Mayor Monette's comical comments

To the Editor:

I find (almost) funny the frantic fulminations of Newport's mayor Monette lately (Orleans Record, "Mayor ... Takes on Walmart Blockers" 1-19&20-13) in his "boosting" a mega-corporation's plans to build a downtown and community killing, money sucking, slave- wage using and slave-wage paying entity like Walmart, which we affectionately call "Woo-Mart" for their commitment to cheap products made in Communist China.

In his so-called "fiery letter" the mayor seems to forget the REAL costs of this outfit, or maybe he just forgot the "fiery fire" that killed some 120 women in that garment factory in Indonesia making "Faded Glory" items for Walmart, and the locked doors and unsafe conditions that run rampant at their other "vendors" too? Is cheap underwear too big a lure to notice the horrid slavery? Didn't anyone notice the garment section upstairs of a Downtown Newport store? They have name brand undies for about $8 a three-pack, FULL time employees with benefits, and even an elevator to help the infirm avoid the stairs. Didn't anyone notice the underwear racks of the TWO major pharmacies/sundry stores in Newport AND Derby for about the same price or cheaper? Unlike Walmart they have FULL time employees also, with minimal but some benefits and wages that would not require US to pay for the food stamps and medicaid the part-timers qualify for at a "Superstore".

And, as usual, the mayor hurls invectives, as other local Pol's are want to do calling anyone "non-native" names like "outsiders" as though that mattered as if they live, work, and pay taxes in Vermont they/we are all equally Vermonter's, and many like me who are relatively new to Vermont but have been in New England for only a short time, can only trace our (recent) lineage back to the early 1600's or so.

Here's a lesson the folks in my hometown of Lunenburg, Mass.

learned from Woo-Mart and the some big $800,000 in taxes that supposedly came with the "store". They promised NOT to sell beer and wine, until a small store went under and WooMart got the license, then they undercut prices so they took out the two small stores left standing. Same with liquor, and then they drove two more out of business, and again with auto parts and the "service bays" that crushed untold small shops/auto parts that had been doing business for a generation or two, they're boarded up now. WooMart promised to keep their store area clean but didn't, and the rubbish and plastic bags float through the air like airborne jelly fish, then the shoplifting, bad checks, altercations, car accidents, etc. forced a massive expansion of the local police force AND their facility to deal with the constant calls to the store and overtime for the cops in court.

Who paid for the police, fire, and "services" constantly called to the WooMart? That's right!! The taxpayers of the town, NOT the store or the multi millionaire Walton family who own and operate this monstrosity masquerading as a store. The mayor said "I look at everything like a puzzle" which is an apt description of his evidently fractured view of things generally I guess, that and believing that some new promise of development will "change everything!", like the "Big Boost" we would get from building/hosting of a prison, a waterfront "conference center" that is severely underutilized, a state building complex that lies half empty these days, a boardwalk with disputes over the money to maintain it, and now promises of "Bio-Tech" and MORE from a local charlatan whose mountain plans are now referred to as "Ponzi-Peak" by other local businesspeople as ANY ROI (Return On Investment) seems to be using "new money" to take cash from the "last-in" to pay the "first-in" in a EB5 scam that (we hear) counts water park part time employees as "full time" to qualify yet none of the local press will ask if water park employees are only working every other week.

If Mayor Monette can (or can't) see downtown as dying from lack of businesses now (witness SO many empty storefronts) just wait until after WooMart opens, the only thing missing will be the tumbleweeds rolling through the empty streets and homeless on park benches, but wait, the downtown benches have been removed but they have them at the "big box stores", and employees to shoo along any who linger on them longer than the allotted and allowable resting time, regardless of the old and infirm who might actually need a break off their feet.

Hello WooMart, goodbye small business!!

Steve Merrill

North Troy, Vt.

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