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 The Commissioner and Wal Mart
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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  7:50:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Being a newcomer to Union County, I am trying not to be negative and I do not want to be known as one of "them". It does get trying when I read article such as the one in the August 23 issue of the NGN.

The commissioner, in his column states "what the county needs is new business and jobs which is the secret to keeping taxes low. He goes on to say that Union County was poor, the people were poor, bad roads, no parks, poor medical services" I guess the local government wants the people to stay poor and the county to stay poor.

He continues to state that he was very vocal in not wanting Wal Mart to come to Union County. He gave some lame reason about county property being used for business. Why Not? Every county in Georgia does.

Now, does he really want Wal Mart or not? Is his archaic form of government( sole commissioner) receptive to new business? To get new business to move into a county the government must be receptive and welcome them.It would appear that Wal Mart would fit this criteria, approximately 400 new jobs in the county and a lot of tax money.

Hopefully, with the current influx of people( not the poor people of Union, as the commissioner thinks we are) will tilt the balance of power and change the governing body to a 5 member commission in which the people will have fair representation.

Shucks

mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  8:31:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It doesn't really matter if he wants it or not. I'm assuming he does, since he held a private meeting & didn't include the citizens of UC in this meeting. As far as Poor citizens of UC, you betcha it's going to stay that way even with walmart. A majority of employees of walmart are on a fixed income already, so it's not going to make or break them. I'd like to know what the people in the homes there now are going to do when walmart tears them down. Where will they go?

**There is no truth except the truth that exists within you. Everything else is what someone is telling you**Go to Top of Page

Admin

USA
1484 Posts
Blairsville.com Administrator

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  8:54:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage  Reply with Quote
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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  9:16:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Maddy, I agree about the fixed incomes at Wal Mart. However, I am not unsympathic to their cause, but Wal Mart employs a lot of people that cannot get better paying jobs elsewhere. This is a fact of life and we must live with it. If Wal Mart does build in Blairsville I would venture there will be at least 5,000 applications for jobs from people in the 4 county area. People need and want jobs, even if they are minimum or slighty above minimum wage. A paying job, with a chance for advancement, gives them hope.

Wal Mart will bring an influx of new business and retail into an area that sorely needs it.

Yes, housing is a problem for low income employees. I was at Disney Worl 2 weeks ago and all the talk and newspaper articles were lamenting the fact that Disney employees cannot live in Orlando because they cannot afford the houses. There are 52,000 employees at Disney in Orlando, 80% are minimum wage or slightly higher. So. the problem is everywhere, not just in Union County. There are no quick fixes or easy answers.

Shucks

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ShadowMan

USA
4158 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  9:43:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Trying this again.

quote:
I guess the local government wants the people to stay poor and the county to stay poor.

Nothing in Lamar's long answer gave any kind of indication like that. He was trying to help people new to the area understand that 20 and 30 years ago this place was a lot different, that the present places of employment are many orders of magnitude improved over those lean years in Blairsville and Union County.

Even here in these forums, we see the "Yes to Wal-Mart" folks are typically the locals and the "No to Wal-Mart" folks are typically those who moved in from outside. I think Lamar was trying to explain why the locals have that "Let's grow" perspective.

quote:
he was very vocal in not wanting Wal Mart to come to Union County. He gave some lame reason about county property being used for business. Why Not? Every county in Georgia does.

He was very much against it when it was going to be built on the Meeks property. It had to do with the location, and the intended use of the land more than having to do with Wal-Mart. You don't wear a tuxedo to clean around the house. That's what using the Meeks land for a Wal-mart would have amounted to.

quote:
Now, does he really want Wal Mart or not? Is his archaic form of government( sole commissioner) receptive to new business?

From his article "I stated then that it was fine for Wal-Mart to come to Union County, but they should find their own property, and not build on property given to the county for community uses. Well this time Wal-Mart has done that."

His article was full of statements about being receptive to new business. Re-reading it may help, as I'm guessing you missed it while glancing over the article.

quote:
in which the people will have fair representation.

It's always interesting when people think they're not getting fair representation just because the elected official isn't agreeing with them on whatever the topic is that day. I can't imagine a fairer elected representative than our commissioner, Lamar Paris.

Shadow

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spam4einstein


839 Posts

Posted - 08/24/2006 :  10:02:21 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Id sure be happier with walmart coming to Blue Ridge. My gut still says thats where it will end up.

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daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  12:53:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Umm.. I would say itll be here and I liked and understood Lamars words. I read it, the whole thing. Shader, you outlined the facts. As always.


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill


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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  08:17:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shadow, The article as a whole left the impression that Union County people were poor. Nothing was said about 20 or 30 years ago and the article intimated he was against Wal Mart.

If sole commissioners are so good, why are 99% of all Georgia counties goverened by 3 or 5 man commissioners. One commissioner cannot provide fair representation for all segments of the county. It is just too many hats to wear.

Any article is subject to the interpretation of the reader and I have been guilty myself as well as a lot of posters on this forum. I stand by my interpretation of this article and am disappointed the commissioner would make such a derisive statement about the people of Union County.

Just one of the Po Folks

Shucks

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why

USA
2072 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  09:17:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shucks, you seem to have interpreted Lamars words to fit your own beliefs. I completely understood that he was speaking of a long time ago. As for the Meeks land, it was not passed on to the county to be used for commerical purposes.

The idea of a multi person commission sounds good until you have to deal with them as I have had to in the past in my work. What you get is a bunch that can't agree on much of anything and each have their own agendas. When you have a multiperson commission you will have to have a county manager to handle the day to day activities of the county. Most multiperson commissions are made up of part timers, they continue with their everyday lives and only make decissions at commission meetings (once a month or called meetings), very few have actual offices where they can be approached on the verious need of the average citizen of the county. I had rather have one person to go to wheither to complain or to thank.

As for Walmart, I hope we arn't forced to have one here with all the added traffic and confusion. I buy from Walmart probably three or four times a year and am glad they are there when I can't find something locally. I feel that the local merchants will suffer as a result of Walmart. What I also dread are the "out parcels" around the Walmart being developed bringing even more traffic, do you want this area to be like Ellijay? Do you want your children to be able to purchase property here? How many of the jobs that go with a Walmart will be taken by people that are already here and really need work and how many people will move here just because of the jobs?

By the way, if you don't already know I'm a local, grew up in the "poor" days and wish that we could go back to some, not all, of the ways that this area was then.

The growth and expansion in the county will, as it always has, make the rich, richer, and the poor, poorer. Build it in Blue Ridge, I had rather drive 20 miles that put up with the traffic locally.

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Butterfly

USA
704 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  09:34:17 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
" Shadow, The article as a whole left the impression that Union County people were poor. Nothing was said about 20 or 30 years ago and the article intimated he was against Wal Mart."

Lamar's words from the newspaper: "If we were still the county of 20 or 30 years ago, it would be safe to say that most of those moving here now would have skipped right over us and gone to a more properous and progressive area."
"It is easy for those younger people and people who have moved here and have never seen a major economic slow down to not be able to understand what this community was like before there were any decent paying jobs."
"The main issue that many tend to forget is that Union County WAS poor and our people WERE poor."
"Those who have known me know that I was very vocal in my opposition to Wal-Mart coming to Union County SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I stated then that it was fine for Wal-Mart to come to Union County, but they should find their own property and not build on property given to the county for community uses."

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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  3:20:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Butterfly, I do not recieve the NGN but get it online. If you go to the online version you will see what it says and how different interpretations could be made. Is this a case of creative editing by the NGN editorial staff?

ShucksGo to Top of Page

Butterfly

USA
704 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  4:07:33 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Shucks,I believe that it would be worth your money to invest in a weekly newspaper. Of course, if you are local they deliver it free once you purchase the box. That would alleviate the misinterpretation process, although I do agree that different people interpret the same words different ways. But, in this case, all the things you were questioning were actually written out in black and white. You raised a good question though concerning what is on the internet and what is printed. You would think that both would contain the same information.

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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/25/2006 :  4:27:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Butterfly, I guess I need to subscribe. I just assumed the online version would be the same, thats what I get for assuming and not reading the full article. It just seems incredulous to me that NGN's online version would be edited in such a manner as to give a totally different inflection of the actual article.

But, I guess that is meat for another post!


ShucksGo to Top of Page

shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  9:38:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some things in life make a profound impression on a person. In the "Letters to the Editor" section in the 8/30 edition of NGN, a letter did just that. The letter from Ed Reed was one of the most profound letters I have read recently. You can practically feel his emotion as he writes. In some ways it reflect's my life, growing up in the 50's, small town and walking a mile in the mud to catch the school bus.

As a newcomer, I made no bones about it that I supported Wal Mart coming to town. I just assumed that most newcomers wanted growth and the "natives" did not. I now believe that I am wrong. It is the "natives of Union County" that want some change in their lives. The newcomers want the county to stay serene and isolated, natives want change to emerge into the new age. Somewhere there has to be a happy medium as growth is becoming to emerge.

I cannot fault them for that. It is no secret that Union County is on the low side when it comes to median family income. With Wal Mart and other retail they will have more buying power for the funds they have and can buy locally.

Mr. Reed's letter opened my eyes to be more accepting of the "old" and the "new" and to accept natural change.


ShucksGo to Top of Page

ShadowMan

USA
4158 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  10:05:07 PM  Show Profile  Visit ShadowMan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Shucks, for what it's worth, the full text of the Commissioner's column that you referenced originally is available online now at: http://www.unioncountyga.gov/t8-23-06.htm

Shadow

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Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 08/30/2006 :  10:34:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well, there is nothing wrong with your commissioner's letter, but one thing stands out and it's bugging me . . .

Why is it that newcomers are always criticized for wanting to change everything, but if it's a change that natives want, then newcomers are standing in the way.

There is a double standard here I think.

The only reason newcomers get beat up over trying to change anything, is because they promote changes that natives don't happen to want themselves.

I'm sorry; I'm not trying to start something, but it needs to be said.

Natives say we knew what the area was like before we moved here, so we should not expect to change it. Well, there was NO Wal-Mart when we moved here, so why do they get to change that?

I guess they are the only ones who get to make changes?

There is no logic to this way of thinking; just selfishness.

Wildflower

Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me.
But deep down, I know that's not true.
Some of the smaller countries are neutral.
~Robert Orben
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mad4martinis

USA
13730 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  07:22:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
lol

**There is no truth except the truth that exists within you. Everything else is what someone is telling you**Go to Top of Page

daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  08:05:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well I dont care what anyone says.. local or non local.. I am local and Ill be glad to have convienance here. I dont wanna move off, I want to stay here where I was raised and now raising my kids.

Id say the locals who want the Wal Mart are tired of commuting outside of our neck of the woods to get good and fair prices.. after all, this is where we live. Whats good for the goose is indeed good for the gander.. locals didnt pick this area.. we were born here, raised here and love it here wether there is a wal mart or not.. it would be nice to have one tho.. lotsa people aint never seen the city.. and I doubt wal mart will bring sky scrapers here.. meaning they dont wanna see the city life of a BIG city. There is a difference in Alltitude and attitude.


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill


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why

USA
2072 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  08:42:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't want it, never did. Most of the locals I talk to don't want it either, only ones with a profit interest seem to want it. Yes it's nice not to have to leave town to pick up something at Walmart but how often do most of us really shop at Walmart? I go by it several times most weeks and only stop a few times a year.

I shop at Alexanders, Foodland, Hughes outdoors, and other local stores first.

Why put up with the traffic and confussion, we had a new couple join our church a recently saying they had moved here from Ellijay to get away from all the over crowding. Drive through Ellijay several times a week and see how you like putting up with the traffic.

Guess I just like what little peace and quiet we have left.

why

Edited by - why on 08/31/2006 08:44:18 AMGo to Top of Page

daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  09:03:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I dont have any intentions on profit shares or associate related interest.. Profit interest, yes. I have 4 kids and a husband not including my own needs that Wal Mart has to offer. Why buy a 20.00 white shirt when you can a 6.97 white shirt. Yeah big difference. I dont frequent many of the local stores unless I want a pair of Nike's and Ive found the new on ebay for 20.00 and 5.00 shipping.. working on my 3rd pair.
Yep, I am a clearance rack person.. I will go there first of course and every now and then I can find some good deals at local stores.

So while I am along many of my age group, I can vouch for most my age who are raising their families.. and who I am dear friends with.. Wal Mart is wanted by the young generation maybe moreso than that of the older. The needs are more in demand to furnish their children with nice clothes and toys REASONABLY.

I gather that even most of the middle age folks here know that its needed.

Times have changed for sure but even in the 80s and early 90s, we had discount stores. Lays and Sky City. They werent locally owned. They didnt make it because of they werent grounded corp's. Not because they werent used here. My mom worked for both companys and made minium wage and thats what paid her power bill. She was a department manager after Sky City opened and made .50 more an hour than the other employees under her.. so tho she wasnt booming with money.. she had a job.. and while most retired folk or well off folk arent worried about the little man or woman trying to make it day by day.. I think you might should. Its selfish to say that they dont count and to neglect the fact that they still have the race to run.

Right now with gas prices, my complaint wont be that I have to sit at the red light or that maybe the county or state whatever will make routes that arent as congested already. Even with the gas prices, it is still cheaper for my family to shop Walmart from grocerys to just about anything they offer.

And Ive lived here all my life, Ive heard all of my life... "We need something here to furnish our needs.." That was coming from locals older than I.

Lets give us more building stores which variety is good.. and so is comptetion... but H Depot brought the light and chaos of more traffic than before there at that light, brought very few jobs at all but brought in the majority of their employees from elsewhere, where was all the rah rahing about that when it was happening?

Ive talked to many of the folks who have worked for Walmart who are Blairsville locals who still work there and the company already welcomes them to transfer shall one be here. The company had no problem with it and already employed them anyways.

Wal Mart in Murphy put theirs off of the 4 lane finally.. I dont see much wrong with downtown Murphy that wasnt already their problems to begin with.

We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill


Edited by - daughterofconfederate on 08/31/2006 09:18:45 AMGo to Top of Page

Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  09:42:00 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DoC,

It's not your reasons, or anyone's reasons for wanting Wal-Mart that's bothering me. I'm not even saying you should, or should not get one.

What's bothering me is . . . What natives want is OKAY, but what newcomers want, is NOT OKAY. And natives can push for changes, but newcomers should not.

After all, newcomers have reasons for the things they want too.

No one in this life has a guarantee from God that they will not have to deal with changes they don't want. Change is a constant fact of life as history shows.

Many newcomers have come from places that have changed drastically, and they had to deal with it as long as they lived there. But it seems like natives truly feel that they should be exempt from any change that they themselves didn't initiate.

That is a funny attitude, because no one has that privilege in this world.

Wildflower

Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me.
But deep down, I know that's not true.
Some of the smaller countries are neutral.
~Robert Orben
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daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  11:55:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I understand your point Wildflower. I really do but is it fair to discriminate against something just because the fact that some things didnt go the way someone else wanted? I should think not.

I wished everyone could be happy and get their wants and needs met but what I guess I am saying is this aint just a want for my family.. this would be a need too. I dont know how long you have lived in these parts or visited before that.. but the schools are building new schools just to house 2 grade levels.. we are growing and so are the needs of family stuff too, like a department store and a lot more than that. The fun place over in Hiawassee (trying not to mention names), would you think that that is more chaotic than a department store? Wouldnt you think that would draw some rough teens or begin something like that? I am honest when I thought and heard of it at first.. all I could think of was the horror stories about our own theater and bowling ally... but they have proved me wrong.. yes again, I agree with you on the way you put and the way I put it is.. some locals and non locals are small minded and simply dont want to see new things... :(


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill


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Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  12:27:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
DoC,

Like I said . . . I am not disagreeing with you wanting a Wal-Mart. I know we need something like that, even though I much prefer Target.

Wal-Mart itself is NOT my issue with this.

The commissioner felt that natives were justified in wanting to change the situation - and he gave all the "reasons".

But when newcomers wanted to change something, their "reasons" were not valid.

Most natives feel that newcomers are just supposed to accept things as they find them.

It is becoming plain that there is a double standard. Both natives and newcomers pay taxes, but only natives are supposed to ask for changes?

That is the impression some people are giving.

Wildflower

Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me.
But deep down, I know that's not true.
Some of the smaller countries are neutral.
~Robert Orben
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daughterofconfederate

USA
29728 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  1:05:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lord, I hope I dont give you or anyone that impression myself. I can relate to both I reckon.. maybe some more than others or maybe moreso than is shown on this computer...


We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Sir Winston Churchill


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Wildflower

USA
4528 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  1:13:04 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
No, you are not giving me that impression.

It's everyone who ever said . . .

"Why do they move here and then try to change everything? They knew what it was like before they moved in!"

THEY give me that impression.

Wildflower

Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me.
But deep down, I know that's not true.
Some of the smaller countries are neutral.
~Robert Orben
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shucks


2145 Posts

Posted - 08/31/2006 :  1:47:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why, I read with interest your post. The couple at your church complaining of Ellijay being crowded---did they mean downtown Ellijay? Ellijay actively pushed for downtown development, mainly small shops, antique stores and restaurants. The "roundabout" in the center compounded the crowding problem. Blairsville's DDA is now in the planning stages to develop downtown Blairsville to attract more trade and tourist. Perasonally, I am all for it, a lively, vibrant downtown is good for the city and the new DDA is certainly on the right track and needs community support.

As far as Wal Mart, on 515, there is no real crowding out there. Just the normal growth that was anticipated.

I try to shop as much as possible in Blairsville, but I have a problem finding what I need. We go to Wal Mart at least once a week for groceries, clothes and paper products. Also we need a myriad of other items not found in Blairsville that Wal Mart has. With 7 individuals in my home it is necessary to shop wisely, even though I have a more than ample income.

Gosh, I would love a Kroger of Publix here.


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