Merced has historically experienced one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Merced desperately needs the 600 jobs that the Wal-Mart distribution center will create. The Wal-Mart jobs are good, full-time jobs. The salaries paid in Wal-Mart's other California distribution centers average $35,000 per year. The jobs come with health insurance and retirement.
It is highly unlikely that the California Supreme Court will agree to hear the opponents' case. In my opinion, the opponents have never really cared about protecting our local environment. The courts have repeatedly ruled that the Wal-Mart environmental impact report was more than sufficient to allow the community and the City Council to understand the impacts of the project. The lawsuits have not been pursued to protect the environment but have only been pursued to delay the project.
According to an article published in The Wall Street Journal, Safeway Stores and the United Food and Commercial Workers union have employed Saint Consulting to organize opposition to the project and funded legal challenges.
I hope that plaintiff Kyle Stockard is sleeping well at night knowing that over 600 of his neighbors who are currently out of work are being denied the possibility of a good job due to his willingness to delay this project.
BILL SPRIGGS Merced