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Walmart Fight Moving To Sacramento


Aired 2/3/11

The Walmart war may not be over just yet. A state lawmaker is joining the battle and he's calling out the San Diego City Council in the process.

— The Walmart debate is going to Sacramento. State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) plans to take up the fight he believes San Diego caved on. Vargas said he’ll introduce legislation that mirrors an ordinance passed in San Diego requiring an economic impact study before mega-stores can be built.

State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) will propose legislation requiring devel...

Above: State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) will propose legislation requiring developers of mega-stores to conduct economic impact studies before the stores can be built. His legislation will be modeled after a repealed San Diego ordinance.

City Council overturned the ordinance this week after Walmart collected enough signatures to force a special election on the issue. Such an election could cost about $3 million. Several council members cited the expense when voting to repeal the ordinance. But Vargas said that’s just an excuse.

“It’s because of the political pressure that was placed on them. So all of a sudden a large company can come in and cause them to change their minds,” he said. “And that was disappointing. But hopefully we’ll be able to correct it from the state.”

Vargas said the true cost to the city would have been about $200,000 because San Diego could have combined the issue with a state wide special election likely to be held this summer. Councilman Todd Gloria originally authored the big box ordinance, but changed his vote in the face of a special election. He said Vargas’ position is misleading.

“We don’t have a confirmation that the state will in fact hold a special election,” he said. “The governor has made it clear that’s his intention, naturally that requires the legislature to approve that and that vote has not been taken yet.”

Gloria said the council had to consider the election cost to be between $2 million to $3 million. He said his position and the purpose of the ordinance were distorted by Walmart’s PR campaign and said he wishes Vargas luck on the state initiative.

Walmart said it plans to build 12 stores in San Diego in the next five years.

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Avatar for user 'Chuck63'

Chuck63 | February 3, 2011 at 8:20 a.m. ― 6 years, 1 month ago

Juan doesn't have a clue, as he fails the people of califonia time and time agian now he fails to see the big pictue. Wal-Mart (where I'm sure he,his family memebers & his wife have shopped) where they employ large numbers and provides large tax revenues.

Once a city councilman himself, he wouldn't have approved spending $200K or $ 3 million from a cash straped city budget, then why is he suggesting now. Jaun's attempt to have a economic impact study ( which the answer has been the same for every Wal-Mart placed in San Diego County) is just another way of stalling out the actual building and putting hundreds of contstruction workers, store clerks, managers, support staff back to work.

Jaun is diffently kissing up to Gov. Brown, when Brown was suggesting disbanning Redevelopment Agencies and stealing the money back, then in the same breath say during his run for office- he wants to to put the money back into the local government control ?

Wal-Marts' done their own economic impact study and doesn't invest in areas they wont benefit all parties involved. Yes, small business did have its place years ago, but the greater good here is employing hundreds people, not a couple of people.

Guys...Get your act together ! Remember the Constitution " For the people-by the people"

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Avatar for user 'LGMike'

LGMike | February 3, 2011 at 9:11 a.m. ― 6 years, 1 month ago

I would be willing to bet that even before the SD City Council voted to resend the ordinance, that the Labor controlled members had already had assurances that Juan Vargas would take up the fight. That way, they still get the Labor vote next time. Juan Vargas was pushing this before he went to the State. I hope the people who elected Juan Vargas finally see what kind of person he is, and either recall him or at the least replace him in two years.
And Yes Juan, the people DID VOTE on the ordinance, the quick signature gathering that forced this decision by the City Council should show you that people know what they want, NOT WHAT YOU WANT.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | February 3, 2011 at 9:31 a.m. ― 6 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, Chucky where they employee large numbers of part-timers, where they squeeze out small businesses, and where they make the Chinese factory workers under contract live in rat-infested housing--and if they don't, they still take it out of their paychecks.

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Avatar for user 'BuddyinMV'

BuddyinMV | February 3, 2011 at 10:01 a.m. ― 6 years, 1 month ago

Mike: Guess Marti Emerald didn't get the memo from Labor. Or, perhaps she was too caught up in her rant about her vote is not for sale. It's unfortunate for San Diego that we have Juan Vargas back as one of our reps in Sacramento. He just can't keep away from feeding at the public trough and can't seem to lend an ear to what the citizens want, rather than the special interest groups that fund his campaigns. He's a disgrace to San Diego and the voters in his senate district.

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