This is a copy of my post in the Daily Press regarding an article relating to the Measure D issue, which is sometimes known as the Walmart initiative:
My opinion regarding Measure D will likely be unpopular with those who express their opinions here online, but I feel several things need to be said. Initially, I was on the fence but this changed after objectively listening to both sides. I commend the efforts of The Citizens for Smart Growth (CSG) and I respect their opinions. However, I also believe it prudent to point out the flaws in several of their claims and the claims of those who are against Measure D and/or Wal-Mart expansion in Apple Valley.
Contrary to what a few want everyone else to believe, the Super Wal-Mart will not lead to the total destruction of Apple Valley. Before it was constructed, the current Wal-Mart faced similar opposition with claims of economic destruction and the liking. Afterwards, the sky didn’t suddenly turn black. The Sun or Moon didn’t fall from the sky. The Earth didn’t open up and swallow all the small businesses in Apple Valley. As it turns out, Apple Valley’s Wal-Mart was a benefit to many as it eliminated much of the need to drive to Victorville for shopping. In turn, much of the former opposition shops there regularly too. I believe much of the same will happen after the Super Wal-Mart opens.
CSG claims they are grass roots and lack financial support to fight against the big nasty Wal-Mart money machine. The fact is anti-Wal-Mart sentiment has been heavily financed and supported by special interest for a very long time, and CSG is the tail end of it all.
Attorney Cory Briggs has been very instrumental in stopping or slowing down every Wal-Mart development across California. In my opinion, Mr. Briggs is the primary reason why Wal-Mart has taken so many years to develop the property in question. Although there’s no official claims, it’s safe to assume that United Food Commercial Workers (UFCW) has invested heavily into Mr. Brigg’s law practice as UFCW has the most to lose because Super Wal-Mart competes directly with their union shop stores, such as Albertsons, Ralphs, Food For Less and Stater Bros.
So why has CSG raised a pitiful amount of money? How come Mr. Briggs and UFCW have seemingly disappeared when the moral compass of our community is on the line? How come there hasn’t been a single dime invested by UFCW into CSG to fight Wal-Mart against Measure D? The fact is, it doesn’t look good for the “NO” crowd if they can’t raise a couple thousand dollars in a community of over 70,000. Mr. Briggs and UFCW probably know it’s a lost battle and/or disagree with the principles of CSG and have moved on.
What I find amusing is CSG boasting about former councilmember Bob Sagona’s support. What they don’t want everyone to know is HE VOTED IN FAVOR OF IT THREE TIMES WHILE HE WAS A COUNCILMEMBER. Then again, this is typical of Mr. Sagona’s flip flopping track record and demonstrates why he lost his incumbent council seat during a non-controversial election cycle. Keep in mind that the planning commission and town council are unanimous in favor of supporting Measure D, which includes Barbara Stanton who probably has the most to lose politically for supporting this.
CSG alludes that our community is selling out to Wal-Mart’s deep pockets. The fact is we ALREADY SOLD OUT… The fact is Wal-Mart has been a part of this community for many years. The fact is Wal-Mart is one of the largest non-government employers in the HighDesert and the largest employer in Apple Valley. The fact is having Wal-Mart in Apple Valley IS NOT a bad thing but actually turns out to be a GOOD thing. The fact is if Measure D fails, this may lead to Wal-Mart eventually taking their 1,600+ employees and their massive sales tax revenue to another community that is more receptive, which will be incredibly devastating to Apple Valley.
Another fact that CSG and others want everyone to overlook is Super Wal-Marts being super magnets for shoppers. Much of the reason why an entire shopping center, a Super Target and a Lowes was opened is the expectation of the Super Wal-Mart to have been opened several years ago. That shopping center at full capacity can mean hundreds more jobs and millions more in sales tax revenue on top of those directly employed by Wal-Mart. Without the Super Wal-Mart, there will be a great big empty lot across the street from a great big empty shopping center for years to come because developers and retailers will think twice about expanding into Apple Valley.
Perhaps contrary to what I’ve said so far, I should mention that I’m not a big fan of how Wal-Mart conducts business. They have a stellar track record of destroying small businesses, driving manufacturing jobs overseas, etc. and certainly earned the reputation of being an evil company. Personally, I see Measure D as choosing the lesser of the two evils. The Super Wal-Mart operating at Thunderbird and Dale Evans will be a lot less evil for Apple Valley than the alternative.
Here’s a link to the original article: [ click here ]