BAKER, La. (BRPROUD) — The mayor of Baker vetoed an ordinance that would keep food trucks from operating in the area.

Mayor Darnell Waites cited several reasons for the veto. He said he and Baker citizens believe that regulated and licensed food trucks should be welcomed as it would promote small businesses in the area. He also notes the increasing popularity of food trucks in the U.S. and how the ordinance would hinder Baker’s economic growth.

“Considering the growing trend of food trucks across the country, Ordinance 2022-20 is unjustified, overreaching and will place an undue burden upon commerce and economic growth within the City of Baker and future Economic Development Districts,” Waites said.

A national report on food trucks operating in the U.S. said the industry reached $2.7 billion in revenue in 2017, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Food Truck Index.

“That trend of food trucks morphing into and being a part of brick-and-mortar restaurants is accelerating,” the Food Truck Index said. “In nearly every city in which they set up shop, food trucks offer a net positive to the established restaurant industry.”

Community members shared their thoughts on the potential ban on food trucks at a Nov. 8 meeting. Several people grew emotional, with many saying it would only slow the city of Baker’s economic growth.

“If you want to set a standard of operations but please don’t say ‘no’ to food trucks,” said one person.

One local food truck business owner who identified herself as Nancy said she felt that the ordinance was directed toward her.

“I would like to first apologize because I did not mean for this to go this far. This has gone beyond what it needs to be,” she said. “This is two and half years of a lot of stress, a lot of moving around, a lot of back and forth talking about this, about that, a lot of hatred in people’s hearts for a decision that someone made because they did not check with you about a decision they made.”

Nancy briefly described her business model at the meeting, saying she started the food truck to expand her brick-and-mortar. She said she had contested the ordinance after Baker police told her to shut down the food truck.

“I’m the only one that stood up and took a stand to say, ‘You cannot tell me that I cannot have a business here because my business is legal.'”

Read Mayor Waites’ veto letter below: