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Stuart votes to terminate weekly green market manager over financial discrepancies

'There's a clear lack of transparency in the finances,' city commissioner says
Posted at 10:08 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 23:21:16-04

STUART, Fla. — Stuart commissioners voted Monday to terminate the city's agreement with the current weekly green market manager.

"There's a clear lack of transparency in the finances," said Commissioner Merritt Matheson.

The market normally runs each Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and gives many local vendors a space to sell their products.

"Basically, it came out last meeting when he came before us and presented, and there was a lot of open holes in the finances and a lot of questions," said Matheson.

"All I'm saying is, I don't think the concepts should be abandoned because of a particular operator not working out," said Stuart resident Tracey Etelson.

City officials voted to approve a 60-day notice termination and said if the current market manager continues to not cooperate, they will run the market.

"I know the people are looking for local produce, organic produce and there are lots of new people doing that right now," said Etelson.

City officials said they will soon begin to accept applications from both nonprofit and for-profit businesses to run the market in the future.

Etelson said the market brings more residents to shop downtown at a time when they're needed the most.

"I think that the green market is a very important thing to have here," said Etelson. "An opportunity perspective for alternative modes of selling, putting concepts out there into the marketplace."

WPTV has contacted the current green market manager for comment but has not heard back.