Letter to Councilor Jake Barrett

Soundgarden

June 6, 2013

Hon. Jake Barrett

Syracuse Common Councilor

City Hall

300 E. Washington Street

Syracuse, NY 13202

Re: Sound Garden

 Dear Councilor Barrett:

I am a lawyer and small business owner. I have recently relocated my legal practice from the Northside of Syracuse back downtown to enjoy the vibrancy and energy that downtown offers as well as the proximity to the Courthouse and other offices I need.

One of the things that excited me most about being back downtown is the proximity I would be to Sound Garden. Sound Garden has and remains to be one of my favorite downtown shopping venues. Unfortunately your actions, and yours alone seem to be placing a death knell on Sound Garden’s door.

Sound Garden’s first store, on Walton Street over the Empire Brewing Company was a wonderfully eclectic mix of record store and gathering place. Often times, I would spend my lunch hour browsing the collection of CD’s available for purchase both new and used. Ultimately the management installed listening stations (one of the first local stores to do so) in order to allow the listener to gain an appreciation of what it was they were about to purchase.  At no time then, or now was there any acknowledged or known illegal activity taking place there.

Subsequently, Sound Garden moved to its present location. Not only did it have the opportunity to expand its selection of music, movies and novelties, the company took advantage of its new location to provide a service to the community. Sound Garden held movies and concerts for the benefit of the community, at no cost and they were fun and well attended.

Now, they are leaving. They have become overburdened by the necessities of legislation drafted by you. They have become unable to work with a Council where the Councilor responsible for working with Sound Garden is taking every opportunity to work against this store. You should be ashamed.

At a time when our national and local economy is reinventing itself, we need more Sound Gardens.

It is my hope that you take every step to redress this wrong. It is my hope that you will reach and find a way to make this treasured landmark a continued part of Armory Square. However, it is my expectation that you will do neither; instead you will continue to be dogmatic in your approach. Instead of finding ways to encourage small business growth you will continue to work against it, that is my expectation from you.

Therefore, the only way to counteract this to effectuate the change in leadership that is necessary to move Syracuse forward. Good luck with your reelection campaign, I’ll be supporting your opponent.

Very truly yours,

Todd S. Engel

Soundgarden Needs our Help

I read the article on Syracuse.com with respect to how new legislation in the City of Syracuse is impacting the ability of Sound Garden to remain operational.

Soundgarden

Sound Garden is an eclectic and wonderful store. It started 16 years ago on Walton Street, above Empire Brewing Company and quickly became my go to place to buy music and dvds. It is a dying  breed: a true independent music store that sells pre-owned cd’s and dvds as well as new issues. They carry all types of music from big band to alternative rock and rap and everything in between. The store became so successful that several years ago, they moved into a stand alone building adjacent to Onondaga Creek and the new creek walk. If you ever want to get lost for a few hours browsing music old school style, go there and look through their collection; you will be amazed.

If Syracuse Common Councilor Jake Barrett has his way, you won’t have much longer to go, so hurry.

The Syracuse Common Council has enacted legislation regarding “second hand” stores, whereby sellers of previously owned merchandise must keep strict record keeping with the Syracuse Police Department.  The owners of Sound Garden have stated that by virtue of the large volume of pre-owned merchandise they take in per day they would be overly burdened by this restriction.  This is especially true since there are no allegations of selling stolen music or videos. As a result, the owners of Sound Garden appealed to Councilor Barrett to obtain a waiver.

Councilor Barrett has stated he has “no intention” of granting a waiver for this successful business. If his mind isn’t changed, Sound Garden intends to leave downtown, closing a successful well run business that adds a lot to our community. We as an electorate need to reach out to Councilor Barrett and the other Councilors on the Common Council.

As a local business owner and one who supports locally owned or independent businesses as much as possible, I encourage you to write  or call Councilor Barrett. I am discouraged that this Administration will not work with a successful business in finding a way to work things out.

Please take a minute to make your voice heard on this issue:

Jake Barrett: Room 314 City Hall
Syracuse, New York 13202
Phone: (315) 448-8466
Fax: (315) 448-8423
Email: [email protected]