To the editor:
Apparently, people like Doug Brown (Take A Stand, May 26) just don't get it. This is not about Wal-Mart. But, yes, it is about stigma.
The stigma is we are a town that cares about livability and urban sprawl. We care about our quality of life over convenient shopping. We care about keeping a vibrant downtown full of variety. We care about blighted retail space around town. We care that builders feather their pockets under the guise of public interest. We care about the young drivers at Free State High who drive that intersection every day. We care about attracting "white collar" companies that bring real money.
Yes' we have a stigma; it is called The Courage of Our Convictions.
If Wal-Mart wants to be a good citizen, if the City Commission wants to represent the citizens and not go back to the old perceptions that they are in the pockets of the Chamber of Commerce and builders, find a win-win solution.
Put Wal-Mart in that "empty retail space the mayor says doesn't exist" at Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 59. It would help develop the north side that needs successful retail, it's convenient for us west-siders who don't want to drive to 31st and Iowa, AND on my way out to Bismarck Gardens to pick up corn, I could stop and get some butter!