The latest revolves around an email blast sent by Councilman Greig Smith that essentially credits himself with forcing Wal-Mart to give in.
You can imagine, this e-mail, has Assembly Candidate and Northridge West Neighborhood Council leader, Jim Alger, hopping mad. He's fired off a memo to his fellow Council members and copied Smith deputy John Bwarie on it.
There's no doubt that running Wal-Mart out of town on a rail was a group effort that not only involved Alger and the Neighborhood Council, but the local Chamber of Commerce, union types, the Wake Up Wal-Mart campaign, NIMBYs and more.
And there is no doubt that the Councilman has SOME NERVE claiming credit and not giving Jim Alger his due props for pushing the ball over the goal line. Jim even traveled to Washington, D.C. meeting with anti-Wal-Mart activists and appeared on numerous television programs discussing the campaign. The outcome is significant (and remember Mayor Sam was always in favor of Wal-Mart, but that's a different story) in that Alger and his crew defeated the first "by right" Wal-Mart in the United States. At least twice on the blog, Smith was slammed
To add insult to inury, at one point Smith supported construction of the store contingent upon a payment of over $150,000 by Wal-Mart into a special fund administered by Smith's office. Where I come from, we call that "pay to play." Say what you want, but Alger was consistent all along. At least twice Smith was slammed on this blog for his alleged flip-flops, once by me, then by Chief Parker on the issue.
We have no overall beef with Smith, but this stinks.
- Reacting to Smith's assigning credit for the mitigation fund to the Neighborhood Council, Jim Alger tells us "That is just absurd. He isn't even trying to tell the truth."
- Wal-Mart has pulled out of another site, this time in Escondido. At least this time it wasn't because of government, NIMBY or union pressure. A Ralphs market, the anchor tenant in the shopping center, objected to the owners of the property. The City Council had already approved the site and Wal-Mart says its will look for another property in the area.
- The Albertson's supermarket chain is looking at a buyout from the Supervalu chain, partially due to competition pressure from Wal-Mart and other lower cost grocery options such as Costco.