Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Is There Enough Blame Left Over to Share With Wal-Mart?

Wal-Mart has supposedly "given up" on Saranac Lake and as a result the blame game has been going on for weeks on TOTT and in letters and guest columns in the ADE. So who actually is to blame for Wal-Mart "giving up" on us?

The largest share of the blame has been cast upon the three Democrat village board members. The three new board members soundly defeated the Republican competition who campaigned on getting Wal-Mart to build as soon as possible. They are directly responsible for not allowing the rezoning of the village sandpit area. But to adequately prepare a SEQR they need answers to real questions about the effects of the rezoning.

There is no blame being cast on the SL residents who overwhelmingly voted for the three Democrats. Afterall, the Democrats lied to them about supporting Wal-Mart.

Next to be blamed is SAGA and it's rich, non-native members. But SAGA said it would not oppose Wal-Mart if the company built a reasonably sized store in the downtown area.

The Save Saranac Lake Coalition gets blamed as they are very upfront about being opposed to Wal-Mart. This is another small group that consists of rich, non-native residents of the area. It must be a very powerful group of people to back down the largest company in the universe.

Then there is CARD, a mysterious local group made up of the vast majority of area residents. These are salt of the earth, born and brought up in SL, 5th and 6th generation natives that have been caretakers of the Adirondacks for generations. They certainly don't share in any blame. Afterall, they supported anthing Wal-Mart told them to support. I wonder if any CARD member wanted Wal-Mart so badly that they suggested to Wal-Mart that they might want to consider compromise?

But what about Wal-Mart? The largest, wealthiest company in the entire universe (as far as we know). Wal-Mart doesn't compromise, they don't want community input (unless it favors them), they always win and no one on earth can tell them what to do. They are the experts afterall. They have obviously decided that they are incapable of profitably operating a 68,000 sq ft store which likely would have been supported by a majority of local residents.

Is there any blame left over for Wal-Mart?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was at the public hearings over in Lake Placid in 1995. The public hearings over the Lake Placid Wal-Mart were supposed to go only 3 days but ended up going 11 days. For those who remember Wal-Mart orginally wanted to build something over 100,000 feet to begin with. The Town planning board thought they were going to have the say in the permit process for this large store. But the APA ended up with the jurisdiction because of the height of the building among other things. Wal-Mart NOT WANTING the APA to have the jurisdiction over their building scaled their building down ALMOST OVERNIGHT to 80,000 square feet.
At the public hearings Wal-Mart representatives made the comment that they couldn't build ANYTHING UNDER 80,000 square feet. If the store was under 80,000 it couldn't be protiftable. Well, after the permit got denied by the planning board, Wal-Mart SUDDENLY had plans for a 58,000 square foot store! Now why was Wal-Mart who said they couldn't be profitable at anything under 80,000 square feet, coming up with plans for 58,000 feet? Were they LYING when they said they couldn't build anything smaller? Apparently so.
Wal-Mart could have compromised with a smaller store in Lake Placid, but were unwilling to do so. They could have compromised with a smaller store in Saranac Lake too, but were unwilling to do so. This bully only knows one way--their way. I sure hope this LIAR is gone from the Adirondacks!