Farmers Market Privatization Misses Initial Transition Goal: Stakeholders Still Optimistic
When the city approved the Farmers Market Group's proposal for privatizing the Dallas Farmers Market, May 31 was listed as the official date for the transition. Last Friday, at a meeting that included city officials and representatives from the group, that transition was postponed. A new target date of June 17 has been issued.
Yellow squash and other summer vegetables are starting to show up at the market.
Ron King, the executive director of the Dallas Convention Center, was quick to say the transition toward privatization has not derailed. King said a number of issues were not sufficiently in order to complete the transition, including financing and insurance policies. "This type of thing is common in commercial real estate deals," he said. "They really are minor issues."
Tanya Reagan, president of the Farmers Market Stakeholder's Association, was still very optimistic about the transition. "That's a good thing," she said when asked about the delay. "The city is taking the step to make sure everything is done right."
For the next two weeks the market will remain under the direction of the Convention Center and managed by Cindy Alvarado. Meanwhile, all remaining Dallas Convention Center staff assigned to the market have been relocated or have retired. The cashiers whom farmers and vendors interact with to pay fees associated with operating at the market had to be rehired from a temp agency.
Still the market seemed to run as usual this weekend, and Debbie Bozeman, the president of The Dallas Farmers Market Friends, remains upbeat as well. "Unless there is a huge shift in the day-to-day operations, our customers won't know the difference," she said.