If you’re a fairly recent subscriber, you’re probably unaware that Jerry Barclay’s Farmers Market Advisory Committee (with lots of support from Splash Pad News) had been extremely dissatisfied with the Agricultural Institute of Marin’s management and had been lobbying the City to encourage other farmers market operators to bid on a new lease. That’s no longer the case thanks to AIM’s decision to hire Andy Naja-Riese as their new CEO. Over the past year, he has totally transformed their culture and their operations. Currently, AIM is very close to reaching an agreement with the city for a new, long-term lease that we now heartily support. The only sticking point appears to be the City’s insistence that the market management is not only responsible for leaving the park clean at the end of the day but also responsible for cleaning the park when they arrive, including hazardous materials such as needles and feces.
The one consideration not open to debate is that a park that hosts some 5,000 patrons (including lots of kids) needs to be safe and free of hazardous materials. In a letter to Asst. City Administrator Joe DeVries, Jerry Barclay explained why he is convinced that hazardous waste clean-up is clearly the City’s responsibility. In a follow-up letter, I spelled out some of the many community benefits (including the donated Bounty Boxes mentioned above) that AIM is now providing, which makes them an even more valuable asset to this neighborhood as well.
You can register your own opinion by posting comments below but, more importantly, please also send emails addressed to the following:
- Acting Director of Public Works: David Ferguson: DFerguson@oaklandca.gov
- The new Homelessness Administrator, Daryel Dunston: DRDunston@oaklandca.gov
- Representing the City’s real estate office: Thang Nguyen email@example.com
- Councilmember Nikki Bas Fortunato: firstname.lastname@example.org