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New Energy at EMCAC With Mayoral, Council Appointments

There is new energy  coming to the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC).

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) and Mayor Muriel Bowser have appointed former EMCAC member Brian Pate and Hill resident Jackie Krieger to fill the vacant seats.

Pate was selected by Councilmember Allen. He previously served on EMCAC as the Neighborhood Advisory Commissioner (ANC) representative.

Krieger was selected by the Mayor. She has served the community in a number of ways most recently as the At Large representative for the Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) and is a forty-one year Hill resident.

In a short introductory statement after an unanimous vote accepting his appointment to EMCAC, Pate said he was glad to be back as a contributing member of the Market.

Pate previously represented ANC6B05 from 2010 to 2014. He said that role provided him with some useful background information.

“I got to know the Market from the inside out and feel like I got a real lesson as to how the Market functions,” he told the September meeting of EMCAC. “Sometimes it is a dysfunctional family. I am ready to navigate these waters. “

Krieger has yet to be sworn in by the executive branch but according to Acting Chair Chuck Burger this is expected soon. Asked her thoughts on the appointment Krieger said the market was a part of her daily life. “I have not ever not lived morethan five or six blocks from the Market,“ she said.

The Ward 6 seat was held for over seventeen years by Donna Scheeder who was Chair of EMCAC until her passing earlier in the spring. The Mayor’s seat, vacant for the last few years, was previously held by Jonathan Page.

In a shift indicating how he sees the EMCAC board functioning in the near future, acting Chair Burger asked EMCAC members for guidance over the course of the next weeks. He suggested each member bring at least three new ideas to the table as well as proposing a retreat to be held on a future Saturday morning.

“I ask each of you to consider three to five objective goals that we can complete in the next twelve months,” was Burger’s specific entreaty. “These goals should be financially and politically viable and capable of getting  done in 2023 and that meet the legislative criteria of the  Market.”

Burger also indicated an interest in serving permanently as Chair in the upcoming elections.

EMCAC Officer Elections

EMCAC will hold its Annual Election of Officers during its regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 26, in the North Hall at Eastern Market.

Only current EMCAC member representatives are eligible to serve as officers. Nominations for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer may be submitted in advance, or can be offered from the floor. Election is by simple majority of the standing EMCAC members.

EMCAC is the District’s legislatively established body entrusted with advisory and oversight responsibilities for the operations, management, and renovation of Eastern Market. Current members include representatives from ANC6B, Capitol Hill Restoration Society, Capitol Hill Association of Merchants, Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation, Stanton Park Neighborhood Association, Ward 6 Council Office, the Mayor, the South Hall, Farmer’s Line, non-food merchants, and an independent community representative.

Market Manager’s Report

Market Manager Barry Margeson reported that the gross income for FY22,  currently $765,960 is going to fall short of the budget projections of $798,000. Still, Margeson said that he was “heartened”  by the prospects of more bookings at the North Hall.

Ordinarily the shortfall would be cause for some concern but the Market, like the country, is struggling to return to what was once a healthy annual growth. In FY18 and FY19 the Market flirted with gross revenue of $1 million  dollars. Each quarter of FY 22 has seen improvement with the most recent revenues of $214,104 in the last quarter making it the best one in the current fiscal year.

Margeson indicated the North Hall is showing the most promise in that in the month of September there were two ten thousand dollar events.

The North Hall is the one area that has a capacity for growth as  inside merchants are fixed tenants and pay rent as part of the daily life and fixed income of the Market while the outside arts and craft vendors flourish and add to Market income as the seasons dictate.

Eastern Market revenues strengthened each quarter of FY22 with  earlier quarters revenue softened by the surprising strength of the  Omicron virus and its effect on the Market.

Peter J. Waldron is a long time Hill resident and former Chair of ANC6B. he has been reporting on the Eastern Market for fourteen years. Waldron can be reached at peter218@prodigy.net.

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