(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?

[read full story at AM-POL Eagle]

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12 thoughts on “AM-POL Eagle: Kerr calls for reason at the Broadway Market

  1. Wow it looks like someone at city hall really screwed the pooch with this one. I am looking at you David Franczyk and flunkies.

  2. Tom, brought energy and innovative ideas to the market. That’s what is needed. While only a few may know the reason for his departure, my hope is was not some policy wonk that made the market and Tom tow some bureaucratic line.

    The Market FB Page like the BFA page are always updated creating a sense of buzz around the area. Buzz translates to interest, interest to vision, vison to plans, plans to reality.

    I would think that any plan to revive the area would have the Teminal, Market, and Churches all in play.

    What this City needs is someone with a BIG vision, and energy to make it happen. Think BIG, act BIG.

  3. Why doesn’t the Mayor have a meeting with the last 3 Market managers?
    Each had some good attributes. They could have insight as to how the pieces of this puzzle can be put together. Tom was on the right track…but the city blew it !

  4. I can’t post my name here because I’m always afraid of retribution. I’ve been at the broadway market for over ten years. I blame the city, Dave Franczyk, and the market task force for the current problems. There was a lot of energy after the the city took over a couple of years ago. The task force did nothing except promote themselves. The city is at fault for going along with what Eddy Dobosiewicz, Marty Biniasz, Dave Franczyk and Irwin Racoczy were doing. Now look at what the market looks like. Now they want to come back. Tom brought some needed stability and direction and now these same people worked to get rid of him to try to get back involved. Something needs to be done soon to help us out.

  5. It is so unfortunate that the dialogue on the market keeps getting carried out in the media. The market continues to suffer for the last decade a decline of a neighborhood customer base and a lack of support of a regional customer base except at Easter. The factors contributing to this is complex and a result of a mix of trends–redlining, white flight, the rise of supermarkets etc. Compounding these trends have been the negativity in the blogs and armchair public market experts. It is going to take a collective effort to turnaround Broadway Fillmore and the market. One person alone can’t do it. The market continues to loose customers every time the negativity reaches the press. It is time to take the debate out of the blogs and start working together for the future of the market.

    Broadway Fillmore Alive needs to start promoting dialogue and move away from the negative attacks. The market was dumped on the city during a period of fiscal constraints. Despite this the city has poured a tremendous amount of recent resources in stabilizing the market infrastructure. And, unfortunately this investment should have occurred earlier.

    And, the BF Alive needs to start a consistent policy about posting Anonymously. And, then, maybe, there might start being some more constructive comments instead of these ongoing negative posts.

    For the past two years, all that this negativity has accomplished is splintering of market supporters not a consensus on coming together to help the market.

    Top-down, heavy-handed approaches continue to fail; it is time to start looking at what different individuals and groups can bring to help the market. Look at assets instead of all of this bickering. The bickering is what continues to hurt the market not the city.

  6. Broadway Fillmore Alive needs to start promoting dialogue and move away from the negative attacks.

    Beverly…BFA does not actively promote negative dialogue on neighborhood institutions such as the Market…when news stories pop up about the Market they are shared here…if something is reported that doesn’t paint the entire picture on what is going on in the neighborhood, a counter or supplemental information will provided to fill in the gaps. As I am sure you will agree, BFA promotes mostly positive things happening in B-F including positive stories on the Market. That is what BFA has always done and will continue to do.

    And, the BF Alive needs to start a consistent policy about posting Anonymously. And, then, maybe, there might start being some more constructive comments instead of these ongoing negative posts

    When a Market Vendor or someone asks to remain nameless for fears of retribution, BFA will not post their name and let them remain anonymous.

    I believe in trying to keep the comment section here as open as possible because it does create dialogue. It may not be dialogue you agree with, but it illustrates people’s anger over what has happened at the Market and with with the neighborhood. With that said, you would be surprised at the number of comments that don’t make it out of moderation because they are way over the top.

  7. Two things: First, Chris, don’t change a thing that you’re doing. Second, less important and completely unrelated, I love paczki . . .

  8. Well the city screwed up once again. Also people like Marty Biniasz and eddy D. are nothing but big mouths and trouble only caring about themselves. But the main trouble is David franczyk, the DO NOTHING council man and council president of the city of Buffalo. As I said many timers, he does not care about the market. That is wwhy the market and the city are in the bad shape they are because of him. I hope voters remember this at election time.

  9. Ron,
    It seems like everyone is perpetually complaining about politics regardless of whether or not the city, or country for that matter, is doing well. With that being said, it appears that people will always being complaining about politics and nothing will ever change. Another thing that will never change is . . . paczki. So when faced with the two options: terrible politics or wonderful paczki, why don’t we focus on the more positive of the two? If terrible politics ceased to exist, life would go on and perhaps even improve. But if paczki ceased to exist, I’m sure you can imagine the devastation that would ensue. We can exist without terrible politics, but without paczki, however, we cannot. Let’s start defending what is really important to us . . .

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