Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Time to put Wal-Mart debate to rest"

Nice editorial by Murf Raquet on behalf of the editorial board in today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News. Of course, PARD ignored a duplicate Daily News editorial to give up back in December 2006, so there is no reason to believe they will heed this one:
Two things became apparent Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton should concede defeat to Barack Obama, and the anti-Wal-Mart folks need to stop their attempts to halt the construction of a super center in Pullman.

For Clinton it's politics, and she'll wait for the last possible moment to make the speech no candidate wants to make.

As for Wal-Mart, it is more than apparent the giant retailer and the city of Pullman went through all the right hoops for the past several years.

The idea of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Pullman has been the center of a vocal, and at times personal, debate since October 2004.

Wal-Mart wanted to locate one of its megastores on acreage along Bishop Boulevard and proceeded to comply with the demands of the building and environmental codes. All the steps were OK'd by officials and the courts.

The anti-Wal-Mart folks took myriad exceptions to a super center in Pullman, many based on their interpretations of the city's zoning code. Some protested Wal-Mart's business practices.

Despite all the rhetoric and appeals, Wal-Mart's right to locate in Pullman has been upheld. The latest jurisdiction to do so was the Washington Division III Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

The anti-Wal-Mart folks have more options for appeals including the state Supreme Court, but the writing is on the wall. They put up a good fight, but a reality check would be useful.

The Wal-Mart project has been a divisive issue for several years. In that time it has been discussed in meetings, coffee shops, letters to the editor and blogs.

The debate has run its course.

The city went through two election cycles with pro and con Wal-Mart candidates in the City Council races. No anti-Wal-Mart candidate won a seat. That's as telling as the court system's continual support of the retailer's right to locate in Pullman.

Fighting something others want is an American tradition, but with that tradition comes the knowledge of when to quit.

It's time

No comments: