(By Christina M. Abt – 01/19/2011) At six feet tall with a solid physical build, Tom Kerr appears as an imposing man. His commanding physical presence is equally matched by his stated professional purpose … “to use the skills developed in my long and varied career to make a difference in the WNY community.”
At 90,000 square feet that covers an entire city block, the Broadway Market stands as an imposing facility. Its commanding physical presence is equally matched by its stated professional purpose …”to offer farm fresh, exotic and unusual products to the WNY community.”
In January of 2010, imposing man met imposing market as Kerr was appointed as the market’s executive director. From all perspectives, it was a perfect match. Yet now, one year later, the perfect union has dissolved, a divorce forced by city officials and ultimately decreed by Kerr. So, once again the City of Buffalo is searching for a new executive director for the Broadway Market in a process tainted by controversy over Kerr’s departure.
To this point, Kerr has not spoken publicly about his unexpected exit, choosing instead to stay above the political muck and mire defining this latest installment of the Broadway Market’s history. In his silent absence, market vendors managed to make their way through the recent holiday season. Yet moving into the New Year, there is much consternation within and around the 999 market locale. Who will be the new executive director? When will the person be appointed? What changes will he or she bring about? Will vendors stay or leave? Can the market survive and flourish under anyone’s leadership? Should the market continue and if so, should it remain on Buffalo’s East Side?