Dear Editor:

My goodness why can’t we get a CBA?

Whether you’re in favor of Wal-Mart or against, it’s very important to get a CBA (Community Benefits Agreement) that legally requires Wal-Mart to commit to our town. We have committed county and city money to a road, water fire suppression, and who knows what else to support them. Plus we’re putting a lot on the line in terms of small business competition. Why can’t we as a community ask for things in return? Basic responsible things that Wal-Mart should commit to as a sincere community partner like: dark sky compliance; enhancing neighborhoods around them to completely minimize their impact with bike trails, large tree and shrub landscaping, traffic mitigation; an empty building guarantee; and a committed percentage of building construction going to our local trades. Even though much of the process on the part of our local government entities has been a “roll over” attitude, we as community citizens still have the ability to use our political will and let our representatives know that certain conditions should be required of Wal-Mart. Over the next week, I respectfully ask that everyone write or email members of the Town Council and Archuleta County commissioners asking for a CBA. I understand that we have very limited leverage right because much has been acquiesced, but public impressions should be important to both government officials and Wal-Mart. Surely these are some things we can agree on as a community. That’s the very least we owe each other.

Lynne Vickerstaff

This story was posted on October 17, 2012.