|English: SVG of the City Of Oakland Logo, on a black background. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
For instance, one speaker thought AIM could do a better job cleaning up after market. I have no knowledge of whether or not this is an issue, but it’s certainly a reasonable subject of discussion. On the other hand, the notion voiced more than once that only an Oakland group could run an Oakland market struck me as parochial. My wife has a more extensive discussion of the particulars of the meeting that I will post next week, and you can judge for yourself.
Two AIM representatives, including the market manager, were in attendance and listened patiently to the complaints and expressed willingness to address them though, as I said, some – such as the complaint that the market is “too popular” – struck me as particularly wrong-headed since I remember what a ghost town the Lakeshore shopping district was in 1991 when we moved into the neighborhood. My problem with the tenor of the evening was that rather than embrace AIM’s willingness to listen, the group was ready to ask Oakland City Council to do an RFP, or “request for proposal,” in relation to the market’s future, that is, to throw wide open the question of who will run the market going forward.
My feeling about this is simple: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Grand Lake Farmers Market is outstanding, award winning, praised in the media and by those who frequent it, at least by everyone I know. To “rebid” who will run the market opens the door for political maneuvering of all kinds – favoritism, cronyism, political manipulation and backstabbing, and shiny promises that tarnish in the light of day. To me it is self-evident that the market is a great success and that an RFP is a very bad idea since it would represent a great risk for a small potential gain since the probability that new management would be better management is slight. Rather the opposite, I’d think. Our market – our farmers, our vendors and craftspeople – are wonderful.
My assumption is that most who attend the market are delighted with it and regard it as a source of pride for the neighborhood and for Oakland.
If you agree with me, these are the people to talk to:
City Council - City of Oakland, California