- The Enterprise
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I am addressing this letter primarily to the town of La Plata residents who might be confused about the upcoming Question A referendum vote on whether to annex the Johel parcel into the town. Like many of you, I have received phone calls, found brochures on my doorstep, received mailings and observed the inundation of Moving La Plata Forward signs throughout town. So, I did some research, and here are my findings:
A vote to approve Question A is a vote in favor of a Wal-Mart Supercenter being built in La Plata, and the old Wal-Mart being left vacant. The Moving La Plata Forward group is a financially supported Faison corporation. Wal-Mart stands to gain the most from the annexation. While there may be a few town residents who support this group, chances are they have a financial stake in the annexation.
A vote in favor of a Wal-Mart Supercenter puts existing nearby grocery and retail stores at risk. If Giant, Safeway or Food Lion go out of business, we will have yet another large vacant building.
The brochures actually tout that approving Question A will bring more jobs to La Plata and protect our small-town charm. I don’t find large abandoned buildings charming. I have nothing against great big Wal-Marts, but in my opinion my town has grown enough and would be better served without one here.
The Save La Plata group consists of a group of Charles County citizens living in the La Plata area. Since they are not a multimillion-dollar corporation, they have not been saturating the public with expensive brochures, signs and mailings. The movement has been grass-roots, door-to-door conversations with town residents. Wal-Mmart has established a pattern of closing old stores to build Super Wal-Marts nearby, leaving deserted buildings in its wake all across the country, according to its research.
Does anyone really think that Wal-Mart wants to move our town forward? It wants to make a profit, and this campaign has worked for them in many towns across the country, where residents were not aware of what was happening. However, many other towns have successfully fought and kept them out. We are fortunate to have such a group in our town. Save La Plata encourages you to vote to reject the annexation.
So, if the convenience of shopping at a Super Wal-Mart is more important to you than preserving the character of our town or if you stand to gain financially from the annexation, I suppose you should vote to approve. However, if you prefer La Plata to keep its small-town character, prevent the eyesores of large vacant buildings and support the current local businesses, then vote to reject Question A.
The choice is easy for me. Please remember to vote April 9 at La Plata Town Hall.
Kimberly Resendes, La Plata