Thursday, July 24, 2008

FOSH Fall Sale Challenged

Organizers of a very popular multi-household May garage sale want to duplicate the effort in October, but do not want it to clash with a proposed free citywide garage sale.

Councilman Cory Storch floated the idea at Monday’s City Council meeting, only to be met with a challenge from Councilman William Reid.

“Why not have the citywide sale on the same month? It seems like it will be a benefit for them.”

Storch explained that the Friends of Sleepy Hollow charges a fee for the sale that not only covers permits, but also extensive marketing.

“In other words, they want to benefit from their advertising and keep other people out,” Reid said. “It’s better to benefit the whole city.”

When Storch demurred, Reid said if the group is saying they want to have the sale by themselves, they are saying they don’t have any interest in the West End.

Sleepy Hollow is in the southeast corner of the city and contains some of the city’s most desired homes. The West End is in the northwest corner and contains public housing as well as some poverty-ridden neighborhoods. The East End-West End dichotomy has been raised in the past as a code for racial and socio-economic discrimination.

Storch attempted to keep the question to whether FOSH could hold an October sale, saying they would have to start planning “just about now.”

A survey of permits showed most people hold garage sales in August, Storch noted, adding FOSH did not want to hold its sales on the same date as a citywide sale.

“I’d have to think about it,” Reid said. “It’s not fair to cut everyone out.”

Councilwoman Linda Carter retraced the original situation that led to the apparent ongoing controversy over what FOSH should do. The group had merely asked in April for expedited processing of the 80 or so fees involved in their garage sale, she said.

Council President Harold Gibson had then suggested that all fees be waived and that the sale should be held citywide. It was explained at the time that the FOSH fee covered the permits as well as ads, maps, markers and more to attract and welcome local and out-of-town buyers. To make a free citywide garage sale as successful as the FOSH sale, the city would have to replicate the publicity effort.

Officials decided in April that operational issues needed more time for planning and put off the citywide garage sale until 2009.

On Monday, Carter said all seven council members should be in on the new discussion and only four were present. The council may take it up as a discussion item at the Aug. 11 agenda-fixing session. The next regular meeting is Aug. 18.

--Bernice Paglia


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Reid seems to be interested in creating a problem where there is none. The FOSH sale is excellent PR for the city, is well-organized, and meets the needs of residents in that neighborhood. These are positives! Why would the council try to discourage this event? And worse, why would a councilor try to create an impression of elitism and prejudice through this event? Since the citywide sale has already been postponed until 2009, what exactly is the stumbling block? The only ones who will be "left out" are the residents of Plainfield, by their city representatives.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I hadn't read this, I wouldn't have believed it....
doesn't the council have better things to do than argue over 'garage' sales? Seems to me that the FOSH sale has become something of a tradition....and if you aren't in the Sleepy Hollow area, you aren't part of the garage sale.......pretty clear cut...

but then, of course, Council member Reid appears to want to turn this into something else....a racist garage sale?

give me a break!

5:21 PM  

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