'Were not going
to sit back and
watch a small
group of ambitious
and selfish people
ruin what so many
of us have created.'
Letter to Members
From John Barbagelata, Marin County
Farmers Market Board President
March 23, 1997
Dear Member of the Marin County Farmers Market Association:
This letter is, in part, to respond to recent allegations and accusations by some members of the staff. The board has tried to address staff concerns for eight weeks, until it became apparent that their motivation was a takeover of the markets by involving both a political organizer and an attorney.
Over the past two months, your markets have been attacked by these people trying to either take them over, ruin them or both. Their aim has been to try to use the honest concerns of a few to destroy the reputation of the Marin County Farmers Market Association and its executive director to get you to help them gain control of the markets.
Youve been asked (and sometimes pressured) to sign a petition which paints a false picture, and which seeks to use your concern for your markets for the selfish reasons of a few.
The people who are trying to take over your markets have, during the past two months, used market property for their own purposes, including taking documents from office files; violated confidentiality by distributing the draft of a proposed contract in public to try to sabotage negotiations; refused to work and abandoned the office when the board held meetings; refused to talk with board representatives; and aided or participated in an ongoing attempt to steal existing markets for other MCFMA employees personal gain. Does that sound like the behavior of honorable people who really care about our markets?
Like any ambitious, visionary enterprise, weve had our ups and downs. But spreading false rumors, scaring farmers and other producers with exaggerated stories, and secretly trying to lose MCFMA some of its markets is behavior that cant be justified.
The Marin County Farmers Market is one of the best in the world. During the 15 years in which this organization, your organization, has grown and been admired, you and your executive director have set the standard for community farmers markets all across America.
Were proud of our accomplishments, and were not going to sit back and watch a small group of ambitious and selfish people ruin what so many of us have created.
We ask that you keep an open mind. Come to the annual membership meeting on April 14, and join us in making the MCFMA even better than it already is. We look forward to seeing you there.
Thanks for hearing both sides of the story.
John Barbagelata, President
MCFMA Board of Directors
Copyright 1997 In Season