Maplewood city council member Shawn Faulkingham was out of town on a Boy Scout camping trip when the council discussed food trucks last week.
Because he couldn’t contribute to the council meeting, Faulkingham posted a statement on his Facebook page. He also spoke with Patch on the phone.
He wasn’t happy to have missed the discussion, especially considering he has since stated his support for food trucks, and only two out of the six present at the meeting last week agree with him.
“Fundamentally its one of those things where, I can’t stop a porn shop from coming to Maplewood, why would I want to stop food trucks, which I think would add more to the city,” he told Patch.
He said about five years ago the city blocked tattoo shops, which he voted for, while , which sells pornography, was allowed in Maplewood. He said the current mayor, James White, was not mayor then.
"I don’t think it’s in our best interest, longterm, to deny businesses." He said telling a business it can’t come to Maplewood because existing businesses say it might hurt their business isn’t right.
“A free economy is a free economy,” he said.
Food trucks would need to be regulated, he said. “We need to limit hours of operation and where you’re going to be. I have no problem with that,” Faulkingham said.
City Manager Martin Corcoran said it would take four council members, a simple majority, to put the issue back on the table for discussion. Faulkingham said he might mention it in the next meeting, June 26, 7:30 p.m.
Following is Faulkingham’s post on his Facebook page:
Food Truck decision by Council:
My vote for Food Trucks would have been Yes. (Unfortunately I was at Boy Scout summer camp last week.) Voting against a business to come to Maplewood, or any community for that matter, smacks of protectionism. Government should not hold the right to decide whether a business is allowed as long as it is legal by county, state and federal laws. Government should hold the right on regulating where it might go and hours of operation, etc.
We have shops in Maplewood that sell pornography, yet they won’t allow food trucks? The businesses of Maplewood don’t want it, and I don’t blame them; who wants more competition. But that is not how a capitalist economy works. Protecting businesses from competition is what they do in other countries that have state-run businesses. This country is founded upon principles of freedom and the economy of this country is founded upon capitalistic principles, or the ”Free Market”, if you will. Competition is good, and will make our businesses better.
And don’t get me wrong; the businesses in Maplewood are wonderful. I frequent as many as I can and support them in all of their endeavors. But that does not mean I am going to “protect” them by not allowing a particular type of business to open up. Regulating businesses on location, limits on age, hours, etc. is ok.
I don’t want a shop that specifically sells pornography in downtown Maplewood and I’m sure you don’t either; however, we don’t stop them from opening a business in Maplewood. (We have a couple of businesses that sell it I believe.)
Food trucks would be a great addition for the City of Maplewood. They would add to the eclectic flavor of our community and our philosophy of supporting a wonderful place to open a business for “mom and pop” type businesses. I say bring them in, regulate the places they can operate and perhaps even hours of operation.
But to say they can’t come here, period, is not what I believe to be Maplewood is about.