October 29, 2004

Shopper Petitions for Ferry Farm WM

In Fredricksburg, a man became upset that a WM where his son works won't become a supercenter, after petitions from anti-WM activists. So he began his own petition:

Charles Cooper, who lives near the store, was one of the few who spoke in favor of the plan. He believed supervisors weren't hearing the whole story. He decided to do something about it.

"People who come to Wal-Mart really aren't political, let's be honest," Cooper said. "They are raising families, trying to make ends meet, trying to make their budget stretch. They don't go out of their way to go to Board of Supervisors meetings."

Cooper feels strongly about supporting Wal-Mart because his son, Chuck, works there. Chuck has Down syndrome. Since the store opened, he has been in charge of corralling the shopping carts in the parking lot and pushing them back to the store.

"My son makes a reasonable salary. Chuck gets a $1,000 bonus every year; he gets vacation," his father said. "Wal-Mart treats its customers with dignity."

Cooper approached White about starting a petition shoppers could sign if they wanted to see the expansion go through. White said he had heard the same thing from other customers, so he set up a table at the front of the store.

After two months or so, the petition had collected 4,800 signatures from Wal-Mart shoppers. Cooper presented the petition to the supervisors last week.

Pete Fields, the supervisor who represents the Ferry Farm area, said that even before he received the petition, he knew some residents supported the store's plan.

"My sense is that half the people I represent love Wal-Mart and half the people I represent loathe Wal-Mart," he said. "The district is divided and I'm going to do the best I can."

Nobody speaks for all the people...

Posted by Kevin on October, 29 2004 at 09:50 AM