Opinion: Eastern Cherokees should vote on WalMart
"Anytime Wal-Mart comes to a town, it’s a controversy. The town of Cherokee is no different, and the tribe’s officials would do well to seek public opinion prior to the store locating on the reservation.

For those who oppose Wal-Mart, it’s typically based on two factors. One is a genuine dislike of the company based upon its competitive practices, some of which border on predatory. Only in cities with large numbers of consumers are the small mom-and-pop operations able to remain in business when Wal-Mart comes in, and it does change the face of a community. That can certainly be expected in Cherokee as well.

The other front for opposition is the aesthetics of Wal-Mart. Most Wal-Mart stores are indistinguishable from other stores. Cinderblock construction, blue and gray paint are the norm for these locations, and Wal-Marts are easy to spot, even from busy interstates through Atlanta. With efforts to revitalize downtown, (making it look less junky) some in Cherokee feel that Wal-Mart is not a good fit.

For those who want the store, they argue that it’ll create jobs. It takes a lot of people to run a Wal-Mart, and with the casino, pretty much anyone who wants a job in Cherokee should be able to get one. "

Get the Story:
Joe Martin: Cherokee residents deserve a vote on adding a Wal-Mart (The Asheville Citizen-Times 5/29)

Related Stories:
Opinion: Cherokee community deserves a voice (5/15)