You certainly did cover a lot of ground ["If Don Quixote paid a visit to Sonoma County," Sept. 14, p. 1] and in many ways you were right but in just as many you were wrong. Growth for the sake of growth does no good for anyone. It's basically what cancer is. Take a look at Brentwood or any of the other cities that fell on the sword of growth and are paying for it. Everyone talks smart growth, but I have yet to see it in very many places due to greed and short sightedness.
I have lived in some towns that the new big box store absolutely devastated the local economy. Yup, they provide some jobs and destroy just as many jobs and businesses. I'd add that even Pat Buchanan, a well-known highly conservative commentator, thinks there is a problem with them due to the sheer amount of Chinese products within their walls. Yet another way jobs disappear.
You take a shot at unions, yet the union work force is nominal at best, their membership peaked in 1950. You mention anti-anything environmentalists, which just isn't so. Come to the green shows that I attend as an exhibitor and you will see they land fully on the side of growth done well, not no growth. Indeed green is where the growth is right now.
You even dip your toe into turning away tax revenues. Typically with big box stores you end up giving away the baby with the bath water in tax give-backs to attract them in the first place.
Locally owned and operated businesses are the backbone of our cities and counties, not an accountant in Arkansas at Wal-Mart's headquarters. The people making the decisions live locally and are elected by the citizens. Perhaps this is what the citizens wish – slow, thoughtful, measured growth.
Though I have grown up in the construction business and remain in it, I tend to agree. We just saw what happens when we let growth, and the stupidity that follows, run the show. We may never be able to pay for it, so let's not continue down the same road.
Brent Farlie, Napa