Sunday, October 2, 2016

Council interviews three for market house

Borough council heard proposals from three market manager candidates at a special meeting Monday, September 26. Renee Sears, Beth Troxell, and Chris Vera answered questions from council and borough consultant Rebecca Denlinger about their respective plans for the Columbia Historic Market House, if hired. Troxell previously submitted a written proposal to council, which is published with this article. Vera gave a power point proposal at the meeting. His proposal was also posted on Columbia Spy HERE. Both Sears and Troxell managed the market house previously. Vera is president of the Columbia Historic Preservation Society. Teresa Allen has managed the market house since Troxell's resignation earlier this year.

At the conclusion of the interviews, Borough Manager Greg Sahd announced that council would not make a decision that evening. Instead, a decision will be made later at a public forum. If council does not choose one of the three candidates, the opening could be reposted to invite other applicants.

 Renee Sears

 Beth Troxell

Chris Vera



Beth Troxell's proposal to council:



37 comments:

  1. What happened to Carmen? Why didn't she apply? Where oh where are ALL of her supporters NOW????

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  2. Repost the position and find a few more applicants. Most of these are a bit stale.

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  3. 30000 a year is a bit much. 22500 sounds more reasonable.

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  4. You can continue to advertise for a Market Manager, however until a business plan is put in place for the Market House, there is no clear direction that can be taken... What is the vision? What are the short term goals, long term goals? I believe that needs to be crafted by the borough not a proposal from a potential Market Manager.

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    1. The borough council should work with whoever is hired to come up with a vision of what are the goals of market. It should not be all the new hire,but at the same time council should not micro manage.The new manager must work with the stand holders.Must be team effort.

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  5. Concerned ResidentOctober 2, 2016 at 7:43 PM

    Until Market House is consistent with vendors being present (for example if one is not there friday, have one fill their spot), their hours of operation, and in what they offer in the form of types of stands, (for example have NO food vendors on a given day is NOT a good business model for customers or stand holders) it will not matter WHO is manager. They need advertising, consistency, branding, clear and concise event planning. These things are business 101 and if whoever they get can not provide them in tandem with the borough, they should not be 1. paid or 2. in the position in question. The market could be so much more than it is right now. The seeds are there it just needs the right soil pH, light and water to get it growing and flourishing to bear fruit for both community and stand holders.

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  6. The market house would make an excellent garage for the police cars...

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    1. And relocating our police and going with state coverage is an excellent idea too!!!
      That would save taxpayers more than $3,000,000/year!!!

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    2. Totally in favor!!

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    3. What does this have to do with the market house? Making the market house a garage for police cars would be a disgrace.

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    4. Not really. It would be adaptive reuse. The collection of all these half-brained ideas that have failed over and over is the true disgrace. The times have changed. The Market House is not feasible in this day and age as a market house. Better to put the building to good use for now, and maybe 50 years from now it can serve as a market once again if demand warrants. Time to remove emotion from this equation.

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  7. Why not try to put it out for lease proposals. Maybe a group of private business people would get together and make a proposal to lease it and run it. The lease rate should be very low to start with, like $1000. a month plus utilities for the entire building, and not less then a 5 year lease. as the saying goes, "If you keep doing what you are doing you will keep getting what you are getting" It's high time to try something new.

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  8. Why reports if anyone else wanted the job they had plenty of time to apply for the job.Its time to pick the new manager and get the market house up and running pick one from the ones that have already applied.

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  9. I agree. I truly feel that Mr Vera has the best interests, desire and work ethics that the market would need. He is an asset to Columbia and devotes so much time already to making it a better place, without ANY hidden agendas.

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  10. My votes are,
    1. Mr Vera for manager
    2. Tear down anonymous's house for police parking. Ludicrous

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  11. Does he live in Columbia ?, do any of them ??

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  12. Studies have shown that females make better Farmers Market Mangers them males do. Give it to Beth.

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  13. It's because they understand shoppers better, Females do 83% of the house hold produce and fresh food shopping.

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  14. Could you please post this study. Must be the Columbia Market House Trust study done for five years.

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    1. Exactly. Please cite the source.

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    2. The Columbia Market House Trust did no such study.

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  15. Studies have also show that Men who have their hands in too many different pots tend to fail miserably. How can Mr. Vera run a farmers market when he can't even raise enough money to fix the Historic bell tower on the Historic Columbia Historic Society Historic building ? Give the job back to Beth and give her a realistic budget to work with this time !!

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    1. Please cite the "studies." As a member of the Columbia Historic Preservation Society, I help support the organization financially. Do you? Chris Vera volunteers a lot of time and effort to the society, and Columbians should be thankful. The mayor said, "The future of Columbia is in its past," so the borough should step up and pony up more funds for CHiPS to help with the bell tower you're obviously concerned about. You could even make a donation yourself.

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    2. Mr. Vera is a volunteer at the historic society. Therein lies Columbia's historic treasures. Far more than the market will ever be home to. This borough must help preserve those historic treasures. The mayor said Columbia's history lies in its past. I do not always agree with the mayor, but he is absolutely correct on this. The borough should be supporting the preservation of the building that is supporting all irreplaceable pieces of this town's past. Money is being thrown at all kinds of projects, think of what that could do in the way of a new roof, masonry repairs, painting. Mr. Vera (a volunteer) painted the front porch himself this past summer. Will Beth be outside painting the market? Chris ran his butt off between dungeon tours and trolley rides Saturday. He is dedicated. He is not a 25 hour a week man. If he sees people on the street he tells them all about Columbia regardless of other obligations, he always has time. He is the one that needs to be given a realistic budget.

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    3. Mr. Vera's job should not include maintaining the building itself. The borough should care enough about the artifacts inside to protect the outside. Keep tossing tax dollars at private business ventures rather than where the money belongs.

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    4. Grants have been written and submitted to the State of Pennsylvania for the renovations of the Market House, however it has been held up by the State because of the budget. The Borough cannot/should not bear the burden of the renovation. The Borough residents would ultimately bear the tax burden if the Council approved to use tax dollars.....
      I agree that things need to happen, however, I do believe the Council wants to move things forward in a positive way...

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  16. Beth is a highly qualified professional !, and too nice to complain about the fact that the last time the trust hired her they didn't give her enough money to work with !! Give the lady a fair chance and be happy that she is coming back for seconds.

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    1. A highly qualified professional does not walk off the job without any notice.

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    2. Renae Sears came back for seconds even though the control freaks fired her for no reason. Due to their mistake the market lost my business and many other citizens who shopped their weekly. The Councilors who fired her were Trust affiliates Elaine Beckley (Market Committee), Kelly Murphy (Market Committee).

      Shame on you for ruining the only place where I could meet my classmates for lunch and enjoy the historic Market.

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    3. Interesting that you think only two councilors of borough council can take action. She was fired for "cause" and the motion was supported by 4 council members.

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  17. Good points and well taken, no doubt then that he is a good man for the job as well. Sorry - didn't realize much of his work is volunteer!, and yes with that much effort put forth on Vera's part why doesn't the Boro help him get funding for the building ? Wonder what makes him think that they will provide funding for him to do his job at the market ? Thanks for clarifying.

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  18. Pissed off ResidentOctober 10, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    I am sick and tired of everyone dissing market. Market would succeed no matter WHO was manager IF the stands were full and PEOPLE patronized the stands. You need stands and customers to make it great. GO TO MARKET COLUMBIA! BUY FROM THE STANDS! At this point, it will continue the "wait and see" mentality it has been going through the whole year. NOTHING has been done since the last meeting. Has another "resident/property owner" (yes I noticed THAT change) been applied for yet? Have they even had a meeting yet? Has more stand holders been contacted for the holiday season yet? How about bridging the gap from the previous stand holders from when the trust had it? Maybe some will come back? What advertising has been done? Since bridge bust was postponed and all those stands who had perishables had stuff to sell, why didn't they hold an "indoor" bridge bust at Market FOR them during that weekend it was originally supposed to be (just an idea)? I love market and I do see it eventually succeeding, but I hope it does not crash and burn before that occurs. We need passionate, motivated, and driven people who GENUINELY care about Market and columbia in these positions!

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    1. You had that with the Trust. Very passionate, motivated and driven people who genuinely cared. You were doing well until the end when you made the implication.

      Go back to the beginning of what you said. Yes the problem is that the community does not support the market house. Period.

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    2. If the Trust were passionate, motivated and driven who genuinely cared. Why is it empty?
      If the Trust were passionate, motivated and driven who genuinely cared. Why did Beth Troxell walk out?
      If the Trust were passionate, motivated and driven who genuinely cared. Why did it take Renae Sears only two years to build and the Trust to destroy in five?

      These current stand holders need to be heard of what they want. Not what the former Trust members want. What horrible things happen behind the scenes that tax payers will suffer from in the future. How long will the LASA money last?

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  19. Well that would be great if the certain clique would leave go of it and stop controlling it. I am pissed off too, people are tired of the control. How many managers did this market go through since 2005? I can count 9 or 10.

    You are correct on patronizing the market. They have some great stands such as Whistle Stop (awesome Shifter sandwich), Blue Smoke (#3 in Lancaster County) and all the other great stands that stick it out regardless of poor management. Kudos to the stand holders!

    The Albatwitch seemed to bring some people through, because Chris Vera made sure the Market was included in the event.

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  20. Make it a one day "community" market - All stands must be either run by or supporting a local non profit - 100% Food - and Free Rent, then it will work.

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