With Jerry Barclay, the Chair of the Splash PadFarmers Market Advisory Council, out of town, I was invited to sit in as a community representative at a meeting a couple of weeks ago between the city and representatives from the Agricultural Institute of Marin. I can’t share the details but it does sound as if some major changes may be in the works and that, at a minimum, AIM will soon begin paying a monthly rental fee — although the exact amount may be re-negotiated at a later date.

Jerry, on the other hand, is recommending to the city that they abandon negotiations with the current market manager, the Agricultural Institute of Marin, and instead issue an RFP (Request for Proposals) from other qualified market operators. At a minimum, Jerry is recommending that AIM should be held responsible for all the various elements that would be included if an RFP were issued. This will be the central question on the agenda of the next SPFMAC meeting on Wednesday, August 28th at 7:00 pm in the Family Room at Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church.

Meanwhile, due to the complaints over maintenance issues, AIM had the Splash Pad Plaza steam-cleaned along with the area occupied by the popcorn vendor. Chris Blackburn, the Market Manager, has also re-seeded the areas where the turf was most heavily worn.

I’m sorry to report that Assistant Manager, Brian Boone has resigned after many years of employment with the Agricultural Institute. Brian, who lives on a sailboat in Marin, is embarking on a new career as a marine diesel mechanic — something he’s long wanted to do. He’s a very soft-spoken, rock-solid kind of guy and his presence at the market will be sorely missed.

Helen Krayenhoff (half of the dynamic duo that operates Kassenhoff Nursery) is a frequent contributor to Edible Eastbay and an extremely talented artist, as well. Please check out her portfolio in her new website.