I adopted Hood River some years ago because I was looking for a town with good neighbors. I found it. I love being known by the clerks who help me when I shop, by the doctors who treat me. I love volunteering, and building a great community side-by-side with my neighbors.
Big box stores are not good neighbors. Sure, they provide jobs, but they aren't the kind of jobs that support a healthy family. And unlike local businesses, they give very little back to the community. They ship all the profits directly to corporate headquarters.
I urge the county commission to give us more time to decide whether we really want more big box retailers of such ilk here in Hood River. They can do that by simply acting now to adopt an interim footprint ordinance. We need the time to thoroughly discuss this issue, so that we don't just keep fighting against things in the future. I want us to be FOR something, and that something is development that brings family wage jobs. Let's not wait around for Wal-Mart or anyone else to push us into the corner of a big box.
Paul H. Burton