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2004-01-19
Stoughton, WI. Council Rejects Referendum for Wal-Mart--Again.

Just last month, the City Council in Stoughton, Wisconsin voted 8-4 not to hold a non-binding referendum on the subject of the city's proposed limit on the size of retail buildings. Wal-Mart has been thwarted from building a 183,000 s.f. superstore in Stoughton because of a proposed 110,000 s.f. cap on the size of retail buildings. Wal-Mart offered to scale-down their store to a 150,000 s.f. "Village Wal-Mart" The "village" store, which would be nearly the size of 4 football fields, would have a different facade and pitched roofs to make the bulk of the store behind the facade appear smaller. A petition with 1,214 signatures was submitted to the City Council asking for an advisory referendum on the issue, but a motion to that effect was defeated by the Council this week on a vote of 7-5. Two of the councilors told the Stoughton Courier Hub that they hesitated to call for a citywide referendum because Wal-Mart would try to infuence the process. "They've already done that through their campaign of fear," one councilor told the newspaper. She added, "Wal-Mart has hijacked our process for months now." Wal-Mart representatives have been trying to get the city to raise its proposed cap to 150,000 s.f., which would be the largest size limit passed by any community in America.

What you can do: If Wal-Mart can get this issue on the ballot, they can then spend as much corporate money they want to influence the outcome. It's called corporate democracy: the one with the most cash reserves wins. Wal-Mart's charade of calling a 150,000 s.f. store a "village" anything is an affront on common sense. There is no building in Stoughton the size of the proposed "village" store. The question here is whether Stoughton will make Wal-Mart fit its vision of the future, or whether the city will fit into Wal-Mart's vision. Wal-Mart has at least 3,500 stores, and the average store is less than 150,000 s.f. Ironically, Stoughton already has a Wal-Mart in the city, so the new proposal brings no added value to the city, except one more grocery store to weaken those that are already in business. For local contacts in Stoughton, contact info@sprawl-busters.com. Search this database by the city's name to find earlier stories.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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