Farmers’ market a good thing for Waldo

by Rodney Schroeter of The Review staff

WALDO—The farmers’ market in Waldo takes a lot of work to run and does not make much money, but members of the village board and the Waldo Recreation Committee all agreed that it is a good thing for the community.

Operating costs of the farmers’ market were discussed at a previous meeting of the Waldo village board. When it was learned that money coming in from the event was just above the break-even point, it was asked whether continuing it was worth the time and effort. However, the two people directly involved were not then present, so the board took no action.

On Monday evening, Lori Murray and Jason Parrish discussed the farmers’ market with board members. They are members of the Waldo Recreation Committee, which oversees the farmers’ market.

There were seventeen farmers’ markets in 2014, Murray said. She gave the board other numbers regarding the market’s operation, as well as income from roller skating.

Village President Dan Schneider told Murray and Parrish: “I was at the farmers’ market several times. You’re busy. You’re busy from 7:30 in the morning, until late in the afternoon. You’re there every weekend. Is it worth doing that much work, for the dollar value that you receive from it? You’re putting a lot of effort into it, is what I see. And could we take that effort that you’re putting in, and instead do something once a year, to generate that amount of money?”

Schneider told Murray and Parrish that he was only presenting possible ideas, because he realized it was stressful for them, putting in all that work and trying to find volunteers.

Parrish replied, “If it wasn’t for Lori, there wouldn’t be a farmers’ market. She runs it. It’s her baby. She likes doing it. She’s willing to do it. So the farmers’ market works from that perspective.”

Parrish said the farmers’ market and roller skating were two activities the Recreation Committee coordinated. He asked the board if those activities were primarily for the community, or for profit.

Schneider agreed that the farmers’ market was a good thing, as a community event. But he suggested looking for someone else to manage the food.

Murray said she has investigated having someone else manage the food. The farmers’ market, she said, runs itself to an extent, because vendors know where and how to set up. While she and Parrish enjoy coordinating the events, she did agree that it was a lot of work for the two of them.

Schneider said it concerned him when he saw a small number of people doing a lot of work, as Murray and Parrish were. Murray said she thought the farmers’ market was a great thing for the community, but she said she would appreciate help. She said she understands that people are busy, but she encouraged anyone interested in doing volunteer work to contact Village Clerk / Treasurer Michelle Brecht. Schneider offered to meet with Murray and Parrish to determine how to transition the bookkeeping duties from the Recreation Committee to Brecht.

Other village news

Schneider told the rest of the board that he would soon e-mail them a financial statement for the village.

Police report: In Waldo the past month, there were 2 citations totaling $40.00 for winter parking violations; no arrests made; 4 warnings (including one for winter parking rules); ten property checks; 4 complaints investigated (for winter parking).

Rebecca Persick, Sheboygan County Court Commissioner and candidate for Branch IV Circuit Court, briefly introduced herself to the board. She described her background, her reasons for running for this position, and named some people who endorse her.

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