Friday, September 7, 2007

Wailing At Wegmans

The Flier this week reports on a mystery: Who's distributing the anti-Wegmans leaflets around Owen Brown, Long Reach and Oakland Mills? The story quotes a Long Reach board member who says she's mystified because everyone she's talked to has been very positive. (We assume she doesn't talk to some of the people who write letters to the editor.) Liz Bobo, the state delegate, has talked to people who have concerns about the effect of the mega-store on some of the village center groceries. No telling if they also own a leaflet printing press; the story doesn't offer their names.

Opposition to Wegmans has flared up elsewhere, most recently in Prince George's, where a man with ties to union types has filed a lawsuit.

There's lots of denouncing going on, but the leaflet has served its purpose and stirred the pot. We have no dog in this fight; just questions. Is the arrival of a Wegmans really a planning department issue? Or is it really about grocery competition, or union versus nonunion jobs, or a longing for the good old days when village centers were the center of things?

If it is about planning, then is a Wegmans any more an industrial use that the other big boxes, strip shopping centers, car dealers and restaurants that have taken up quarters in east Columbia? Who let the horse out of that barn?

1 comment:

Jeremy Stein said...

I live in Rochester, Wegmans' hometown. I find it amusing that Wegmans is being treated like some big corporate giant coming in to stomp out the little guys in Columbia. Wegmans' is a privately held company (by the Wegman family) and they're beloved in Rochester for treating their employees and customers so well. I'm sure you'll love 'em; you've just gotta get to know them!