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Petition unlikely to save market master's job

May 12, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

A petition signed by 300 people requesting that the market master of Hagerstown's City Farmers Market not be laid off was presented to Hagerstown City Council members on Tuesday.

Gary Carter, a vendor at the market, gave the petition to the council members. He said he didn't expect the petition to save the market master position.

"I didn't do it to win or lose. I did it to express my opinion and the opinion of 300 other people," Carter said.

Market Master Norma Parks is the only city employee who will lose her job as a result of cuts in the proposed budget for the 2000 fiscal year, which begins July 1. The layoff came despite promises from the mayor and some council members that no one would be laid off.

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Parks works 20 hours a week at the market. Eliminating her position is expected to save the city about $12,000 next year, according to the city finance department.

When Carter presented the petition to Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II, the mayor "made it quite clear there will be no more market master," Carter said.

During Tuesday's meeting, Bruchey told Carter, "We cannot keep this position when we're cutting positions we desperately need."

Bruchey was referring to the proposal to leave seven city positions unfilled, including three in the police department and one in the fire department.

Councilman William M. Breichner said the market master matter seemed to have been decided by the council members.

"I hate to see her go but I think it's a done deal. I doubt very much that we'll be revisiting it," Breichner said.

Charles Green, another vendor who spoke during Tuesday's council meeting, said he was satisfied with the city's decision to cut the market master position.

City Public Information Manager Karen Giffin, City Events Coordinator Dutch Sanger and a maintenance worker will oversee the operation of and promotions for the Farmers Market after Parks leaves. One market vendor will serve as a primary contact person for the city at the market.

During a May 5 public hearing, Parks made a personal plea to the mayor and council members to save her job.

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