From Harford County Council District A Councilman Dion Guthrie:
Mr. Richard Redner
President and CEO
#3 Quarry Road
Reading, PA 19605
Mr. David Cordish
President and CEO
601 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
Dear Mr. Redner and Mr. Cordish:
I am writing to appeal to both of you to help the citizens of our County and particularly in my district to resolve a “big” problem. It is publicly recognized that you are involved in litigation under civil action No. RDB-11-1864 (Redner’s Markets, Inc. Plaintiff V. Joppatowne G.P. Limited). This case affects all residents of the Joppatowne area. This dispute appears to surround Redner’s lease including a “no compete” clause and Cordish agreeing to lease space to the Amish, thereby violating Redner’s pre-existing lease.
I have met both of you and found both of you to be reasonable people and it’s my hope “cooler” heads will prevail. If one would stop and analyze this entire dispute and try to find some middle ground, I think everyone would realize that doing so is a “quid pro quo” and everyone benefits.
My wife and I do all of our grocery shopping at Redner’s and some at the Joppatowne shopping center. We have seen people go between both buildings and shop at both markets on numerous occasions. We have seen people dressed in traditional Amish clothing also shopping at Redner’s.
I am disappointed that you can’t find middle ground to resolve this disagreement. I am willing to use my services in order to mediate this dispute, if at all possible. In addition, Harford County provides a free mediation service that you may want to consider using. If something is not done, I only see matters getting worse.
The following petition is being circulated by the community:
PETITION TO SAVE THE AMISH MARKET At the JOPPATOWNE FLEA MARKET We, the undersigned are signing this petition as a show of support for the Amish Market in the Joppatowne Flea Market. As community members, vendors, and customers it is our intention to boycott Redner’s Grocery Store due to their efforts to close the Amish Market. We will not shop at nor visit any of the Redner’s location as long as they continue their campaign to put the Amish and market vendors out of business.
I stopped by this shopping center this past Saturday and reviewed a four inch thick stack of signed petitions. Each page holds 31 names and I was told that more than 10,000 signatures have been collected.
Again, It is my hope that this case does not proceed to the detriment of Joppatowne and we can all find some middle of the road because regardless of who is at fault, the Citizens of Joppatowne will pay the price. Between Cordish and Redner’s “other ” interests, we are but a “small potato” in a big patch. But, it is our “patch,” please do not spoil our “patch.”
Dion F. Guthrie
Harford County Council Member