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Letter to the Editor: Correcting the Record Regarding Our Farmers Market

Dwayne S. Wagner, Esq. speaks about the recent controversy surrounding the Farmers Market.

On behalf of the Board of the , we would like to address several mis-statements of fact recently made by in connection with the our Farmer’s Market procedures. First, neither she nor her business , were approved as a vendor in our Farmer’s Market. The Chamber did not receive an application or the requisite fee to participate as a vendor in the Market from this vendor. Ms. Finley only submitted a Pre-Application with no fee for consideration as a potential vendor in the 2012 Farmer’s Market. A formal application was not offered to her in light of our recently adopted Farmer’s Market policy regarding vendor eligibility. 

Ms. Finley disregarded our no subletting policy the opening weekend of our 2012 Farmer’s Market. When this prohibited conduct was brought the Board’s attention we spoke with the vendor that Ms. Finley was attempting to share space with without Market approval, to ensure his understanding of the Market’s no subletting policy and to reassure him that we welcomed his continued participation in the Market. Subsequently, he continues to successfully participate in the Market. 

On April 12, 2012, the Chamber Board adopted the following policy regarding eligibility for our Farmer’s Market: “A merchant who owns a business in the Village of Westhampton Beach located within walking distance of the Farmer’s Market will not be eligible to be a vendor in the Farmer’s Market.” Historically, due to their extremely close proximity to the Market, there were not applications to participate in the Market from Village shop owners with store fronts within walking distance of the Market. Presumably, our merchants with store fronts enjoyed competing with and offering their products within their stores rather than on a small table in the Market. Accordingly, Ms. Finely’s statement that there are other Village businesses within the market that violate our new policy is false. 

We encourage Chamber member businesses to leave promotional materials regarding their products or services at the Chamber table located in the center of the Farmer’s Market. The Market brings hundreds of people per week into the Village. 

We regretfully note that this particular merchant has over the past several years engaged in repeated polarizing conduct which rather than uniting business interests within Westhampton Beach continues to attempt to divide those interests and stir up controversy. 

Currently, with over 150 member businesses, the Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce as it has effectively done in the past, continues to support business development in the Greater Westhampton area. Our Chamber consistently sponsors events throughout the year including the Farmer’s Market, three art shows, a 5K run, sidewalk sales, and holiday events that bring thousands of people annually into the Village of Westhampton Beach to enjoy the outstanding goods and services and exceptional service offered by our merchants. 

Dwayne S. Wagner, Esq. 

2012 President 

Greater Westhampton Chamber of Commerce 

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