Dear Randy: Wal-Mart Super Center

A reader asks: "What is your position on the future of the Super Wal-Mart in Santee?"

Read the latest news about the super-store expansion: 

You can call up , send emails all over, and reach out in many directions in looking for an answer to a local problem or help with an issue- or we can get that question right to , and he can use his resources and local government know-how to get the best answer around.

Send your questions or comments on any topic, preferably a local issue, to steven.bartholow@patch.com, or leave it as a comment below, and we'll pass it onto Mayor Voepel. He's agreed to shoot for answering one a week, so let's get those questions coming!

Q: What is your position on the future of the Super in Santee?

A: I am new to having a 'Dear Randy' column, other than answering a gazillion calls, Emails and letters over the years at . So far it seems to me that the question to answer ratio is lop-sided. It takes a whole lot more answering to match a question.

Here it goes: [Name removed], nice hand grenade to throw at me on a Monday morning pal.

The to me, in the context of UNION, NON-UNION. Union folks do not like the way WalMart does not use union workers, so any , is looked upon as a direct threat to the Union movement. In general, The Non-Union folks could give a fig about Union workers, if it saves them money and stretches the family dollar.

I am generally mildly pro-Union in the context of protecting American workers from losing jobs to foreign countries.

In the WalMart Super-Store arena I support the Super-Stores because they will profoundly save families money in the essential food cost area. Because WalMart is non-Union and operates on a fantastic volume, they are expected to compete with the large (, Albertsons, etc.) and take a large market share.

Other non-Union stores such as ,  etc., are also cutting into the Union Store Chains.

So for me, I will always put my bets down on saving Santee Families as much money as possible and take my lumps with those in organized Labor, that are afraid to, or can't compete with the private sector.


Randy Voepel

Mayor, City of Santee

Sam November 14, 2011 at 03:07 PM
Randy, good answer. As a Board Member of the Santee Santas Foundation, I too, think the SuperStore idea a good one. As you know we had over 200 Santee Families apply for assistance last Holiday Season and we anticipate at least a 10% increase this year due to the economy. A non-union SuperStore who can offer food items at a lower price is definitely a plus and can be a big help to the many Low Income Families and Seniors living in Santee.
rudy reyes November 14, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Big corperations hurt America! Down with fascist corporation using non-union current slavery! Unions keep big business fair in fiance and political gain! Proof is Santee city council being all imbedded with businesses! Stop allowing fascist business to control city council
Deb November 14, 2011 at 04:07 PM
I am so excited to hear about the Walmart Superstore! I already do most of my shopping there anyway, it would be so convenient if I could do the grocery shopping as well.
Earlene November 14, 2011 at 04:36 PM
I am one of thousands who shop at WalMart, Santee. I would certainly welcome the expansion of a Super Store in our City, as it would save me money as well as time in meeting all my needs at one place. BTW, unions are no longer what they once were, as I belonged to one for over 20 yrs. My husband belonged to one different than mine and both companies mandated that we join or we could not work for them. All they did was take a big chunk of our paychecks. When a problem arose with my husband's job, they did absolutely n o t h i n g for him. My union's President was found guilty of misuing union funds by buying his family automobiles and dipping into the funds. Wake up, people, you're not going to change America's largest retailer. We need that Super Store in our City.
Van Collinsworth November 14, 2011 at 05:52 PM
Hopefully, our city council and residents will pay close attention to the draft Environmental Impact Report. Mitigation for impacts could result in correction of previous design errors at the site if Walmart executives work respectfully with the community and our city council members demand it. Santee has a higher quality of life and better designed development than some of our neighbors because we have set higher standards for development approvals here (even going to the point where citizens will overturn a council decision using referendum). We appreciate quality over quantity. We aren't desperate for revenue and should not be willing to accept a substandard update as if we are.
thedefchef November 14, 2011 at 06:59 PM
I love it! Yes to the Super Wal-Mart! Capitalism at it's best.
thedefchef November 14, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Oh yeah..... Sorry Randy. I owe you a beer! :)
Earlene November 15, 2011 at 01:32 AM
There's definitely a way to block noise from most sources. Neighbors over the blockwall fence where WalMart Trucks unload should explore the possibility of large cedar trees or other dense, tall vegetation or brush planted closely together on their side of the wall which could definitely cut down on the noise about which they complain. I suggest checking with a Nursery like Armstrong's in El Cajon for any suggestion they might provide these residents.
Mary November 15, 2011 at 08:54 PM
Earlene- I live on the otherside of the river from the WalMart and hear the delivery trucks. I can hardly wait for the Christmas rush, when it goes on all night. It's not just people close by, sound carries and there is no wall along the river to midigate the noise. There is a great deal of vegetation and brush on both sides of the river but it doesn't help.
Earlene November 16, 2011 at 12:56 AM
I'm sorry, Mary, that you or anyone must endure any disruption and annoying sounds in the peace of your own home. I've seen demos on sound-blocking vegetation and how selecting the right trees, shrubs, plants can cut down on the sound but there's nothing that will totally block it out. If I were you, I would complain to WalMart's Headquarter Office in Bentonville and ask that they build a large block wall in the back of their Santee store where there is none. Being America's largest retailer, they have money to burn and could well accommodate the neighborhood they're now disturbing.
Doug Curlee November 16, 2011 at 03:35 AM
couple things here, earlene.it may not be legal to build a wall along the line of thre river..it's supposed to be part of a walking trail and ecological preserve..the environmentalists would certainly grouse about that, you know.. and i'd think that , if a heavy planting of trees would help muffle at least some of the noise, then walmart should have to pay to have those trees planted..not dump the cost for a walmart-created problem on the backs of the victims of that problem.. i'm probably whistling in the dark about that.. but it's something for the city to consider.. doug
Tamie November 16, 2011 at 06:35 AM
How I hate Wal-Mart!! They sell nothing but junk made from China at cheap prices that hurt our economy more than help. They are not a friend of small business. They are unorganized and their store is dirty more times than not. PLEASE do not allow this to happen in Santee.
Mary November 16, 2011 at 05:09 PM
Sam, I have no problem with families needing assistance with lower food prices. I assume that most of the families you assist at Christmas, also receive assistance, (via EBT cards from the State of California) for their food needs. I praise your Foundation's work and especially the help to ensure all children have a wonderful Christmas. But remember that the WalMart we have already sells food items. Many of the food items they sell are their own store brand. Without union activity that demands safety in the food processing area, how sure are you of the quality? I, for one, would rather pay the few cents extra for that assurance. I am a senior on a fixed income and would rather have the choice of food produced by companies known for their quality and safety. When I check the weekly sales at the various grocery stores around town, I am able to save 25%+ on my needs using the store cards. I rarely use coupons but they work at all the stores so that is a wash.
rudy reyes November 17, 2011 at 06:25 PM
I agree with ramie! Walmart isn't a small town improvement! Corporations and big business like Walmart hurt American capitalism, keeping you American earnings going to other countries! Violating work American rights through council lobbying! To Walmart corporation ununion workers are cheap slaves!
rudy reyes November 17, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Sorry tamie misspelled name! Wholeheartedly apologize


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