I prefer that Wal-Mart locate in the Jackson Creek area rather than on Baptist Road. Frankly, I prefer to not have them here at all. I think their addition to our community will destroy many of our local business venues and slowly, these unique local gems will drop from sight, just as small businesses have in other communities that welcomed Wal-Mart with open arms. Many of our small business owners are either naive or are keeping a stiff upper lip when they tell me their businesses will survive. I can’t believe there could possibly be any difference when past performance almost always predicts future results. When the pattern is always the same, the result is always the same.
I worry about Cathy and Woody Woodworth of High Country Feed and their darling store that sells landscaping materials, Suzanne D’Innocenzo of Petal Pushin who caters to the gift shopper, and Tommie Plank who has Covered Treasures, the greatest little bookstore around. These are not just businesses. These are people running local businesses and there is a huge difference between the two. Cathy, Woody, Tommie and Suzanne cater to their customers. They ask questions to lead the shopper into sound purchasing decisions the customer will be happy with. There is wisdom in their personalized thought, and individualized caring in their service. These are not qualities I have ever experienced at a Wal-Mart. The rich and unique shopping diversity we moved to Monument to immerse ourselves in is about to become extinct.
Wal-Mart is more like a monster with no soul and little to no responsibility or regard as to the outcome of their corporate decisions within the community. They bulldoze through small towns leaving nothing but destruction in their wake when they are through with their take-over mission. Wal-Mart, in my opinion, is much like a temper tantrum throwing 4 year old who has not been disciplined and made to be held accountable for its actions. It is time that a community takes on the parenting role of this bad-boy and sets some very firm boundaries if the monster is to be allowed to exist within our community.
Too many big box stores have been abandoned and left to decay because Wal-Mart outgrew its shoes and had to have the next pretty vacant lot down the way. We need to set guidelines that Wal-Mart must have its old store leased before it vacates and moves to a larger store. We should require that Wal-Mart move into properly zoned areas rather than throwing a fit and being manipulative when it can’t be in an inappropriate area that is improperly zoned. Just as I create house rules and shut doors to rooms I don’t want my 4 year old niece in, we too need to stand firm to unacceptable business behaviors we deem damaging to our community. Wal-Mart will never be held accountable until it is required to become accountable by us.
As citizens of our community we must take on the responsibility for our immediate areas and say no to bad choices and firmly and resolutely put the hammer down when it is required. Whose town is this anyway? It’s mine and yours and there is always a bad, good and better choice to all that happens in our community. If Wal-Mart must be here, and I’m not convinced it must, then let’s at least put it in an appropriate play-pen area such as a power center that is set up to handle the growth and development of the tantrum throwing child we are about to foster.