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  1. TopTop #1
    The Barlow's Avatar
    The Barlow
     

    Letter from the Barlow

    To Our Local Community,

    Before hard hats, excavators or a single signed lease, The Barlow was encouraged by the community to grow into a creative campus offering local artisans the opportunity to thrive by showcasing their goods and building lasting connections with their consumers. With the support and direction of the local community, The Barlow adopted a mission ďto create and maintain a well-planned, organic environment for the community to conduct business, share food and enjoy art, wine and time together.Ē

    This mission could extend further by including a year-round Outdoor Market. Since its inception, many talented local farmers and artisan producers have approached The Barlow in hopes of finding a ďhomeĒ in Sebastopol. These producers, not yet in a position to invest in ďbrick and mortarĒ establishments, and unable to secure space in the Sebastopol town square on Sundays, are left with nowhere to go in the city they love. As the vision of The Barlow Outdoor Market progressed, these farmers and producers felt assured their dreams of selling in their hometown might finally become a reality.

    To that end, The Barlow applied for a use permit with the City of Sebastopol to allow for an Outdoor Market to be held within The Barlow campus on Sunday mornings and Thursday evenings.

    However, we have decided to postpone the permit application process to allow time for a peaceful dialogue and to bring the attention back to supporting healthy growth and fair opportunities for our local farmers and artisan producers.

    With open minds and encouragement from neighbors, both The Barlow and Sebastopol Farmerís Market have agreed to meet, along with a neutral third party, to again discuss the possibilities of collaboration.
    Itís an honor to be part of this community that cares so much to provide their opinions and hopes for Sebastopol. Thank you for keeping your hearts open. We are more powerful together than we ever could be apart.

    - The Barlow
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  2. Gratitude expressed by 3 members:

  3. TopTop #2
    The Barlow's Avatar
    The Barlow
     

    Re: Letter from the Barlow

    Letter from Bret Martin regarding the farmer's market:

    My name is Bret Martin and I am a minority partner at the Barlow. One afternoon many months ago after reading the Press Democrat story about the bitter Santa Rosa market feud, I approached Barney and asked him what the Barlow had planned for a farmers market. Barney told me that he had a market and was trying to move forward. I asked him if he knew about all the politics and the Press Democrat story about the lawsuit and ongoing feud. This was the first he had heard of this, but told me that he was too busy and stressed to put the appropriate time and energy into any further research. This was the day that I became the farmers market "person" at the Barlow. I told Barney that if I was taking this on that it would be my ultimate choice who we went with. Barney was reluctant to change course no matter what. Barney has felt, as I do, that because of his initial lack of vetting of the market in the first place he ended up effectively "betraying Paula and her market". Iím sure it feels like a betrayal and I apologize for being the person who pressured Barney not to follow through on his implied promise. We should have done our homework first. We didnít.

    I still feel I made the right choice as both sides of the market turf wars have hurt many farmers and created many enemies. I still have hope that the management at any Sebastopol farmers market exists free from the stigma of these conflicts. We donít want to take sides; we donít want to have a winner and a loser in this battle. We want a market that everyone on either side would feel safe joining.

    That being said, I have been reflecting on my decision for quite some time. I have felt up to this point that I have been totally fair minded and that the Barlow and I myself have been the innocent victims of a misinformation campaign against our efforts to best serve the farmers of Sebastopol. But I really have to "own" the impact that my choice has made on the current Sebastopol farmers market; requiring them to make significant changes in order to fit my vision of fairness after Barney had already pursued and agreed to sign up the market without caveats or conditions. The timing and delivery seriously could only have come as a crushing blow and paved the way for the current climate of mutual mistrust.

    So, I am offering to pay for a third-party moderator to help get to the universal truths surrounding the farmers market conflict. Iím further anxious to have the Barlow be merely a landlord and recuse itself from any future farmers market internal workings. The Barlow has received 25 checks, and the number keeps growing, from vendors who wish to participate in a market at the Barlow. I envision and hope that somehow we will find a home for them as well as for the good farmers who currently sell on Sundays in Sebastopol. I further intend to be completely transparent and invite criticism, as it was criticism that got me thinking about my "opposition" who really should be my new friends.

    I will remain open to the best possible mediated outcome for the farmers of Sebastopol with their security as my most important gauge of success. By the way, the current Sebastopol market has thoughtfully voted to enter into mediation with usÖI say bravo and thank you.

    - Bret Martin
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  4. TopTop #3
    rossmen
     

    Re: Letter from the Barlow

    hey bret, nice to read from you again. i am not sure i trust you can handle wacco since you already dropped responding once. can you handle a complex truth where you have the responsibility to choose... winners and losers? you have more spaces. you have received lots of suggestions and feedback (of which mine was totally ignored by everyone : ), the barlow is big for sebastopol! how will you decide? i am not sure mediation will reveal anything more than you know already. which i assume is more than me.

    Quote Posted in reply to the post by The Barlow: View Post
    Letter from Bret Martin regarding the farmer's market:

    My name is Bret Martin and I am a minority partner at the Barlow. One afternoon many months ago after reading the Press Democrat story about the bitter Santa Rosa market feud, I approached Barney and asked him what the Barlow had planned for a farmers market. Barney told me that he had a market and was trying to move forward. I asked him if he knew about all the politics and the Press Democrat story about the lawsuit and ongoing feud. This was the first he had heard of this, but told me that he was too busy and stressed to put the appropriate time and energy into any further research. This was the day that I became the farmers market "person" at the Barlow. I told Barney that if I was taking this on that it would be my ultimate choice who we went with. Barney was reluctant to change course no matter what. Barney has felt, as I do, that because of his initial lack of vetting of the market in the first place he ended up effectively "betraying Paula and her market". Iím sure it feels like a betrayal and I apologize for being the person who pressured Barney not to follow through on his implied promise. We should have done our homework first. We didnít.

    I still feel I made the right choice as both sides of the market turf wars have hurt many farmers and created many enemies. I still have hope that the management at any Sebastopol farmers market exists free from the stigma of these conflicts. We donít want to take sides; we donít want to have a winner and a loser in this battle. We want a market that everyone on either side would feel safe joining.

    That being said, I have been reflecting on my decision for quite some time. I have felt up to this point that I have been totally fair minded and that the Barlow and I myself have been the innocent victims of a misinformation campaign against our efforts to best serve the farmers of Sebastopol. But I really have to "own" the impact that my choice has made on the current Sebastopol farmers market; requiring them to make significant changes in order to fit my vision of fairness after Barney had already pursued and agreed to sign up the market without caveats or conditions. The timing and delivery seriously could only have come as a crushing blow and paved the way for the current climate of mutual mistrust.

    So, I am offering to pay for a third-party moderator to help get to the universal truths surrounding the farmers market conflict. Iím further anxious to have the Barlow be merely a landlord and recuse itself from any future farmers market internal workings. The Barlow has received 25 checks, and the number keeps growing, from vendors who wish to participate in a market at the Barlow. I envision and hope that somehow we will find a home for them as well as for the good farmers who currently sell on Sundays in Sebastopol. I further intend to be completely transparent and invite criticism, as it was criticism that got me thinking about my "opposition" who really should be my new friends.

    I will remain open to the best possible mediated outcome for the farmers of Sebastopol with their security as my most important gauge of success. By the way, the current Sebastopol market has thoughtfully voted to enter into mediation with usÖI say bravo and thank you.

    - Bret Martin
    | Login or Register (free) to reply publicly or privately   Email

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