Letters Get with it

To the editor:

Hip hip hooray for you. The mayor needs to keep control of the city meetings. Maybe it is a good thing there is not any more room in the city building or there could have been a full-scale war over the zoning issue and the Wal-Mart thing.

Lisa, I am sorry you were so rudely treated by our great citizens. Please remember that we are some of the greatest people I want to know living here. Sometimes we just act out like children.

Shame on you, Dan, for letting the meeting get out of hand last Monday night. Maybe your interest is in conflict with the issue at hand along with some of the other business people on the council. Do you not realize what happened in Sioux Falls some years ago over a conflict of interest issue with a merchant who was on the city council and another new business that wanted to come in? Because it would give him some competition he voted against it. The next day after he voted on this issue the other company's lawyers were down to city hall and filed a conflict of interest suit; eventually this man was forced to sell his business because of his vote.

When the statement "Wal-Mart is destroying America" was said or read, it is just one man's opinion and like the editorial says he is from Texas. This statement depends on your views.

When we talk about "predatory pricing" and driving out other stores, is this not what Gibson's, which eventually turned into Pamida, did when they came to town? You did not see them move down to Main Street or the downtown area. No, they went right out to the Highway 50 bypass, which is Cherry Street also. You saw this because of many reasons, but one important one is parking spaces. You saw a lot of the downtown merchants close because of their "predatory pricing." This is what happened when Hy-Vee came to town also. We had three grocery stores besides Hy-Vee, now we are down to two including Hy-Vee. No one worried then.

Have you ever tried to buy a pair of slippers in the early summer at our only clothing store that handles new clothes? My husband did a year ago when I was in the hospital. What he was told is "Why no sir, slippers are a seasonal thing." Now they make slippers for all around the year. We talk about staying at home and shopping, this will keep our tax dollars here. How do you do this when this town does not have what you need or prices are too high for your budget? Anytime I go to Wal-Mart in Sioux City or Yankton I can run into people from Vermillion. Just think what it would be like to keep our city tax dollars here.

The comment was made that Wal-Mart would hurt the advertising, because they have their own advertising department. May I ask do not Hy-Vee and Pamida have their own advertising department? Those flyers that their headquarters puts out, you see put in the Broadcaster.

When you say the downtown will die, have you looked around it lately? If it would not be for the specialty shops and bars where would Vermillion be? Sure, we have restaurants and theaters, but where are the businesses that it will drive out? Those specialty shops have their customers, but they might gain more customers if more people were coming to Vermillion to shop.

Those specialty shops have things that you cannot get at Wal-Mart, they also have the quality that you do not get there. Those specialty shops in Vermillion have selected their own merchandise and most of the times you cannot get the item anywhere else around.

As far as the tax breaks and other benefits that was said Wal-Mart would get, we had better stop and look back. What about Gateway, Performance Engineering, Sioux Tools, Rochester Carburetor, the bean plant, The Cabinet Closet, Maurice's and Stage? Did we not take a chance on them and they left when their tax break time was up or said their revenues were not sufficient?

My roots are deep in Vermillion. I was born and raised here. I have grandparents, parents, and a grandson buried here, along with many more relatives for generations and dear friends. But frankly, I cannot afford to shop strictly Vermillion.

I did not move away to find a job that would pay better than South Dakota and then decide to retire here. I am not fortunate enough to have a family acreage to inherit, but my husband and I do own our own home in Vermillion. You cannot move away from here and come back and visit and expect things to be the same as they were when you were a child. This is not growth. I would hate to think that Vermillion is not ready for some growth.

I would hate to think Vermillion would decide about its future because of what these visitors to the city think. After all, did they not move away because they could not find a job in their field, or they couldn't get enough pay for what they do? Are the visitors the ones that are trying to support Vermillion on a daily basis?

It was said that Wal-Mart is anti-union. Does Hy-Vee have a union or Pamida or Phase 2? Do the university employees have a union? Why is this even taken into consideration?

It was said that Vermillion would lose its Mayberry, USA charm. You know I never saw too many bars in Mayberry. I also did not see cars making U-turns in the middle of the street so they could get a parking spot in front of where they wanted to go shopping, but this is what we see here. I did not see any more than two policemen in Mayberry, but Vermillion has more than that. The crime rate is higher also. If we want to stay like Mayberry, USA we should have stayed in the '50s where there was an Andy and an Aunt Bea. Mayberry did not have a university here either. Do we really want to be a Mayberry? If so, we had better get rid of a lot of things that Mayberry does not have.

It was also said that Vermillion would lose its look of the old hometown when we get businesses with cookie cutter, box stores looks popping up all over. Evidently this person has not taken a good look on Cherry Street lately, with its strip malls and box stores. It has fast food places just like the big towns.

As far as the travelers just bypassing the heart of Vermillion, I don't think this will

happen. Our Chamber of Commerce is always promoting the downtown regardless of what some people think. Bypassing the heart of Vermillion started when they moved Highway 50 to Cherry Street and then ultimately built the new bypass to skirt Highway 50. We have the state of South Dakota to thank for that.

Vermillion needs to get with it and do some modernization so we can keep the young people here. Also we need to keep the shopping here.

There is something that was brought to my attention that I had forgotten about, why was Slumberland turned away from Vermillion?

If we allow some of the city council and some business owners to make this decision we are not doing ourselves a bit of good. This is not a decision that should be made by just the residents of Vermillion. We need to listen to the surrounding area also.

Respectfully again,

Roxan Brown


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