Friday, February 10, 2006

Thank You Senator Schumer

Ole Chuck Schumer did his bit to get Saranac Lake our new Wal-Mart. Very disappointing. I'm not sure if he has ever even been to the Adirondacks. He's probably been to Lake Placid because politicians think LP is the Adirondacks. Why does Chuck hate good employee benefits and love to ship jobs overseas? In any case, see his letter below:

November 12, 2002

Mr. Lee Scott
President & CEOWal-Mart Stores, Inc.
702 SW 8th Street
Bentonville, AR 72716

Dear Mr. Scott:

I am writing to urge you to open a new Wal-Mart in New York's Adirondack region. I appreciate your continued commitment to do business in New York State and hope that you will join me in that effort once more.
Recently, Ames Department Store closed its retail stores in Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, leaving the residents of southern Franklin and St. Lawerence Counties and western Essex County with no comparable retail establishment nearby. In fact, the closest alternative is the Wal-Mart in Plattsburgh, a full hour and twenty minutes away.
The Ames closings have severely impacted the more than 20,000 full time residents in the area by further reducing their already limited shopping options. With Ames gone, residents now face new burdens in terms of time, energy and money needed just to buy basic necessities like clothing and home supplies since they need to travel an hour and a twenty minutes to the Plattsburgh store. I cannot imagine what it must be like to travel so far just to do your basic shopping. The year is 2002, not 1902, and our citizens deserve better.
The local economy relies largely on tourism, especially in the summer months when the area population doubles. The demand for a Wal-Mart in Saranac Lake is already present but becomes even greater in the summer when thousands of visitors come to the area. A new Wal-Mart would meet the needs of local consumers and would also be a viable business opportunity for you.
You might remember that in August 1999 I visited Johnstown, New York, and learned that the local economic development officials and Wal-Mart were having difficulty obtaining a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and the US Fish & Wildlife Service, to build a distribution center in Johnstown. I personally intervened and soon after, an agreement was reached, paving the way for the distribution center to open. Today, there are close to 1,000 jobs directly linked to that distribution center, and it has been a positive addition to both the local economy and to your company.
I hope that we can team up once again to bring Wal-Mart to the Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake area. I believe this effort will prove to be mutually beneficial for both the citizens of New York and Wal-Mart. I look forward to hearing from you and to continuing our excellent working relationship.


Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator


Scott Morgan said...

A lot of people have been using this letter to show that Schumer is pro Wal-Mart, but I don't think that's necessarily true. First of all, this letter is about 3 and a half years old. Second, does he know how much difference of opinion exists between the residents? It's quite possible that some pro Wal-Mart folks lobbied him for a Wal-Mart, so like a good representative he wrote the letter. Has anybody who either wants to limit Wal-Mart's size or is against it altogether written a letter to Schumer? I for one am going to do so and I'd encourage other New Yorkers to do so as well. I grew up in Saranac Lake and now live in Rochester, so he's still my representative and he's done wonderful things for Rochester. But Rochester isn't Saranac Lake and a 121,00 sq. ft. Wal-Mart is not what they (I still think in terms of "we") need up there. Short of that, I'll listen to any ideas!

Adirondack Wal-Mart said...

Agreed it's an old letter. I'd also be very surprised that Schumer is pro Wal-Mart business practices. Yes, I did write a letter to Sen. Schumer the first time I saw this letter.