Archive for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Letter: ‘No’ to Wal-Mart

March 13, 2007

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to the feature article Wednesday regarding a proposed Wal-Mart Super Center in western Shawnee. As a father, local small businessman, and home owner in western Shawnee, I fear the city council and planning commission have sounded the death knoll for western Shawnee. I am very upset at what I perceive to be the utter lack of foresight and economic sensibility behind their decisions to be complicit with Rodrock Development's plans to ruin our fair city.

Strong, safe neighborhoods and local, small businesses are the lifeblood of a community. What business owner will be attracted to western Shawnee when they have to compete with a Wal-Mart behemoth? What family wants to relocate to a community that allows this development within a few hundred yards of a grade school? Who will walk their dogs and children on streets encumbered by thousands of cars traversing residential developments?

I can only hope city officials will not turn their backs on the children of Shawnee, and in turn, cause the economic downfall of our community. I see nothing but suburban blight in our future. After all, do we want to be the face of the new, modern, family and small business friendly community our city vision strives for? Rodrock's mission statement of "building better communities" is in direct opposition to the very proposal he has for western Shawnee. Better communities for whom: a large, corporate monster or families?

Darol Rodrock and the city of Shawnee have a choice: let's all hope they make the one that is best for our future survival as the community to envy in Johnson County, not just another suburban strip mall that drives in transient shoppers, and drives out families.

Martin Gilmore


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