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Letter to the editor: City shouldn’t need to beg or lure box store to come here

By LeRoy Wegenast, Jamestown

Perhaps to define what I have stated in past newspaper articles, I am not against economic growth in our city. Indeed, Jamestown has remained relatively stagnant for all the years I have lived in the community. I have never been afraid of fair competition. When I entered retail, there were about six or eight other businesses selling appliances in Jamestown. I am saying that if we believe the leakage survey, a box store should be anxious and very willing to locate in Jamestown without offering any incentives.

The issue I have is that we have no city policies regarding retail incentives as stated by Jeff Fuchs in a Jan. 6 newspaper article. And in the same article, Mayor Katie Andersen said, “We won’t offer incentives that are not necessary to bring a business to town.” To me it appears then that the city has a blank check to do anything necessary to lure a box store or any other retail business to our community.

Our country was built on the free enterprise system and small businesses that are still the core of many communities. Box stores did not build this country. Let the free enterprise system work. We shouldn’t need to beg or lure them to locate here; but if you do build it for them, they would be foolish not to come.

(Wegenast is a former business owner)