Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Community Comments on Wal-Mart

I got these comments from the Adirondack Daily Enterprise website. They are somewhat typical of the for and against Walmart factions in Saranac Lake.

"Looks like we have a real class war starting here! The ironic thing is that the morons who are for Walmart are the ones who will be hurt the most. When Walmart moves in we'll lose our downtown and we'll have an ugly eyesore right at the entrance to the village. Then vacationers, tourists, and sucessful transplants won't want to be in Saranac Lake anymore. We come to Saranac Lake to GET AWAY FROM WALMART and because Saranac Lake is a beautiful and special place. When that changes, we'll leave. I'm sure you'll say "good riddance", but watch what happens to the town when all the rich and educated people move away. All that will be left are the welfare losers who wanted Walmart in the first place, but now without any tax base or jobs. Why ARE you here? To get OUR jobs we nasty "elitists" had to go away to school, work eighteen hours a day, fit in with strangers, move several times for jobs, rent one apartment after another, all the while longing for a neighborhood to fit into. I CAME from farm country, and I could have stayed. I gave up a lot. I didn't get a car passed down to me or Uncle Bob fixing my plumbing for me, or the chance to inherit Ol' Gramma's house mortgage free. Why does everyone assume that people who make money now got it easy?? Look, we worked, and we work. Do you know what this elitist does? Volunteers on two town groups that don't give anything back to me, donates to the library which all of your kids can use, volunteers at the school just because I like your kids and would like for them to all have jobs when they grow up, I promise, and pays about three times the taxes you do. Do I live in one of the big new houses? No. I don't believe in living that way. I believe in being part of the town. I believe in being able to talk to everyone. Do I shop at the so-called "elitist" stores? Yes, when they have $1 toys for birthday grab bags, or give free books to the school programs, or offer me the broken belt for the Cub Scout project because we'd rather not pay for the new one. Keep in mind that it's the wealthy and educated people who make Saranac Lake what it is -- one of the most livable small towns in the country. We're the ones who pay the huge taxes, who support the library, the carnival, and a million other charities and who volunteer at the schools while the losers sit around and gripe about not being able to buy cheap cigarettes. If you want a Walmart so much, and care so little about the town, why don't you pack up and move to Plattsburgh? You won't be missed..."

"It seems that the interests of this community are controlled by a small, but vocal group of elitists who look down their noses at the members of this community who are hard working families or retired individuals who cannot afford to shop at the main street boutiques to fulfill their retail needs. I guess that they believe that the dollar stores are sufficient to meet our needs. I know that Mark Kurtz stated a few years back at a meeting at the Adult Center that "Anyone can find anything they need with the existing businesses here in Saranac Lake". I challenge him to find kids shoes, clothing, soxs, underware, etc… which are of reasonable quality and prices not Dollar Store irregulars!. Working families and retirees in this community sometimes do not have the time or resources to travel back and forth to Plattsburgh to do basic shopping. This village needs to wake up to the fact that there is a large population of dissatisfied customers and taxpayers in this community who want more of a retail choice. The elitist contingent can continue to patronize their downtown boutiques to keep them in business because after all they are not being patronized by the vast majority of us who are travelling to Plattsburgh or elsewhere. As far as Wal-Mart scaring off the tourists, this is a joke as most tourists will still enjoy the beauty of our Lakes, Rivers, Mountains, Campsites, Resort Hotels, etc… Also, our community could possibly work with Wal-Mart or other retailer on an Adirondack Architectural theme - Maybe our Resident Elitist Mark Kurtz could come up with some sketches!"

Like most issues in this community, it seems like sentiment concerning Walmart is about 50/50, if you believe the data presented in the unscientific web poll of the ADE.


B-Wizz said...

I'd give points to both of them, although caller number one comes off as a bit of an @$$hole. He's probably the guy that'll "teach you a lesson" if you're the average joe out for a day's skiing and accidently cut in line or something (because he would be two busy gaping, and talking with white collar friends about the latest gadget they've got back at home or something. These are the same people I run into anytime I try to take Ethan fishing. They're superoir, but will still paddle their $3,000 canoes over a seven year olds fishing line). Caller number two sounds more like my kind of people.

I think I want a Walmart in this town (geez, if myself five years ago heard that, he'd kick my ass). But I do get irritated at the "losers" that tend to hang out at Walmart, because of cheap cigarettes (or maybe they just have more everyman hobbies - fishing/hunting/mechanic-ing, etc). At least Walmart would keep them all in one area, rather than spread out at every Stewart's in th eland...

Anonymous said...

I agree with the comments of the previous blogger in that the statements of individual #1 seem to paint him as some type of egotistical whiner! The comments of individual #2 seem to be from the heart and more believable. If individual #1 was so concerned with his community he/she would work toward some type of compromise and not resort to calling his less privledged towns folk "Morons". I agree that he might be the type of individual to cut you off in traffic with his gas guzzling Hummer. I'm wondering who is the real moron!

PCS said...

Unfortunately, many of the comments made by the pro-Wal-Mart side were even worse than those made by the anti-Wal-Mart side. All the comments have been published in the ADE. It's too bad name calling has to be brought into the discussion. The vast majority here want a retail department store. The argument is over size and location. My argument is more economic and moral values.
As to those guys and their $3,000 canoes...there are even more 'morons' with outboard motorboats, snowmobiles and 4-wheelers that act exactly the same way as the 'rich' morons. Unfortunately, this second group is usually made up of people that can't really afford these 'toys' and are thus deeply in debt and need to find ways to 'save' money.