Eastern Market Report – New Rules Coming for North Hall
by Larry Janezich
At Wednesday’s meeting of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC), Market Manager Barry Margeson announced that a full time manager for the Market’s North Hall has been hired to schedule and manage events in the facility. The North Hall manager will have an office in the North Hall in space previously reserved for use of caterers. Margeson also said part of the new manager’s responsibility will be to “curb excessive use” of the hall by nannies and children who congregate there during the day on a regular basis. He said that new rules governing the day time use of the Hall will be forthcoming. Members of EMCAC have recently expressed concern regarding liability issues for the new governing authority, as well as excessive wear and tear occasioned by use of the facility as an unrestricted play zone.
New Governing Authority for the Market
Vendors, farmers and merchants are still grumbling about the as-introduced version of the legislation put forward by Councilmember Wells to create a new governing structure for the Market. They feel the measure does not protect their rights regarding grandfathering and right of first refusal. “Grandfathering” refers to protecting the status of those vendors and merchants who were with the market when the last legislation governing the market was passed in 1997. “Right of first refusal” refers to those vendors and merchants who have come to the Market since 1997 but have been there long enough to deserve protection.
The timeline for passing the bill has been pushed back into the new year, allowing additional time for meetings and stakeholder input, and it seems likely that some of these concerns will be addressed before the bill is finalized. A meeting of EMCAC’s Committee of the Whole to consider final recommendations on changes to the legislation will be held Tuesday, January 3 at 7:00pm in North Hall. The meeting will be open to the public but since it is a working meeting, there will be no opportunity for public comment. (An article on EMCAC’s discussion of possible changes to the legislation will be posted this weekend.)
Rent Increase for Farmers and Vendors
As of December 1, rent increases for the farmers and food vendors who work outside the market went up 10 percent.
The new rates for farmers and food vendors range from $30 a day for a tent to $44 a day for a bay beneath the farmer’s line shed. For non-food vendors, rates run from $28 a day to $44 a day, depending on location.
EMMCAC’s next regular meeting will be on December 28.