For them, the heady days of May, with its press conferences and triumphal declarations of victory were as green as the wheat waving in the surrounding fields. Now, in late August, those green fields have been replaced by brown stubble. The city has approved Wal-Mart's SEPA checklist and it seems increasingly likely PARD's jihad is doomed. Instead of "PARD Wins the PR Battle," the headlines now read "Grassroots Movement in Favor of a New Wal-Mart in Pullman is Growing." And no more success stories either on Sprawl-busters.com.
That's what happens when you arrogantly ignore the businesses you claim that you are protecting. Perhaps PARD members should read Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" instead of "Slam Dunking Wal-Mart." For example, this quote in yesterday's Daily Evergeen from Montine Vona-Pergola, the PARD Co-Media Coordinator about the businesses who appeared in the full-page ad in support of Wal-Mart:
“I wasn’t surprised that there were so many people coming out in favor of it, but I did notice that a lot of businesses in the ad weren’t going to be in competition with Wal-Mart...”What? Not surprised that there so many people in favor of it? This is the same person who wrote a letter to the editor a few months back that claimed PARD's petition proved "by every academic standard" that 3/4 of Pullman was opposed to Wal-Mart. Businesses in the ad that weren't going to be in competition with Wal-Mart? There was a pro-Wal-Mart quote from Jerry Griebling, owner of Jerry's Auto Repair and a signatory of the ad, in that same article. In the PARD position paper issued back in May, Jerry's Auto Repair is listed as being at high risk from Wal-Mart. That paper also lists "slow food" restaurants as being at moderate to high risk. The full-page ad was signed by some of those restaurant owners as well. Almost every other business listed will compete with Wal-Mart in some way. As one local business owner put it: "Competition is what makes the world go around." PARD says they don't want Wal-Mart to have a "monopoly" and yet they support a monopoly on groceries by Dissmores IGA and Safeway, both big national chain stores in their own right? By every academic standard, Vona-Pergola's statement is ludicrous.
PARD has had plenty of warning that they were going against the majority of residents and businesses in Pullman, both in "petitioning" efforts aimed at local merchants (more on that in a future post) and at Chamber of Commerce meetings. I found this snippet from today's Daily Evergreen to be particularly amusing:
Vona-Pergola said a lot of people who are not a part of PARD sent documentation in during the comment period, though she has not heard of anyone who plans to appeal other than PARD."She has not heard of anyone who plans to appeal other than PARD." Well, DUH!! But then she goes on to say that "the citizens of Pullman will be forced to take the issue to the courts." Please. They need to look around and see they are the only ones who are still beating the dead horse. Don't drag us into it. People in Pullman are ready to move on and grow weary of T.V. Reed's increasingly shrill threats.
“During the public comment period, Pullman residents turned in 585 pages of comments and documentation,” Vona-Pergola said. “Many of those from experts in a variety of fields. Because Mr. Workman has opted not to heed these warnings of concern, the citizens of Pullman will be forced to take the issue to the courts.”