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STORE WARS: When Wal-Mart Comes To Town


Pros and Cons

Neighbor against neighbor, the Wal-Mart controversy remains the talk of the town. Who gets to determine the future of Ashland? Explore both sides of the issue, as residents and those involved in the debate speak out.

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infavor and opposed

People who support the building of a Wal-Mart supercenter in Ashland say that the store will bring more jobs, better roads, free enterprise and a larger selection of products at better prices.

Sharon Mckinley
Sharon Mckinley, town resident
...I like the one-stop shopping, 'cause my life is very busy.... I can go in and get it all at one place....

Franklin Jackson
Franklin Jackson, a town councilman
I would love to see Wal-Mart come in. I think it will bring a variety of products...and create more jobs for younger teenagers and middle class people....

Bobbie Parker
Bobbie Parker, member of the planning commission
...If we don't rely on proffers from developers, where is the money coming from to alleviate all of these problems that we have?

Jay Weinberg
Jay Weinberg, lawyer for Wal-Mart from Richmond, Virginia
Annual tax revenues, after expenses, will exceed a net of $110,000 per year for the town....

Wal-Mart shopper
Wal-Mart shopper
...It's hard to believe that a town doesn't want more prosperity.

Those who oppose the building of a Wal-Mart express concerns about increased traffic, a loss of higher paying jobs, decreased revenue to the city and destroying the historic downtown and unique character of Ashland.

Mary Leffler
Mary Leffler, head of the Pink Flamingos, Ashland's anti-Wal-Mart citizens' group
The money our business generates sits in our local bank, and is recycled. It buys Ashland homes, Ashland cars, it finances education and it serves local businesses....

Ned Stiles
Ned Stiles, town resident
The $4 million, whatever it is, that they are proffering for internal roads, will build a nice new road to their front door....

Anthony Kitts
Anthony Kitts, town council member
I'm concerned about the congestion in terms of traffic, the number of people....

Bill Artiglia
Bill Artiglia, carpenter
The jobs that Wal-Mart's going to bring are going to be replacing better-paying jobs that we've already got...

Wilma-Jean Carpenter
Wilma-Jean Carpenter, town resident
We don't need another Wal-Mart. You can go to Wal-Mart 10 minutes in any direction...

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