Market seeks new leader

Depending upon sponsorship money, Sequim Open Aire Market could have a new manager by April 1 to succeed former director Lisa Bridge, who was laid off effective Friday, said new board president Patricia Earnest.

"We're in the process of deconstructing the market and reconstructing it in light of the current economy," she said Tuesday.

Earnest said part of that process, similar to what First Federal is undergoing, involves analyzing the market's past three years of income and expenses and seeing what they can afford.

They would like to have a full-time manager when the economy can sustain it, she said.

Bridge worked 20 hours a week for $18 per hour. Previous director Mark Ozias received $20 an hour for 20 hours a week. He resigned in December after four years to concentrate on his businesses.

Runs spring-fall

The market, which features food and craft vendors on Cedar Street, operates Saturdays from mid-May through October through a nominal lease with the city.

The city council approved a five-year lease for the Cedar Street space at its Feb. 22 meeting.

Earnest said another part of the process is changing the title from "market director," a more corporate-sounding term, to "market manager" to better reflect the person's duties.

When she took over in January, Earnest found the market's income was flat while its expenses continued increasing, leaving the finances out of balance, she said.

"So we're facing a whole new set of circumstances."

Since taking over as board president in December, Earnest is working with what she describes as a "great board" that includes six new members and two holdovers from the previous board.

They have filled the secretary, treasurer, vice president and other positions, she said.

Reach Brian Gawley at

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