At its regular monthly meeting this week, the Athens Clarke County Commission usually absent from City Hall.
Black Athenians took the podium to say they were glad at the prospect of Wal Mart coming to town. They look forward to getting jobs--even low-paying jobs are better than no-paying jobs, one said--and to shopping for groceries at an in-town location.
Some echoed the sentiments of and Benson enterprises president Ed Beson, who assured the Commission that "Athens is open for business."
There is, as Patch has reported, organized opposition to a Big Box on the edge of a successful, largely locally owned downtown business district.
There are at least two websites now devoted to raising issues and voicing criticisms of Selig Enterprises and Wal Mart. A has performed an anti-Wal Mart video that has shown up in on-line publications across the Internet. A local film crew has created an anti-Wal Mart short film.
People keep badgering local officials to do something, anything--to either seal the deal with Wal Mart or toughen up regulations and design specs to keep them out.
Within a week, the 90-day that was enacted in November will expire. Will the historic buildings on the Armstrong & Dobbs site come down?
Everyone seems to know what they don't want on the property. But what do they want instead? Have you called Publix or Kroger and pitched the idea of an in-town grocery along the lines of the one near Georgia Tech?
What do you envision for that property? A farmer's market? A smaller grocery the size of Earthfare or Trader Joe's? A skate park? Amphitheatre? The University of Georgia Natural History museum? Or is it fine as it is?
And what would you do with the cars associated with what you're proposing?
Tell us in the comments. But play nice, please.