I'm writing this on behalf of the current 38 tenants at the Barlow in Sebastopol in response to the article "Barlow Blues" (Feb. 4).
First of all, as a member of the Barlow Tenants Association's elected board, I feel it is fair to say that the article was a poor representation of what is really going on for the majority of us who are managing thriving businesses at the Barlow. We are local producers, artisans and collaborators who love what we do and feel privileged to share our creativity with such a receptive and supportive community. There are just a few tenants who have left, each for their own reasons. But there are far more of us who are still here and have high hopes for the growth of the Barlow, as well as the subsequent success of our businesses.
While it is true that there is an audit being conducted, this is a very common practice that happens regularly between tenants and landlords with commercial lease properties, and nothing newsworthy in our collective opinion. An audit is simply a way to bring in a neutral third party to examine the fine print and make sure that nobody is being under- or overcharged.
The Barlow management has been extremely cooperative and supportive throughout the process, and we all believe that only good can come out of this. Regardless of the findings, the process has brought the tenants together to form an association with an elected board that works very closely with the Barlow management team to make decisions beneficial for everyone. Whatever changes come about will bring clarity and consistency to the way in which lease terms are calculated, which is good for tenants and the Barlow alike. We are all very positive that this process will result in increased efficiency as we continue to work together to create a shared vision of the Barlow as the wonderful destination that brought us all there to build our businesses in the first place.
From all of us at the Barlow, we want you to know that "this train is bound for glory." It's time to get on board and support your local economy! We are all in this together, so shop local, drink local, eat local and get on over to the Barlow to see what we're all up to.
Gia Baiocchi is a member of the Barlow Tenant's Association board of directors and manager of the Nectary.
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