Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sat, Jan. 18

Prop 400: Convenience vs. congestion is at issue

Tuesday is Election Day for Proposition 400 in Prescott Valley. Actually, it's more of a vote-count day, because it's a mail-in election. Ballots have been out since mid- February. Many if not most voters have already decided.

The issue is whether the people want to ratify a town council vote to rezone 19.5 acres across Florentine north of the Fry's Shopping Center and west of Glassford Hill Road to allow construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Probably no one in Prescott Valley can say they haven't heard the arguments in favor of the rezoning. Wal-Mart has spent a large (yet unknown) amount of money to bombard everyone with signs, advertisements and direct-mail fliers to extol the benefits of a Wal-Mart here, even if the campaign committee appears to have violated campaign reporting laws.

The pro faction cites the convenience of having Wal-Mart with its wide array of groceries and merchandise at excellent prices, as well as jobs and sales tax revenue to enable the city to offer more and better services to a growing population.

The anti-faction comprises Local 99 of the United Food and Commercial Workers and no-growthers who don't want commercial development and others who want the Wal-Mart everywhere but at the proposed sight.

Let's say the opponents get their way. The union may get a tenant on the site more friendly to unions, but for sure the Fain Signature Group will go back before the council to seek rezoning for another store. The 19.5 acres in question are part of a 50-acre commercial site that has reservations for three large stores, including a Kohl's. The no-growthers may get a 19.5-acre riparian tract in the highly unlikely best case, but other big box retailers will surround it.

The common-sense voters will vote "yes," but we all know common sense often plays no role in referenda.

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