January 25, 2005

Some Ballston Spa Residents want to Exclude WM

This story makes pretty clear that anti-WM activists recognize that a vast majority of Ballston Spa residents want a Wal-Mart supercenter, since those shoppers are expected to flock to WM:

BALLSTON SPA --Residents praised the Village Board Monday night for creating a strolling village, then urged officials to reject the proposed Wal-Mart that could alter the village forever.

Concerned Citizens for Smart Growth, a group that has collected petitions with more than 250 signatures against the store.... has created a Web site, www.SaveBallston.com, with petitions and comments online....

Michael Noonan of Charles Street, who has a photography business in the old chocolate factory, said, 'We don't need a super size. We just need a good grocery store.'

A Wal-Mart could hurt many of the unique specialty shops that have sprung up in the village, Noonan said.

'Places that have made this a special place could be put out of business,' Noonan said. 'It just doesn't make sense to have a monstrosity like that come in.'

'I really like the charm of the village,' said Dave Schlitzer, a resident for 1 years.

'A big-box store could do 'irreparable damage,' he told the board.

This is about making some people better off at the expense of others, which will happen whether or not WM is let in.

Posted by Kevin on January, 25 2005 at 11:07 AM | TrackBack

Comments & Trackbacks
sorry wrote:

Actually, it is entirely rational that the residents of Ballston Spa be concerned about the effect of Wal-Mart on their village because they have spent the past twenty years repairing the post-industrial malaise that afflicted their community after they were abandoned by uncaring capitalists by building one of those rare "liveable" places where the poor and rich and the entrepreneurial rubbed shoulder and they created a real community not afflicted by the undead suburban blight that Wal-Mart specializes in you ignorant slut.

-- January 26, 2005 06:56 PM

Kevin Brancato wrote:

It seems that you agree that excluding a WM will make some Ballston Spa residents--the ones that want small stores have monopoly power over the poor--better off at the expense of those who would have shopped at WM.

Of course anti-WM activism is entirely rational, and that's my entire point; your childish tone and ad hominem ending do nothing but make you look like a fool. They must have blinded you from realizing that I had made an observation using economic logic developed by nobel-prize winner Ronald Coase.

Those that oppose the WM (in your language, those that want a "liveable" space), want it "liveable" at the expense of those who want WM. A lot of people believe--with neighborhood after neighborhood as proof--that WM does not yield "undead suburban blight"; I challenge you to present convincing evidence showing that WM "specializes" in destroying neighborhoods.

Perhaps you are claiming that those who want WM are also part of the "ignorant slut" brigade? They believe that they would be better off--in their own estimation, not your apparent omniscent judgment--with a Wal-Mart. And how will you convince them otherwise? By calling them names? What a stupid plan!

In addition, those who don't want WM are usually far more vocal, but are of far smaller numbers than those who do.


-- January 26, 2005 08:24 PM

george hannah wrote:

Family has lived here and been in business for over 100yrs. Our family members have: invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coommunity, been on zoning boards bus asst board and many committies for the village. We helped build the infrastructure of the village as well as maintained many of the bldgs in the downtown area. You distroy the tax base in downtown and create horriabel traffic conditions with box stores. Believe me 1 box brings many box stores: Borders. Lows, Home depol and more. I would suggest limiting box store size to fit the community needs. Stats say average groocery stores are 25,000 to 30,000sq. ft. In closing I have done business with box stores and I am stil trying to collect after 7yrears for goods sold to them. Ballston is a diamond don't chop it up so a few who don't care can line their pockets
I leave the most import to last. Our school children are only a football fild away. They walk the highway infront of the proposed walmart site. Also, are school bus garage is a quarter mile down the road on the two southern entrances to the walmart site. Please step back an don't sacrfice everything thinking you'll save a few pennies (when actually you lose a way of life as has happened in Wilton.

-- January 27, 2005 05:35 PM

george hannah wrote:

Family has lived here and been in business for over 100yrs. Our family members have: invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the coommunity, been on zoning boards bus asst board and many committies for the village. We helped build the infrastructure of the village as well as maintained many of the bldgs in the downtown area. You distroy the tax base in downtown and create horriabel traffic conditions with box stores. Believe me 1 box brings many box stores: Borders. Lows, Home depol and more. I would suggest limiting box store size to fit the community needs. Stats say average groocery stores are 25,000 to 30,000sq. ft. In closing I have done business with box stores and I am stil trying to collect after 7yrears for goods sold to them. Ballston is a diamond don't chop it up so a few who don't care can line their pockets
I leave the most import to last. Our school children are only a football fild away. They walk the highway infront of the proposed walmart site. Also, are school bus garage is a quarter mile down the road on the two southern entrances to the walmart site. Please step back an don't sacrfice everything thinking you'll save a few pennies (when actually you lose a way of life as has happened in Wilton.

-- January 27, 2005 05:35 PM

Ned Danison wrote:

As a life-long Ballston Spa resident, I respectfully acknowledge the contributions of the Hannah family business. I heartily agree with Mr. Hannah's well-reasoned argument.

I have no evidence at this moment, but I am in touch with local goings-on and sentiments, and I seriously doubt that "a vast majority of Ballston Spa residents want a Wal-Mart supercenter." Although it is clear there are a few residents who stand to earn a fortune from the sale of the land.

I have nothing against Walmart--I shop there and I'm no ideologue--but with a WM not many miles to the south and another not many miles to the north, we have no shortage of Always Low Prices. Plopping such a behemoth down so close to our Strolling Village just seems incongruous and motivated by the spectacular gains of a few.

-- April 16, 2005 07:11 PM

Kevin Brancato wrote:

Don't the landowners have property rights in the land? Isn't preventing them from developing the land according to existing codes just the government taking away the value of their property without compensation?

Why doesn't the Ballston government just buy the land WM wants to build on? Because it wants the landowners to take the lower economic value forced on them by big-box restriction.

It seems to me that the Anti-WM opposition should be trying to buy the land WM wants to build on. If most people don't want WM, and are willing to put their money where their mouths are, this should not be a terrible burden. It seems to me that activists want other people to pay for its choices.

Also, if WM is prevented from entering, is it not true that the Hannah family business will gain at the expense of customers that would have shopped at Wal-Mart?

Just how did they acquire the right to use government in this fashion?

-- April 16, 2005 07:30 PM

Ned Danison wrote:

Yes, the landowners have every right to sell to Walmart (or Borders or Sears, or whomever), and they probably will prevail, God bless them. I was a classmate of the landowner.

"Just how did they acquire the right to use government in this fashion?"

Apparently you perceive our local government as being hijacked by a minority of activists. The government represents the people, and the moratorium is an action that would be taken in any controversial case (such as a proposed adult entertainment venue, etc.). People, with their collective preferences, merely want to slow down and explore all options before yielding to the inexorable march of progress. Laws will be respected. I personally wish that the issue would be put up for a vote.

"Why doesn't the Ballston government just buy the land...?"

It'd be great if we all had the money to put where our mouths are. But alas the world goes on and money talks. That seems to be a higher principle here than respecting one's neighbor's wishes in this relatively close-knit community and coming to some kind of compromise. The flipside of the "money talks" line is "lack of money has no right to an opinion."

Besides, if I were selling my land (which is about a mile away from the proposed WM) for millions, I'd expect a fight, and goodness knows I would fight for it! But if I knew that my neighbors opposed it, and if my neighbors faced the ruination of their lifelong homes, I'd like to think I would adhere to a higher principle.

"...is it not true that the Hannah family business will gain at the expense of [would-be WM] customers...?"

As I said before, there are two Walmarts nearby. I prefer the one in Wilton. We'll have to dig up the facts'n'figures to see how much Hannah's one-room flower shop will profit to the detriment of the poor would-be WM shoppers (and just think of the gas we'd save if we didn't have to drive to exit 15!).

This is a very interesting website. I stumbled upon it while looking for something else. I think I understand your premise: Walmart is unduly demonized and irrationally opposed by activists. These activists don't understand or appreciate capitalism. They probably envy Walmart's success. In their bandwagon jumping, sloganeering frenzy, they fail to see what's good about Walmart.

I get all that. I think I understand your motivation for supporting Walmart. But it seems you go to the other extreme. Planting a Walmart supercenter in any given place is not always a good thing. In the case of Ballston Spa, it would be great if they'd put it a mile or two out of town--heck, even if they'd move the entrance over to Rt. 67, I think there'd be fewer objections.

-- April 17, 2005 03:10 PM

Post a comment (HTML enabled):









Remember personal info?