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Keeping Us Off Balance - the Second InstallmentPosted Monday, August 29, 2011, at 3:17 PM
Guess what, folks? Walmart has changed the date, again, to meet with the Planning Commission. Let's see...first it was August 23rd, then it was September 13th and now it's Tuesday October 11th at 6PM. It seems to me keeping us off balance is definitely Walmart's game plan. Either that or they're hoping we will get tired of the hassle and lose interest in attending a town meeting thus avoiding pointed questions.
It can't take Walmart that long to create their graphs and charts or to explore whether we want them here or not. They're too cagey for that. No, I really think they are playing a cat and mouse game. Now you see the meeting date, now you don't.
However, if Walmart does finally show up for a Planning/Town Meeting, we need to be ready for them. Please don't fall victim to their plan. Don't lose heart. We need loads of people to show them we care about our town. We have to challenge them to tell us how they would run their business here in our town. Would they slash and burn prices as they have done in other communities to drive out competing businesses and then raise the cost of their items once the local merchants are gone? We need to pin them to the wall on their operational guidelines. I'm not sure Planning has the guts to broach the important questions.
On the other hand, if Walmart is able to get around our pitiful ordinances, and builds here, then we need to garner some nice heavy grease to slather the wheels of our commerce. We need them to coat our palms with big time money. How about repairing our streets? After all, there will be a lot of wear and tear on our road surfaces from their heavy trucks. And what about handing out some big dough to support The Auditorium? We could use a benefactor in perpetuity for our beautiful and historic entertainment venue. After all, isn't Alice Walton famous for supporting the arts? We don't want Walmart to take over our town for a pittance. A sewer link from Van Buren down to the sewage plant should be just a down payment. If we have to put up with them, then they need to pay us dearly for their big, ugly, box store.
Finally, the Planning Commission needs to dig out from its black hole, the three master plans that have been sent to them for approval. These plans need to be dusted off, updated and sent to the Town Council. Council needs to choose the best one and vote on it. We can not have a fiasco similar to this one catch us with our pants down, again. If the council can't make up its mind, then resign and let someone else who has some intestinal fortitude take over.
We are all tired of living in a town that's reactive rather than proactive.
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I'm Enid. No, not the town in Oklahoma, but a transplant to Eureka Springs from Minneapolis fourteen years ago. I'm a writer, journalist and sometime artist. My real love is expressing my opinions on almost any subject, as you have seen in my many letters to the Editor of The Lovely County Citizen over the years. Now, I'm happy to say that I will be writing a blog titled In a Twist for your amusement, amazement or commiseration. Thanks for giving me a read.