Pleasanton Weekly

News - September 23, 2011

Wal-Mart objectors with no place to go

Gripes to council left at closed meeting room doors

by Jeb Bing

Anti-Wal-Mart protestors were geared up Tuesday night to vent their objections to the discounter retailer from taking over the now-empty Nob Hill grocery store, but there was no City Council to hear them out. The council chamber was dark with a note saying the next public meeting will be Oct. 4.

The protestors, a small group that often wears yellow anti-Wal-Mart badges, showed up after being alerted by photocopies of a Faxed flier to keep objecting to the store. But the flier talks about a full-sized Wal-Mart moving in, not the smaller 30,000-square-foot neighborhood grocery store that Wal-Mart wants to open at the Nob Hill site.

In any case, it's unlikely the council can discuss the issue until Wal-Mart responds to city planners with more information. Sources say that won't happen by Oct. 4, maybe not even before the end of the year.

Councilman Jerry Thorne, who is campaigning for the mayor's post in next year's municipal election, told a meeting of the city's Economic Vitality Committee last week that he would support a "public meeting" to discuss the Wal-Mart plan for Nob Hill, if it ever submits any.

"Not so fast," replied Scott Raty, CEO of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. "The same rules that apply to all businesses should also apply to whoever takes over that store."

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