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Town to Limit Farmers’ Market Vendors

Did the Board of Selectmen make the correct decision? What do you think of the new fee idea?

Westford Farmers’ Market. Credit: Patch
Westford Farmers’ Market. Credit: Patch

The Westford Board of Selectmen is cutting the number of vendors at the Westford Farmers’ Market and may implemented a fee for use of the common, according to The Lowell Sun.

Last week, the board unanimously approved cutting vendors from 25 to 19, in an effort to lower traffic problems. The board may also implement a $500 fee in order to offset the cost of wear and tear to the common. The space has historically been free.

Complaints about the traffic drew rebuke from supporters of the market however police said the market caused problems in the town center.

Read the full story on The Lowell Sun’s website.

joseph mcgruff May 06, 2014 at 07:50 PM
That didn't take long, 27 vendors listed for WFM. Greeeeeeeeeed
Steven Sadowski May 07, 2014 at 09:26 AM
Joe: I don't think it's greed. At least not greed for $ anyway. I truly believe there is a segment---a very politically connected and active segment---that wants that common to be a vibrant and bustling place, a feature of the town, a showplace, if you will. And these groups are using their political capital to make that happen even if it makes zero logistic and economic sense.
Elizabeth Fletcher Glenn May 07, 2014 at 09:44 AM
Steven, I think you're 'spot on'!! Values have shifted, or so it seems, to prioritising $, rather than 'relationship' and warmth of home and hearth. Fortunately there remains a voice and a presence in Westford of what now almost seem to come across as values of another generation, i.e., not prioritising $! Hopefully the Select(wo)men 'get' the recognition of many of us of the importance of good neighborliness in Westford in conjunction with healthy food and community activity.
Steven Sadowski May 07, 2014 at 12:11 PM
Elizabeth: I wouldn't go congratulating my post just yet, especially after you read this! I re-read my post, and I can see how it could be interpreted as pro-FM, but I assure you, I am against the FM---at least in it's current iteration. My reasons for opposing the FM are as follows: 1.) It creates a bubble economy. If we are to learn from our mistakes, we have to heed the lessons of the cause of the last economic collapse, which was the govt. vis a vis Fannie Mac/Mae creating a housing bubble, which in turn destroyed our economy and leaves us still wounded today with persistent unemployment, a weakened dollar, and sagging economic indicators. This phenomenon can also happen on a smaller, local level. There already exists a farmer's market sector of the local economy. Several local family farms already in existence have to compete against one another for a share of the market for organic produce. By spotlighting one farm over all the others, and giving them a plumb location on public land, the govt. once again is picking winners and losers, and as we've seen with so many alternative energy firms going broke, the govt. is a lousy venture capital firm. The govt. should get out of crony capitalism, and venture capitalism and let the free market figure out who wins or loses.......2.) It creates congestion in an area that cannot handle the traffic. If it were located at Walsh field, or some other place, that would be OK, I guess, but there are only two routes from getting from 110 to the Graniteville/Forge Village area of town and that's either 225, or Boston Road. Couple that with Main Street being fed by Depot street with traffic coming from Chelmsford and an already messy triangle becomes worse.....3.) I am trying very very hard not be conspiratorial, but I am getting the sense that there is favoritism, conflicts of interest issues, squashed public health concerns, and an active minority of well-intentioned yet influential people---and now with this latest election: politically connected people--- in town pulling the strings behind the scenes to make this a reality. At worst it's corrupt possibly and at best, unfair..........4.) This FM does not provide Westford with fresh produce. We already have that. Instead it provides a "vibe" for the common that is desirable by some, but would not exist without the nudge, financial and political support otherwise. I am against messing with the Darwinian nature of the economy and society. I know I am a minority in this thinking as most people in Westford tend to be more Keynesian and statist in their wishes for the town, but I can still employ my 1st Amendment right, so I do. At least until the govt. shuts me down.
Sam May 07, 2014 at 01:28 PM
Don't forget that because of this "vibe" economy that the town is allowing (some of it, illegally zoned) they will soon be hitting us all with a center revitalization and pedestrian safety package which is going to knock your socks off. So as you stroll through the fine lawn that the town maintains and as you eat your ripe peach keep that in mind. But get your face painted, pat the lamas and have a shot of wine. All is well...

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