By CAROL ROBIDOUX
Union Leader Correspondent
DERRY – Yes, the proposed farmer's market is still on track for a summer launch, although newly appointed market manager Beverly Ferrante is keeping plans close to her vest until she formally announces them during Tuesday's town council meeting.
“I'm not going to release a lot of information before the council has a chance to hear what's happening,” Ferrante said yesterday. “I've been working, non-stop – it's a 16 hour a day job. There are so many things to put into place before we can launch. I have a tight group of individuals working with me – so tight, you can hardly call them a group – and I'm working with others, like Cable 17, so that we can start putting something up on there. But for right now, the vendors are the most important people on my list.”
The idea for a farmer's market was brought to the council by Councilor Janet Fairbanks and former Councilor Brent Carney in the fall. Since then, the idea has caught fire and been fast-tracked by the Downtown Committee. Ferrante was selected by the town to head the project on a two-month, $2,000 retainer, which was announced earlier this month.
Since then, there has been some confusion among some of the original committee members as to the status of the project, or what the process is moving forward. Bernadette Trafton, who was one of two others who applied for the market manager position, said she had done a lot of leg work and research already, and is disappointed she has not been asked to contribute her ideas.
“I was a little surprised there was not an interview process after I submitted my RFP, but I did say that I wanted to be contacted by whomever was chosen to head the market. I was even asked if I'd be willing to help, free of charge – of course I will. To me, it's about having a passion for this, not about getting paid. I have a couple of businesses; I don't need to make money on this project,” Trafton said.
Ferrante said she has been taking names and fully intends to bring everyone into the fold, once the council is on board with her initial report.
“This town can create negativity when it's not necessary, and right now, this is a positive for Derry,” Ferrante said. “I welcome everyone, with open arms, who wants to help.”
Anyone interested in getting involved as a vendor or to help organize should contact Ferrante at 548-8799.