Where is all the public outcry and sadness for the employees at Kmart who are all losing their jobs?
When Potlatch closed, one would have thought the world was coming to an end. Kmart announced its closing and there has been no sympathy for the employees there. They have house mortgages and bills, too. That store was an integral part of this community.
Roger L. Anderson
O'Day will serve with integrity
I am endorsing Mark O'Day for alderman-at-large. I served with Mark for six years on Brainerd City Council and appreciate the honesty and integrity he will once again bring to the council. Call me at 831-2729 to support Mark by placing his campaign sign in your yard.
City employees are accountable
In January of 2003, Wal-Mart proposed to locate a supercenter on the 371 bypass in Baxter. The Planning Commission had the power to recommend that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which would allow for a detailed look at environmental impacts, be prepared at Wal-Mart's expense. The Baxter city planner, Todd Holman, recomended that an EIS not be conducted. Mr. Holman made his recommendation before hearing any public testimony or discussion among the members of the Planning Commission. Dozens of citizens attended the meeting and later meetings about the issue. Many testified in favor of an EIS, including residents of nearby Perch Lake, and others from Baxter and other towns. Two experts, including Al Cibuzar, testified in favor of ordering an EIS.
Mr. Holman continued his aggressive support for Wal-Mart's position against the EIS when the city council considered the issue. Mr. Holman was on a first name basis with Wal-Mart's large contingent of attorneys, Realtors and public relations staff. If one did not know that he was the city planner, they would have assumed that he was one more person representing Wal-Mart.
I did not send in any of the recent Vox Pops. However, I do not believe that Mr. Holman should be given a free pass. Being a government employee comes with accountability. While I disagreed with the decision, I was most upset by the lack of fairness, and seeing Mr. Holman acting as an advocate for one side of an issue while on the public payroll. As the two recent Open Forum writers missed most of the meetings, perhaps they should see what Mr. Holman actually said and did before jumping to conclusions and watch the videotapes of the meetings, which I have and would be happy to loan out or watch with them.
(Baxter property owner)
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