Wal-Mart decision will not end well for Gresham
I'd like to, yet again, express my extreme displeasure with even the thought of another Wal-Mart in our area. There is an enormous Wal- Mart 15 minutes away off Interstate 84 and another on 82nd Avenue. Is the city of Gresham so unconcerned about its citizens and small businesses that it truly believes that THIS Wal-Mart can possibly be good for the city? Sure, it will create jobs - jobs that continue to leave families in poverty - or will Gresham be like Chicago and mandate that Wal-Mart pay a living wage - something in the range of $10 an hour plus benefits for a grand total of $13/hour. If not, why not?
I teach impoverished students and I've seen the effects of families struggling to live on minimum wage without benefits. Is that really the future we want for Gresham? How can we support a company that has been accused of withholding higher paying jobs from women? How can our wonderful little downtown area compete with a mass retailer that sells junk for very little money? We've already lost the Toy Bear - good for us that someone else wants to give it a go, but will this happen every time Wal-Mart drives a business out?
And what about safety? I notice that Wal-Mart has to work on traffic problems around Pleasant View Drive, 182nd/Powell, Powell/Powell Loop and 11th/ Highland. What about my neighborhood? I live on Battaglia Avenue, and unless I can be guaranteed that the city will continue to do construction at Battaglia and Division, how will my child be safe from speeders wanting to cut through from Division to Powell without waiting for any traffic lights?
The construction at Division has made this the quietest summer we've had since we've moved here.
For the most part, cars have not come flying through the neighborhood because it isn't worth the time or effort to follow the detour around the construction. EVERY OTHER summer (and most springtime, fall and winter) drivers fly by my house, shaving those few precious minutes off their route.
Once that construction goes away, how will the city keep my neighborhood safe from Wal-Mart traffic that doesn't want to wait at traffic lights at 182nd/Powell?
Will the death or injury of a child be the first time this neighborhood is considered? What about shopping carts? Will Wal-Mart be required to recover its carts that wander away from their store? Will it be fined for littering if it doesn't?
What about the Springwater Trail? How can it truly do anything to keep that area safe and beautiful? Will it be policing the area? What real interest does it have in maintaining the beauty of our precious Springwater Trail?
Money is obviously no object to them (they don't pay it out in wages, so they must have plenty in their own coffers), so will fines really make a difference when it doesn't follow through with protecting this wonderful area? What about home values? Home values of those living close busy roads are often reduced. Now that road will become even busier - is it not the city's responsibility to protect its current homeowners?
I can't believe that the city has agreed to this miserable excuse for a business. Please, for the good of our children, our future and our land, reconsider this approval.
I know I am not alone. This will not come to a good end.
Denise Wilson-McBride, Casey McBride and Brenna McBride