September 11, 2014

Ray Augenstein

Ray Augenstein

Here we go again. I’m told that if you keep hammering on a stone you’ll finally break it. Well it seems that Walmart is determined to be a part of our community, even though they were refused years ago. It’s kind of like politics. When a group of people want their way they keep on hammering until they get their way. (See brat, laying on the floor throwing a tantrum) Can you not see how certain groups kept pushing until they got their bills passed?

Seems to me that Walmart was determined to have a store in Clare. So they kept pushing until now it seems that they will have their way. They took notice that Clare was starting to prosper and was gaining a lot of attention from around the country, so they couldn’t stand, not sneaking in to get a piece of the pie.

Small towns are quickly being sucked up, and small businesses are being bled to support the big box stores. It seems when all the big stores move in, the ambiance, and tranquility of living in a quiet little town has been taken away. I didn’t want to live in a large town with all of its hustle and bustle, that is the reason I moved to Clare County to get away from it all and to embrace a slower pace of life in my retirement.

I applaud the store owners who have worked diligently to build up their business while maintaining a relationship with their neighbors. I like to be able to walk into a store or restaurant and greet the owner and his staff with a familiarity that you don’t have with the big stores. I agree that a new industry would be a nice addition to our County, perhaps a manufacturing plant that would not be in competition with our local merchants.

I question the wisdom of bringing in a Walmart, that will siphon off customers from our local merchants. We finally have the stores filled in Clare, and in Harrison we can see growth occurring.

I have heard the arguments, that it would be nice to have a Walmart closer than Mt. Pleasant or Houghton Lake. And of course it will create jobs for those out of work in this area, if they qualify for a position, but it will also bring in people from other areas to fill the Jobs. But what is the tradeoff?

Doesn’t Clare have enough traffic problems? Is the next step a Meijer’s, or a K mart? Will they widen McEwan St. to a 5 or 6 lane road? When Walmart came into Houghton Lake, the big grocery store close to Kmart closed. Kmart lost most of its business, and Wendys restaurant closed. I’m not saying that Walmart was the sole cause of that situation, but it was a contributing factor.

Personally I would like to keep our quiet, peaceful way of life that I move up north to enjoy. I would like to see Clare merchants prosper, and enjoy the fruits of their own hands. This may be a mistake. But who knows I may be wrong.


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