Denying Wal-Mart the right decision by City Commission

Published: Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2004 at 1:19 a.m.

Regarding The Sun's June 26 editorial "Take three": It was discouraging to read that Wednesday's City Commission decision "was not a vote against having a Wal-Mart super-center in Gainesville."

The Sun's retrograde position that spreading dozens of acres of asphalt and concrete for "one or more supercenters" simply because "the company has determined that there is a market here for such operations" is further cause for dismay. Isn't this a choice that should be made locally?

Wal-Mart routinely makes headlines due to its sub-standard labor and purchasing practices and the negative effects it has had on local businesses throughout the U.S. The fact that Wal-Mart was lobbying to build near the headwaters of Hogtown Creek speaks volumes of its disregard for local socio-environmental values.

The commission's willingness to defend local interests should be lauded rather than dismissed as "anti-business." No doubt local and regional business people would strongly welcome support on a level to which Wal-Mart has become accustomed.

Rather than roll out the red carpet for a "hassle-free and expeditious" deal, a City Commission that is genuinely concerned about the quality of life in our community would strongly consider whether the creation of more low-income jobs by a well-known labor abuser and local business destroyer is truly in the best interest of city residents.

Mary Witoshynsky,


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