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Concerns over Crestwood Walmart
On Feb. 25 the Oldham Planning and Zoning Commission held an important hearing on the request from Walmart to build a superstore in Crestwood. Time was given to both those who approved of the store and those who opposed the store.
I am opposed to the store and wanted to voice my concerns. Before I rose to speak, all the discussion had been on technical issues, i.e. drainage, utilities, parking. My focus was the social impact the store would have on Crestwood and the neighborhoods closest to the proposed location. I had been informed previously by the Commission’s staff that this hearing would be the appropriate time to raise social concerns. I began by citing a 2006 comprehensive study conducted by a Washington D.C. firm (copy was provided to Technical Committee) of official police incidents at 500 Walmart stores around the country. It was found that an average number per store was 269. These included 2,900 serious or violent crimes, such as attempted kidnapping. Local police forces reported that after Walmarts were built they were overwhelmed beyond their expectations. The chairman of the Commission informed me that, even though I could continue to speak, this information could not be considered by the Commission. I continued to amplify more data from the study. The Commission’s lawyer spoke to the Chairman for a moment, and then the Chairman hit his gavel and said that I was out of order. I was intending to also inform the Commission of the torrent of lawsuits with regards to its work force Walmart has and is facing for such issues as requiring workers to work off the clock, refusing to pay overtime, not allowing lunch breaks, etc. I wanted to make it clear that Crestwood will not benefit by adding a work force faced with these problems. To not consider facts concerning critical issues facing the community is unconscionable.
The rise in crime rate with the opening of a Walmart is just, if not more important as important, as where trees will be planted. To not allow me to speak about this and the working conditions found in Walmart at a public hearing concerning the most significant change in Crestwood in recent memory is puzzling.
I am responding to the letter from Ms. Lackore regarding the FOP Lodge 62 forum held in February. First of all, the FOP didn’t have to invite the public, second, the rules for the forum were set before the candidates and the public were invited and finally, had the event been video taped, your delusions of Judge Voegele’s grandeur would be forever shattered. It is Judge Voegele’s style to want to change the rules to suit his needs. He would rather make up the rules, than play by another’s rules. This was clearly evident during the forum. Judge Voegele started off with a temper tantrum because he couldn’t have his way. Judge Voegele showed total disregard to the panel by exceeding his time limit EVERY time. When told his “time” was up, he continued to speak until HE was done. This is the behavior of an arrogant bully. Judge Voegele’s behavior at the forum, out in public and even in Fiscal Court is shameful. He “rules” by intimidation. If you watch Channel 25, you would see this. It is rare for a magistrate to question Judge Voegele’s agenda; but when he does, the true David Voegele emerges; a bully!