Letters Here we go again

To the editor:

In the July 30, 2004 Vermillion Plain Talk, an article appeared by an ex-legislator who wants to circulate a petition regarding re-zoning city property. This petition would cost the Vermillion taxpayers approximately $2,500 to bring the referendum to a vote of the people.

A similar situation surfaced in 2001 three months before the dedication of the Newcastle/Vermillion Missouri River Bridge. A state legislator was circulating a petition to re-name the already designated Newcastle/Vermillion Missouri River Bridge by all federal and state funding to be named the Lewis & Clark Bridge. This re-naming never received the support that the "Johnny Come Lately" group desired.

Today we have the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge that should have been completed 50 years ago when the City Fathers were sitting on their laurels and watching the communities of Mitchell, Brookings and Watertown leave Vermillion in the dust.

With the bridge across and Missouri River, we have seen new businesses come to Vermillion and expansion of several of the existing businesses. Come on Wal-Mart!!!

P.S.: Vote to do away with food tax!

Jim Green, co-chair,

Newcastle/Vermillion Missouri River Bridge, Vermillion

Let's be logical

To the editor:

Let us logically address this Wal-Mart issue, please.

I would like to know just what the problem here really is? Wal-Mart will bring higher paying jobs to Vermillion, so those of us who can't find sustainable work in Vermillion don't have to commute, thereby taking more commerce out Vermillion � there's a problem.

Rezoning a piece of land that does nothing to benefit Vermillion's growing population, the need for economically sound improvements and allows for further commerce � nothing wrong with that, huh?

Seriously folks, just what businesses are going to be put out of business by Wal-Mart? Let's see, I don't think it will deter business from the bars; the novelty shops downtown won't get hurt � Never, Never Land attracts a clientele that does not shop at Wal-Mart and has particular specialty items that you won't find at Wal-Mart; I really doubt that the devout clientele of the Coffee Shop Gallery will stop having coffee there to go to Wal-Mart; Last Stop CD Shop � another specialty store that buys used CDs and movies, Wal-Mart doesn't do that; Nook 'n Cranny has specialized items you will never find at Wal-Mart.

Willson Florist has already withstood the competition from The Wild Flower and Hy-Vee, even with out-of-the-market high prices, Davis Pharmacy has a loyal clientele, they have been a part of Vermillion for a very long time and their survival withstood the test of time and the problems they had with zoning causing their recent move to Cherry Street.

They are right next to Choice Pharmacy that charges almost 10 percent more than Hy-Vee, Pamida or Davis Pharmacy, so if they are forced to re-evaluate their position in the community, I'm all for it.

Is Wal-Mart going to take business away from USD, the hardware stores, Deb's Hallmark? I don't think so; USD pretty much stands on its own, Ace Hardware and Coast to Coast provide items that you can find at Wal-Mart, but they have very little variety and charge quite a bit more than other stores, frankly I only go there if I'm walking or I need emergency supplies and don't feel like driving to Yankton to go to their Wal-Mart.

Where is the harm in market competition, when the sitting market is already too high priced for the wages being provided in this town?

With families struggling to keep it together financially, some of us working two jobs to make ends meet, suffering low wages with little or no benefits, and quite frankly being treated like infidels by Vermillion's elite in the process; why are we even discussing this? By denying Wal-Mart's entrance to Vermillion we also throw away their piggy-back merchants that generally follow.

If you want to deny Wal-Mart from moving in, then here's what I propose � tell the businesses that are afraid of losing their patrons to stop charging so much that we have to drive elsewhere to get a decent and fair price; start paying people what they're worth; and bring down the price of commercial rental properties so that other small businesses can move in.

We have way too many vacant buildings and store fronts that provide us with absolutely nothing; it's sickening. Lower the cost of renting an apartment, trailer or house in this area and allow the rest of us to live and take care of our families. You want to make money, do it with integrity and compassion, not greed and elitist attitudes.

Much of the population of Vermillion can't afford to live here and we are looked down upon as though we don't want to make anything better out of ourselves. Change the attitude, change the vision and stop wasting our time.

Yours truly,

Kate L. Bingen


Retiring? Consider moving to Vermillion

To the editor:

I am one of the out-of towners, whose wife is a native, in-laws live in Vermillion, I have been collecting rent at a fraternity house for 32 years so Clay County and Vermillion Public School tax gets paid.

Since 1965 I have missed two Dakota Days, been a member of the USD Foundation for 17 years, donated to the Vermillion Community Foundation, and have ate several Lions pancake meals! I have subscribed to the Plain Talk for many years.

I am six years from retirement, and I would invite all former USD graduates and former Vermillion residents to look at moving to Vermillion in their retirement years! With the price of housing, no state income tax, and no state death tax, and a new Wal-Mart, your retirement dollars will go far. We can bring our time, talents and ideas to help make USD a better university and Vermillion a better community.

Jeff Esbenshade

Littleton, CO

Why rehearse council meetings?

To the editor:

I watched the city council meeting last night (Aug. 2). I was asked to go to it, but I chose to stay home and watch it on TV. I am glad I did, because I was upset over the way the question of the noon sessions was handled.

If I am correct, according to my understanding, the mayor may call a special session, but in his absence the meeting can be called by the next in line or the city manager with a request of three or more council members.

The council member who said Lynette Melby was interpreting the meaning of absent her way should look it up in the dictionary. I always thought absent meant gone, or unavailable. I went to the dictionary and looked up the word.

According to Webster's College Dictionary it means 1. not present; away 2. not existing; lacking 3. not attentive; absorbed in thought. I am wondering what that city council member thought it meant.

One council member said that those noon meetings were needed to understand what was in the agenda. He said something to the effect that none of you were getting paid a lot to do this job, you did know this going into it and if you didn't you should have checked it out. Evidently the noon meeting does not help in the understanding of what is on the agenda, because it takes over three hours for the council meeting anyway.

I don't know about most people, but I do not have the time or inclination to watch the noon session and then turn around and watch the same thing that night. Why do you need a rehearsal?

If you change the ordinances to suit these noon meetings you need to add to that ordinance that there will be "no" votes taken at that noon meeting.

The council member who attacked Lynette Melby verbally took me back. If he had been listening to her comments he would have not tried to put words in her mouth. When you object so loudly and harshly it does make you look like you are doing something wrong. I would like to reiterate the fact that you knew when you went into an elected office there would be issues the constituency would not agree with. It shows up on TV when you are agitated or irritated.

I did not think there was any intent on Lynette Melby's part to put any of you down. She was just trying to make it clear there is mistrust in the officials; why add to that mistrust?

As a property owner I pay taxes to the middle of the street even though the city owns it. Now you want to assess me another 30 cents per linear foot for street maintenance for curb area of my property. If you are going to do this I should not have to have the snowplow come down the street and throw the snow in my driveway. Due to the fact I live where we are, it's just about one of the last streets cleaned off. I usually have my driveway all cleaned out so I can get out of it and along comes the snowplow and throws it back into my driveway, by now the snow is packed.

There is not a driveway across the street from me, so with a switch of a button in the snow plow the driver could throw that snow the opposite way. Where do taxes stop?

Respectfully submitted,

Roxan Brown

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