Petition on its way to council
A PETITION to save a popular eatery is on its way to Coffs City Council.
Since hearing their business may be under threat due to new plans for the City Square, MamaGOTO owners Yukari and Heath Keizer launched the petition which now has over 2,700 signatures.
Mr Keizer handed the petition to Councillor Dr Sally Townley on Wednesday who will table it at a future meeting.
"I looked up the councillors online and she looked like the most approachable - plus I'd heard good things about her too,” explained Mr Keizer.
According to Cr Townley, all the information council has obtained from public feedback suggests that what the public really values about the City Square is the alfresco dining experience.
"The kiosk businesses have an incredibly loyal following and are a major part of the lunch time trade in the CBD.”
She congratulated MamaGOTO owners on their efforts to make their case known to council.
"It sends a very strong message about how much the community values and supports this business."
The most recent plan, which was on public exhibition until Friday August 3, shows trees and seating in place of the kiosks, and came as a terrible shock for the Keizers.
"It's been stressful. We have 11 staff to worry about,” Mr Keizer said.
Cr Townley also points out that earlier plans for the square had retained the two kiosks (MamaGOTO and Caffeine Central) and was unsure why the recent plan suggested removing them. Council's director sustainable infrastructure, Mick Raby, has advised the consultancy firm tasked with bringing the results of the community consultation together had suggested the square would operate better if the kiosks weren't there.
The current plan also includes the option of the kiosks being shared by various proprietors in a kind of 'cultural servery' but Cr Townley doubted whether a viable business could operate if it had to bring in all food, cooking utensils etc each time it opened.
Cr Townley will now table the petition in council and in the City Centre Masterplan Committee meeting. She has assured MamaGoto that their views will be heard.