Wal-Mart Goes to Public Ballot

It's going to require a public vote to decide if Wal-Mart comes to Menifee or not. That was the decision by Menifee City Council this e...

It's going to require a public vote to decide if Wal-Mart comes to Menifee or not.

That was the decision by Menifee City Council this evening before a packed City Hall. Perhaps as many as a few hundred showed up to voice their opinions either in favor of, or opposed to, the retail giant coming to Menifee.

Last month, the city council decided it needed more information on the project after Wal-Mart modified its plans from the one it had originally submitted the city's Planning Commission. Tonight, the city council reviewed the additional information.

However, the council was prevented from voting against Wal-Mart. Because the retailer had gathered enough signatures last year to force a public ballot, the council could only choose between approving Wal-Mart up front, or allowing the question to go to ballot.

Several residents stepped up to the podium to voice their support of Wal-Mart, while several others voiced their opposition. There was no clear concensus from residents on how Wal-Mart might fare at the ballot.

But in the end, the city council voted to let the measure go to ballot instead of granting Wal-Mart an approval up front. Council members Fuhrman, Twyman, and Edgerton voted to go to ballot, while Denver and Kuenzi opposed, preferring to approve Wal-Mart up front.

The ballot will take place on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Because that date is also the date of a Statewide general election, costs for running the Wal-Mart ballot measure may be as low as $30,000.00 instead of the $113,000.00 for a special election.

"Even if it costs $30,000, the odds are that it's going to win", said council member Denver. "Where is the leadership? We are wasting money. This is $30,000 that we could use elsewhere!"

Mayor Edgerton responded, "When you talk about leadership, I don't think the democratic process is a waste of money."

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