Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Appeal Hearing is Over

I wasn't able to make the hearing today as I was doing The PES radio show on KZUU with Scotty.

I have heard there was a tremendous turnout of people who want Pullman to grow and develop, many who had not attended the previous two sessions. Our numbers continue to grow, while the numbers of the nattering nabobs of negativism dwindle. The truth is on our side.

Please post your stories from today's hearing.


April E. Coggins said...

I will try to give a recap. I do tend to listen closer to the anti's than I do the pro's. I am just so darn curious to find out what makes the anti's tick.

This is not in any order:

Greg Hooks, while refuting the economic impact study, stated that college student dollars shouldn't be counted because they don't spend money in the community. They bring everything with them from where ever they come.

One of Greg Hooks subordinates wants us to have a study about how Moscow and Pullman can have a more appealing downtown. Her suggestion was that we do an international study and find out what will appeal to (apparently only white people) to locals. We are a country of immigrants and we should suppport that.

A woman thinks we shouldn't allow Wal-Mart to build because she bought a printer from Wal-Mart and it didn't work and they couldn't fix it.

The PARD rhetoric about the cemetery has now ramped up. Wal-Mart is no longer just desecrating graves and cutting down old growth forests in the cemetery, they are now "raping" and "de-flowering" the cemetery.

TV Reed stated that PARD is not treating Wal-Mart any different than any other company that would want to locate in Pullman. I found this odd because PARD's attorney argued that Wal-Mart should be treated differently because they are SO BIG!

One PARD lady is certain that Wal-Mart is coming to town to shut down all the businesses and then they will shut themselves down. She will then have to drive 16 miles to buy groceries.

PARD member Bob Gruenewald gave a talk about freedom to choose where one shops. When he was done, I thought about cheering. It was a strange moment when he made our case for us and didn't mean to.

Cynthia Hosick, bless her heart, is now suggesting positive changes to the Wal-Mart. She talked about her lighting suggestions for our new Wal-Mart Supercenter.

April E. Coggins said...

The Wal-Mart attorney pointed out that PARD had not presented one single piece of evidence to substantiate any of their allegations. He pointed out that PARD has had at the very least, a year to o find evidence that the City of Pullman and/or Wal-Mart was wrong. Greg Hooks, in his limited capacity as an attorney, argued that it wasn't fair that the City of Pullman wouldn't listen to PARD's complaints and that now the Wal-Mart attorney was telling him it was too late to submit material. Apparently, it is news to a professor that research and homework before the presentation, should be done.

April E. Coggins said...

I don't mean to leave the idea that the pro-Wal-Mart people weren't at the hearing. We were and we were the majority. In no order:

Bob Patrick: He pretty much reminded everyone of all the lost opportunities we have all witnessed, because of groups like PARD.

Dennis Wendt: Businesses want other businesses. We all profit from success.

Scott Van Ness: Pullman should not be held back, we need the growth.

Rod Schwartz: He said a lot of the same things but I loved (as did the crowd) when he said that the residents in the cemetery don't care one way or the other.

Susie Johnson: Her students shop at Wal-Mart all the time. She disputed the idea that student dollars shouldn't be counted.

Terry Day: We shouldn't illegally stop Wal-Mart. The law should be respected and the day that Wal-Mart applied, are the rules that this application should apply.

Chuck Millham: He spoke about Pullman history, free enterprise.

Fritz Hughes: He spoke as a resident and Chamber President. Most members support Wal-Mart and we need the draw a Wal-Mart will bring.

Joshua Coke said...

Thank you for the highlights, April. Sorry I didn't get to see you folks there, but unfortunately I was stuck in class.

I can't believe that Greg Hooks actually suggested that student dollars shouldn't be counted because we supposedly don't spend money in town. This is one of the many reasons why I disagree with this group so much. What an insult! Greg, I'm willing to bet I've spent more here than you have in the past 4 years.

At least the Wal-Mart lawyer called them on their BS

April E. Coggins said...

I don't want to place too much emphasis on the fiscal impact study, as it has no bearing on the site plan or SEPA. It was presented for informational purposes only and as much as PARD would like to put the study on trial, the hearing was about the site plan and the environmental impact.
With that said, one of the PARD ladies, (I think Mrs. Gruenewald?) complained that the fiscal impact study didn't pertain to Pullman. We should be looking at the fiscal impact statement done for Bozeman, Montana. Huh? Do they listen to themselves?

WSUStretch said...

Exactly, April. If the Hearing Examiner does his job, the conclusions should be pretty obvious. Bob Patrick's comments were solid too.

The anti-testamony seemed to get more strange as the hearings went on - not surprised tho. If we stop businesses from coming because they sell us something that breaks and then they can't fix it, means we'd have no businesses in town... I'm not even going to try to figure that one out - my head hurts...

To give an education illustration for the educated opponents:
A business (WalMart) wants to build in Pullman. They (the student) look at the course syllabus and grading policy (City zoning code and related state ordinances). The Comp Plan is more of the Course Overview. The class is Pass/Fail. If you follow the syllabus, you pass the class.
Now, if the other students want to change the grading policy to single out the one big student(WalMart), are you as the teacher going to do that? Will the Institution back you if you do?

The answers are obviously NO. That's how communities, municipalities and business works. The Outline (Comp Plan) in this case was written in 1969, 1982 and 1998 and generated the syllabus (zoning code) that is updated regularly, based on the Comp Plan and state requirements. If you follow the grading guidelines, you pass, no matter how much whining is done by your classmates. If you don't meet the guidelines, you don't pass. Thats also why all the discussion and flack on economic impact, health care, wages, etc etc etc are simply not part of the "class" and are not in the grading guidelines.

Again, thanks for everyone's participation and investment. Now is the time for patience. Hopefully, the Hearing Examiner will be able to pull the material together and present it in a VERY clear way that any appeal would be seen as totally foolish and outrageous (which we already know this appeal was).

Have a great day and weekend everyone!

WSUStretch said...

Terry Day's comments were the ones reinforcing following the law - not Bob Patrick. But Bob's comments on the history of missed opportunities (actually opportunities that were shoved away) were great too. Thanks Terry and Bob!

Ray Lindquist said...

Thanks everyone, I had to work that night and go to work that afternoon so I slept during it all. Thanks so much for some GREAT reports. WSUstretch I too hope that Mr. John Montgomery come through with a good clear explanation on why all is in order with the request to have a super center here in Pullman.