Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wal-Mart Commentary by SAGA

In todays ADE, a guest commentary on Wal-Mart written by SAGA representative Mark Kurtz. Mr. Kurtz reinterates and discusses the criteria that SAGA believes should be followed for Wal-Mart to build in Saranac Lake.

These include:

Location: Downtown SL would be best. In this regard, Mayor Michael met with Wal-Mart reps and developers yesterday to discuss other building locations in SL.

Size: Follow store size limitations of 40,0000 sq ft for a single store or 68,000 sq ft for a shopping center.

This commentary should result in a spate of Letters to the Editor and calls to TOT.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Singing the Praises of Jim Sinegal - Costco

This weeks Time Magazine lists their 100 people who shape our world. Jim Sinegal is listed under 'builders and titans'.

Mr. Sinegal is the CEO of Costco. He makes $350,000 a year not including a modest bonus and stock options.

Costco is one of the U.S.'s largest companies, with 118,800 workers, 473 warehouse-club stores and sales of $51.9 billion in its most recent fiscal year. Costco's stock has trounced archrival Wal-Mart's in recent years. Perhaps most unusual, Sinegal has resisted Wall Street pressure to become a less generous employer; store workers earn an average of $17 an hour and pay just 9% of the cost of health insurance, a rich package in the penny-pinching retail industry. "Our attitude is that if you hire good people and pay them a fair wage, then good things will happen for the company," says Sinegal, who remains hale at 70.

If you Google 'Jim Sinegal' you will find that many others also sing his praises.

Mr. Sinegal has said "We pay much better than Wal-Mart. That's not altruism. It's good business." A full time clerk or warehouse worker at Costco makes $41,000 a year with great health benefits. Yep. Wal-Mart makes twice as much profit as Costco but Mr. Sinegal believes in making a 'profit' not a killing and to invest in his workers.

Who would have thought you can make money in retail AND provide for your employees?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Sandpit Rezoning Discussion - May 15th

The Saranac Lake Village Board will discuss the possible rezoning of the village sandpit area on Lake Flower Avenue. This is the 10 acre site that Wal-Mart is hoping to purchase from the village. Mayor Michael states that this meeting is not a Wal-Mart referendum but rather an opportunity to ask questions of the consulting engineer, Andy Abdullah. The village has thus far spent $18,000 on the rezoning process and it will cost an estimated $32,000 more. The SEQR process has been completed so Trustee John McEneany suggests that the board should decide whether or not to proceed with the rezoning process. McEneany is also concerned that the meeting could turn into a 'free-for-all'. Read more here at WNBZ.