved the revisions to the bylaws. This means that at any given time Don has the authority to send you home if you sell a product that you have offered for 10 years and with no explanation. (See attachment 3)

He has made contradictory decisions saying that we could return but only if we agreed to offer only 2 flavors of lemonade and roast nuts on site. He then reversed the decision by saying that we were no longer allowed to sell lemonade because we didn’t follow the rules. This has cost us in lost earnings and creates hardships given that we come from over 60 miles to serve this market. When asked what rules we broke, we were not given an answer and if we don’t like it we will be removed. It should also be noted that he and the market's President are also leading competitors with Dimmick Delights because they both sell beverages at the Farmer's Market. If Dimmick Delights is no longer able to vend they both stand to gain financially. Dimmick Delights has been featured on the Market's Website as being both lemonade and nut vendors, we have for 10 years (see attachment 3). Under no written agreement did we agree that we would roast on-site at every market. It is not cost effective and will cause us to go out of business. The former market manager approved Dimmick Delights to sell lemonade. We have been doing it successfully for 10 years. Yet on several occasions Don tells us that we are not approved. If we are not approved then why does the website say that we are?

We have been loyal and dedicated to the market and the community. Dimmick Delights was even voted by Yakima Herald as one of the top things to do in Yakima. We use fresh ingredients that come from this market when feasible. We promote the farmers that we support. We have a seen children grow up and bring their own children to our booth over the years. Many of them are the vendor’s own children. This business is our family's livelihood. 3 years ago, I was laid off as a Union Carpenter. I have 5 children to support and this is a detrimental event that is unjust and wrong. We believe that the actions taken against us have nothing to do with our application, insurance or products. We believe this activity is occurring because we publicized that Don Eastridge needs to come forward with why there has not been financial records of the thousands of dollars of missing and unreported money created by the Yakima Farmer's Market and because there is a financial gain by both the manager and the president if Dimmick Delights is removed.
We want what is best for this market. We are concerned about the well being of the market’s future. 10 years ago this market faced similar scrutiny and faced financial trouble where board members shared responsibility. It nearly ended the market from operating. We are only looking out for the best interest of this market and we thank you for supporting us while we take a stand in doing what is right. Please consider signing a petition to the board in making a decision to remove Don Eastridge and his President for not following the requirements of their positions, which includes providing receipts and financial records to their Treasure and board members.

Current petition signers


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