Does this mean no Wal-Mart in Ballpark Village?

Yesterday, the Dayton City Commission got engaged in a sideshow stunt- taunting Wal-Mart with a pointless informal resolution.

Of course, when Wal-Mart wants to actually build something inside the city, they will be the kings of sucking up.

It’s this kind of loss of focus on local issues that has got us where we are.

While Dean Lovelace is (abd has been) right about predatory lending, and a living wage, the place to fight these battles is at the State and Federal levels. Same went for the much-ado about what ended up being nothing with Tony Capizzi’s gun ordinances- a sideshow distraction from the business at hand.

Dayton has problems that can be solved by the Commission and City Staff- like parking downtown, zoning issues in the Oregon District that make historic buildings decay, and even simple things- like figuring out how to collect leaves better by notifying residents where not to park on pick up day.

Wasting time on fighting with Wal-Mart isn’t going to help. Focus on what we can do something about- now.

Dayton commission urges Wal-Mart to value workers
DAYTON — The Dayton City Commission sent a message to Wal-Mart on Wednesday, calling on the nation’s biggest discount chain to treat its employees fairly and with dignity.

Supporters claim the commission’s resolution is the first of its kind in the nation.

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9 Responses

  1. Drexel Dave December 21, 2006 / 9:03 am
    something the City Commission can do: start courting a COSCO or an IKEA store to take the place of Parkside homes instead of another cheap replacement of Parkside – Wal-Mart. With Wal-Mart, you’d really only be trading a public housing ghetto for a retail ghetto.

    If a big box retailer is the only thing that will fullfill and pavlovian wishes of our commission, the least they could do is to be having their economic development people wining and dining some of the Coscovians or the IKEALITES. Cosco is unionized and highly socially progressive, and IKEA will attract the Abercrombie html slinging crowd the commission drools over replacing the teaming masses with.

  2. David Esrati December 21, 2006 / 9:22 am

    Dave,
    We are a little late in wooing IKEA- they chose to build their Ohio location in West Chester.
    Costco is a possibility- however, no big box does much to solve the underlying problems- solving the underlying problems is the answer.

  3. Bryan December 21, 2006 / 11:29 am
    I could not agree more. How ridiculous. Here’s a letter to the editor I’m sending to the DDN (and let’s hope there is no Wal-Mart at Parkside):

    The Dayton city commission’s approval of a resolution urging Wal-Mart to make nice with its employees demonstrates a troubling disconnect among the city’s leaders and lawmakers. If the commission is so interested in corporate affairs, why don’t they give more attention to the business climate in their own city? Start by cleaning up the roadside litter, broken curbs and weeds in the area around Standard Register, one of the few companies still maintaining a headquarters in Dayton. Then, further streamline the city bureaucracy to allow for easier business start-up and expansion in the city.

    Nearly everyone wants big corporations to treat employees well, but, when Wal-Mart doesn’t even have any stores in the city, how did this issue find its way into the chambers of the Dayton city commission?

  4. Drexel Dave December 21, 2006 / 12:29 pm
    How long before they start scouting Ohio “locations” though. There’s a population in the Miami Valley of a million. And that’s a population of a million that would much rather not drive to West Chester.
  5. Phillip Ranly December 21, 2006 / 2:20 pm
    IKEA is very particular about their store locations. They tend to only place them in major metro areas and undoubtedly they chose West Chester because it’s half way between Cincinnati and Dayton. Many Ohio IKEA shoppers are fanatics and go as far away as Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago so I assume a 40 minute drive to West Chester is more than acceptable. Unfortunately, I have no doubt there will not be an IKEA in Dayton any time soon.
  6. Drexel Dave December 21, 2006 / 5:32 pm
    What day do you believe hell will freeze over? I think then we’ll see our leadership concentrating on “the basics.”
  7. Jeff December 22, 2006 / 11:14 am
    I was hoping for somehting more like a Meijer or Cub Foods at that location, but Wal-Mart would be fine.

    If anyone is interested to see how the TIF mechanism can be used to redevelop abandoned or underutilized urban sites, check out Chicago. Chi-town has been very aggressive in using TIFs to redevelope abandoned industrial sites into modern retail (big box and other types), which helps surrounding neighborhoods as the residents don’t have to travel out into the suburbs for reasonable shopping.

    I was wondering if a TIF would be a good thing for that Wayne and Wyoming site, the one the city is using eminent domain to aquire for a shopping center (which looks pretty dreadfull, too, based on the site plan). Using TIF as a deal-sweetner might encourage/fund a higher quality developement, one more sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood then the urbanistic disaster-in-the making that is being proposed.

    As for that Wal-Mart resolution, the City Commission is just doing some feel-good politics here. These type of non-binding resolutions reminds me of those “nuclear free zones” from back in the early 1980s, during the nuclear freeze movement. Back then city councils would declare their citys as “nuclear free zones” as sort of support for the freeze movement. This were just gestures, and had no real impact or legal teeth.

  8. Phillip Ranly December 22, 2006 / 3:22 pm
    Jeff, were did you find the site plan for the new Kroger? I’d be interested in seeing it. I agree, something with a new urbanist look is what they should be shooting for. The acres of parking space really ruin an urban neighborhood, or any for that matter.
  9. Jeff December 22, 2006 / 6:35 pm
    There is a lengthy discussion on the Wayne & Wyoming development over at Urban Ohio, which has a pix of the unfortunate site plan at “Reply #39”

    [url=http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=1055.30]Wayne & Wyoming Development[/url]

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