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Friday, October 2, 2009

2nd Season of Farmers' Market Opens Saturday

Date of Event: Saturday, October 3, 2009 (8 a.m.-noon)
Contact Information: Lisa Mitchell-Bennett, (956) 466-5657 or Kathy Martin (956) 882-5896


The second season of the Brownsville Farmers' Market opens Saturday at Linear Park located on the corner of 6th and Harrison streets.

Hours are 8 a.m.-noon with welcoming remarks by Sen. Eddie Lucio 9 a.m.

The opening market will feature herbs, carrots, squash, eggplant and other veggies as well as farm fresh eggs, local honey, exotic, locally grown fruit, wild gulf shrimp, live music and more!

Healthy Communities and the National Weather Service will have booths with children’s’ activities and Su Clinica Familiar will provide health information. The event will include a raffle for Farmers’ Market items including aprons and gift certificates with the drawing at 10 a.m.

The mission of the Brownsville Farmers’ Market is to create an event where fresh, affordable and Texas grown produce is available to local families which will improve their health and well-being while providing local farmers with an outlet to sell their produce.

For more information, go to



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the city be reimbursed for its expenditures for the Farmers Market? The Herald reported it received a $50,000 grant which now the Market claims it doesn't need the $10,000 you voted to give them. I think they have money to cover the expenses to repay the city for this upcoming year. The city, with its current financial state of affairs in mind, shouldn't not be waiving anyone's fees or sucking up losses. If the city is in the giving mood, I'm sure there are organizations out there willing to get free park service. If you remember, there is a fee associated with the Sports Park usage. Why not one for this nonprofit?

Friday, October 02, 2009  
Blogger Melissa Zamora said...

I don't know what the Farmers' Market would pay back if anything. You are correct, they have declined to accept the $10,000, which I believe was an excellent gesture of appreciation. The City assists several non-profits (this one is a not-for-profit organization). Several entities are sponsors of this organization, why not the City? They are benefiting the residents, advocating healthy habits, etc. etc. They also give away more than $17,000 in food vouchers, too.

Friday, October 02, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The $17,000 in food vouchers isn't a "fact" I would necessarily agree with if I were you. Ask yourself, how are these private vendors able to make any money if they are accepting vouchers? I would assume they are able to exchange those vouchers for real money or some sort of benefit. Is that what you and they mean by giving it away? If it is money, Melissa, who pays for that? Are the vendors gouging the working poor or middle class patrons if they don't receive equal money from those vouchers?

Another question, why is Senator Lucio supporting this project now? Where are his money grubbing paws in the fatfree cookie jar? Would the city finance director be pleased knowing you don't think there is a way to get reimbursed for city expenses? I know it's pittance compared to the city's overall budget, but who could argue against the philosophy of every little bit helps? You must plan ahead, so you don't have beg for BPUB bailout next year.

Yes, they are benefiting the city. Who denies that? It still comes at a price if the taxpayers are subsidizing this organization in multiple ways through government grants, tax money, and free city services that at this point you don't believe would or could be paid back. To willingly ignore this fact is at worst naive and at least insulting to those nonprofits that don't use city funds to help our citizens.

The city "assists"? No, the city receives hotel motel tax money and is able to use that money to fund arts, history, culture and tourism. There is an application process for those funds. According to the proposed budget, not the final budget, you were willing to help an organization through general fund money which is different. The free city services would still be paid through general fund money. There was also no application process for this organization to get any assistance through direct money or otherwise from the city.

Why not the city? For starters, the city is broke as evidenced by the city manager groveling for "chump change" from BPUB.

It isn't "an excellent gesture of appreciation" to say no to $10,000 you gave them through your tie-breaking vote. It's that it got too expensive politically to take that money. Has the commission officially amended the contract to exclude those $10,000? The approved contract didn't stipulate the funds would come from the special line item in the general fund, did it? There is nothing that I can see to prevent the city from cutting a check for $10,000 come January. Who's to say it isn't coming out of the Parks Department like it did last year?

I don't want to pick a fight. I just want you to be aware of some questions being asked about this vote and this organizations special ties to the commission. It appeared to me that you voted for this funding in exchange for another commissioner later supporting you in your BCVB resolution that failed before it passed.

Friday, October 02, 2009  

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