Letters for Oct. 17, 2015
Enjoyed being apart of the Koloa ‘Sunshine’ Farmer’s Market
I have been serving our community as volunteer host and market coordinator at the Koloa “Sunshine” Farmer’s Market for nearly 16 years. A vendor since 1998, I had previously been in regular attendance for nine years prior to gaining my vendor permit.
“Stepping-up,” to accept the offered position Jan. 1, 2000, I instituted friendlier and safety conscious procedures, acting as a steward, seeking to serve the interests of all involved parties, vendors, customers, the county and adjacent neighbors.
The Roadside Banner, safety cones, vendor whistles, Sunshine Market sign, do not block signs, and weekly (orientation) greeting, along with escorting the customers into the market with a brandished ti leaf were innovations replacing the rope barricade and starting whistle.
Common courtesy became the social tender. Hospitality, proactive intervention, conflict resolution, advocacy, lost and found, rendering first-aid and jump starts, reminders of market rules, reporting violations or incidents, were provided toward maintaining a safe and equanimous environment.
Subsequent to the recent staffing by the county of a new “market monitor/enforcement officer,” intended to attend each market day (holidays excepted), my authority as market coordinator has been abrogated and my responsibilities superseded. I no longer may offer assurances, act, intervene, or execute any changes on-the-spot with support or authority delegated by Kauai County Economic Development’s Sunshine Market program supervisor.
I was informed that my service as a greeter leading customers into the market was appreciated, yet I no longer had any decision making capacity. It is an untenable position to hold or assume responsibility, without support or authority to act on behalf of that responsibility.
As the County of Kauai has vested authority (and responsibility) in an employee to do that which a volunteer had previously performed, I yield to the bureaucracy to demonstrate equal ability and performance through the presence of the assigned “monitor.” As I no longer have any “official” standing, I surrender performing the Greeting-Orientation ceremony to the attending employee.
I fully intend to remain a vendor at Koloa’s Sunshine Farmer’s Market for many more years. I remain willing to help, assist, advocate, listen to, and minister to the expressed needs of those I encounter in a private capacity, fulfilling opportunities that present themselves to demonstrate personal values. I embrace stewardship.
Zacheriah “Branch” Harmony