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Aug 01, 2011

Comments

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Laurie

Thanks for the summary, I missed the meeting! Yay!

Stephen

I'm glad to know that Danny listened to his constituents on this one. As a D5 resident, I'm sad to say Trudy did not. I'll know who not to vote for, now.

David Hoggard

The surprise of the evening was TDBS's nay vote. I had her pitching her befuddled tent in the GFCM camp.

All seemed to agree that this issue generated more communication from their constituents than any in recent memory. Further, I heard no disagreement that public sentiment was overwhelmingly in support of the GFCM proposal. Gives new meaning to the term 'tone deafness', which clearly afflicts some on Council.

I mean, come on, how many constituency votes did those in opposition think they won themselves last night by voting against such overwhelmingly popular sentiment for what should have been an inconsequential 'staff level' issue. The only thing I can imagine that those 'no' votes accomplished was to align the informed and engaged segment of Greensboro's electorate solidly against their re-election this fall.

The only "attaboys" that Wade, Rakestraw, Knight and Small earned themselves last night will likely come from a few vocal farmers in Gibsonville and John Hammer.

In the end, it was Danny Thompson to the rescue on this one and it earned him some needed respect.

Craftyboro

As for TDBS, we did not get a chance to talk with her before hand.

Her support seemed to be for letting Matt Brown run it like Super Flea. Diane says he does this quite well, and I bet he does.

Folks this is not Super Flea. A well run farm market has to have fair and firm rules about what goes on tables for sale. This is not the case with a flea market.

We wish the vote were stronger for us, but understand that some political allegiances are tough to break.

We look forward peace breaking out in the market, vendors running out of things to sell earlier in the day, and customers telling their friends to join them on Saturday and Wednesday for a great Greensboro experience.

David Craft

Mick

I become less and less a Knight fan. This combined with his answer to News2 as to why he is running for Mayor just leaves me cold(er). Not that I am a huge fan of News2 but "Because I want to" is not a sufficient answer. BTW... TDBS's answer "Why not".

Perhaps when given more time each will respond more appropriately.

Ron

Isn't the coliseum in TDBS's district? Matt Brown runs the coliseum. I can't help but think that politics was involved in her vote because its very rare that she sides with Trudy, Mary and the mayor in a split vote.

Craftyboro

Thanks to Nancy Vaughan, Robbie Perkins, Jim Kee, Zack Matheny, and Danny Thompson for their support of the proposal supported by the RFP process and the community at large, including most of the Farmers in the market.

Billy Jones

I'm sure that TDBS was working to bring the farmers market to the coliseum. Like I've said before, there are people with eyes on those properties on Lindsey St. and a move to management under Matt Brown would no doubt eventually lead to moving the market under his tent using the excuse that it's easier to manage everything in one place.

Mark my word: The battle for the farmers' market isn't over but even a short term victory is better than none.

But by far the best thing I've heard lately is from News 2 this morning on the mayor's race: Seems we will be rid of 2 of Perkins, TDBS and Knight after the election. Or, best case scenario, we could be shed of all 3.

Ron

TDBS will surely be gone because she cant run for both mayor and her city council seat. I'm sure its just her way of throwing in the towel. She has to go out with a bang.

Patrick

Now that this is over(?), where's a good summary of what it was about?

Ron

BTW I'm for the farmers market staying on Lindsay St and I'm for the nonprofit group running it. Heard of the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"?

Tony Wilkins

Oddest 5-4 voting bloc of this council.

David Hoggard

Patrick... there really is no good summary of what has come before on this issue.

I'm expecting, very soon, a series of installments from a certain famous NYT best-selling author to be published in a certain local weekly paper. Rumor has it that some working titles under consideration:"Tomatoes in Green and Red" - or - "Farmers in Overalls and Wingtips"... or some such.

Perhaps the author could weigh in here.

Mick

My summary is that Council appointed a Committee. Some Council members tried to stack that committee. Committee went to a lot of time and trouble and came up with a plan. Some Council didnt like plan so they tried to either A) do whatever the hell they wanted anyway or B) tried to circumvent the process they themselves set up by taking a "If I cant have it then no one can" tack on the process. I am unimpressed with some Council members in regards to this cluster____ regardless of their supposed political alignment.

Typical BS from this group. I tire of this.

GEAlfano

The history of this controversy is over three years old. There have always been controversies at the market, vendors who do not get along, etc. Usually, most of the customers and many of the vendors are not aware of them. They are either resolved by market management or lose steam. What has been different with this controversy is the involvement of the city manager's office, the city council, and John Hammer. That kept the controversy alive and gave the small group who started it what they wanted- attention and having their unfounded complaints taken seriously. The underlying basis of the controversy has been about whether vendors would be allowed to buy and resell or whether the market rules would be enforced. In 2009, the Parks and Recreation Commission appointed a committee to study the issues. Based on the study, the Parks and Recreation commissioners recommended that the market management be allowed to enforce the rules and that the city council stop interfering in the rule enforcement. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful farmers' market in Greensboro that dates back to 1874. Most of the farmers are honest and hard working. It only takes a small minority to ruin it for everyone. Fortunately, the city council finally made the right decision by selecting GFM, Inc. to manage the market. I also hope that they will realize that they shouldn't interfere in the management of the market.

Patrick

So enforcing the rules means no reselling?

David Hoggard

Any vendor can re-sell if they apply for, and receive, a variance from the market manager. Variances are generally denied if a vendor wants to re-sell produce that is in season locally and/or another market vendor grows that same produce and offers it for sale at the market. In any case, if a vendor offers produce that they haven't grown themselves, they are bound to disclose this fact to their customers.

There is a small group of vendors who have - for years as pointed out above - simply refused to abide the rules and they turned to some Council members and The Rhino to take up their cause. Meddling and misinformation ensued.

Variances are more readily offered in the "off season", but with the advent of local hydroponics and hot houses, more and more local produce will be available outside of their regular season.

Ed Cone

I wonder if the Rhino's reporting of this story has changed perceptions about the paper among readers who had assumed that, beyond its acknowledged point of view, it was essentially accurate on the facts.

David Hoggard

I know it has made me question my long-held assumptions that The Rhino's facts where, generally, the facts.

I know that John has always had a penchant for championing the underdog. Hell, several of my own losing causes have benefited from his opinionated brand of journalism over the years.

But his advocacy on this issue went way beyond giving the little guy a leg up. In my opinion, it came close to irreparably harming a unique amenity of Greensboro. One, I will add, that he and and his lovely and talented wife enjoy most Saturday mornings.

His coverage of this has just confounded me. The facts are simple enough: A few vendors had - for years - continuously broken the rules and thumbed their noses at anyone who was trying to enforce them (including the P&R Commission, which I chaired during much of it) because they knew they had the ear - and misplaced sympathies - of a few on Council. The Rhino's coverage facilitated and encouraged this behavior and diminished themselves because of it in my eyes.

GEAlfano

Thanks, David, for the clarifications about the buying and reselling and the variances. I too did not realize how much John Hammer distorted the truth and used damaging innuendos until he started his "expose" of the farmers' market. When he first started writing the articles, I tried talking to him. I assumed that he, as a long time market customer, wouldn't want to damage the market and spread false rumors about it. Boy, was i wrong!

David Wharton

Hogg wrote,

it has made me question my long-held assumptions that The Rhino's facts where, generally, the facts.
C'mon, David -- you mean you weren't disabused of those a long time ago? I think we were both at this meeting five years ago, and John's many distortions and outright fictions were on full display then, and have been many times since.

It's too bad, because there are lots of actual facts in his reporting, but they're coins mixed in the s***pile. It's also too bad that the other local press outlets covered so lightly an issue that touched a lot of passions in the community.

Ed Cone

I'm still trying to understand how the N&R failed to grasp the news value of this layered local story. Historic property, public interest, political intrigue...what more were they looking for?

Shopper

I cannot wait to read what he says happened on the Farmers Market at the Monday Council meeting.

He is the 800 pound Gorilla in the Council Chamber and Mary Rakestraw is a banana.

Anyone notice, he doesn't allow open comments on his website. Chicken.

Too bad Racist Rhino did not get more traction.

David Hoggard

That was indeed terrible reporting, David, guess my memory is fading... but by mentioning that episode in our long struggle to keep WMS viable, you have provided me a great segue...

Last night, after retiring to my couch following a neighborhood NNO function next door, my daughter came in and said, "Dad, half of the City Council wants to see you."

I came out on my front porch to greet actually only 2/9ths of our Council, Jim Kee and Danny Thompson, who were finishing their obligatory National Night Out rounds, both of whom I instinctively felt compelled to give a bear hug following their vote Monday night.

We spoke of that vote and a few other issues and then talk turned to War Memorial Stadium.

They both confirmed a development I mentioned here a few days ago: There are negotiations occuring with the goal of turning over ownership of War Memorial Stadium to NCA&T University (Thompson mentioned Greensboro College in the mix as well, and Kee mentioned something about plans for an indoor track at the site as well as an expansion of the Market across the street.)

The details are still unclear to me but, still, I'm fer it. As I've opined before, it is clear that our National Registry of Historic Places stadium stands a much better chance of survival in anyone's hands other than its current stewards.

Since the N&R held its reporting forces in reserve during the Curb Market controversy, perhaps it now has the wherewithal to fill in the details of the City's next move on Yanceyville Street. (Neighbors MMB, AL, & JK - this is what used be called a "scoop". You on it?)

(Sorry for all of the long posts and changing the subject Ed, perhaps I should get a blog of my own. Call it Hogg's Blog, or some such)

Mick

I have a better idea.

You and TW both quit blogging and run for City Council. Hey 1.5 out of 4 aint bad! :)

Tony Wilkins

EC says: "I'm still trying to understand how the N&R failed to grasp the news value of this layered local story. Historic property, public interest, political intrigue...what more were they looking for?"

Come on Ed, you know why. They couldn't fit in a racial aspect anywhere in this story. I bet they tried.

Thanks for your vote of confidence, Mick. Although I know the timing is not right for me right now I'm making myself stay away from the BOE until after the 12th.

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