Members of the Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development support the plan for a new assisted living facility on Sunnyside Hill. This modest plan will have very few traffic or other impacts, will generate income and tax revenues, and appears to be a model of integrating business and residential areas. Opponents of the facility are right that our city process continues to exclude serious citizen input, but I think they are mistaken about the project and appear to be exhibiting a “not-in-my-backyard” elitism.I cannot believe Reed has the sheer unadulterated chutzpah to accuse the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association of “'not-in-my-backyard' elitism." PARD itself is all about elitism. Remember, a PARD member testified under oath that Wal-Mart would lead to the "intrusion of undesirable social classes" into Pullman. Sorry, T.V., attacking another NIMBY group doesn't make you pro-growth. PARD's tactics of nasty personal attacks, no compromise, delay after delay, and appeal after appeal have lead to the negative reputation they currently enjoy. They're not fooling anyone, including Ed Schweitzer. Name one thing PARD has been for. Wal-Mart? Heck no. Pullman Foursquare Church? Nope. And thanks to outspoken member Citizen Hosick, PARD has been publicly perceived to be against the Hawkins Companies development in the corridor and the new Schweitzer Engineering expansion as well.
In her own recent letter likewise supporting the assisted living plan, Burma Williams (Opinion, May 26) took some gratuitous swipes at the College Hill Association and PARD. She was wrong in her assumption about our position on the assisted living center, and she is wrong in her claim that either association does not welcome new residents. Name one incident in which the College Hill Association or PARD has expressed a wish to keep any person out of town or a neighborhood. If she is thinking of PARD’s position on Wal-Mart, then Williams is one of those who can’t tell the difference between criticizing corporate executives and supporting those who are hurt by their policies.
PARD fully supports Wal-Mart workers. Indeed, we continuously lobby to increase their wages and benefits. Given a choice between no job and a poorly paying job at Wal-Mart, of course people will and should take the job. But the real question is why are working folks faced with such a poor choice?
If PARD’s appeal fails and Wal-Mart comes to town, we will welcome any new workers they bring in, and we will continue to work on their behalf, just as we will continue to work on the safety and traffic issues the terrible location would create.
The only commendable thing Reed does in his letter is when he speaks on behalf of PARD and the College Hill Association. They are virtually the same organization anyway.
Burma Williams did NOT accuse PARD of being against the assisted living center. Reed makes some gratuitious assumptions of his own there. Williams only pointed out all the various NIMBY groups at work in Pullman and suggested that they buy up all the available land so that they could develop (or not develop) it to their particular tastes. It is extremely disingenous to think that keeping BUSINESSES out of the community won't result in keeping PEOPLE out of the community. Reed and the PARDners are masters of verbal manipulation.
Just who exactly is PARD lobbying for better wages and benefits at Wal-Mart? Last I heard, their appeal to the Superior Court was about traffic and "economic blight" to existing businesses. A company's wages and benefits are inadmissible under the SEPA and site plan process.
So His Whininess now says it's okay to work at Wal-Mart if you need a job. What about all the petition signers from Australia and hither and yon that swore never to work at a Pullman Wal-Mart Supercenter? Are they now released from their vow of poverty? And Wal-Mart is a poor choice as opposed to what? I publicly challenge Reed to name one other retailer in Pullman that offers a better salary and benefits package for starting employees.
"If PARD’s appeal fails and Wal-Mart comes to town?" Boy, the belligerent tone of past Reed missives where he asserted that "Wal-Mart is a dead deal" is long gone. He can read the handwriting on the wall and must be preparing a graceful exit strategy. But don't expect them to stick around to work on anyone's behalf. PARD is going to fold up its tents quicker than a bankrupt circus once they are defeated. Even if they stick around, they have burned every bridge with the city government and ruined whatever public support they had by these ill-advised appeals. Their relevance meter is sitting on zero.
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