Bill Momeyer: Don’t fear Home Depot, Lowe’s
This letter and its opinions bring out the worst of Summit County and cater to some of what I believe are very damaging and uneducated statements that do not have a bearing on the real feelings and views of the majority of the people in Summit County. These are full-time residents who value the quality of life and would like to retire and stay in Summit County.
The letter states that Home Depot and Lowe’s provides jobs to the uneducated, retired, and people of immigrant status. It continues to state that our “Bright and educated children will not remain or come back to Summit County to fill these jobs.” Not all in Summit County fit this image. I know many retired or close to retirement, laid off, jobless etc., who love to have a place to go, and a job that generates even what the author states as a low-end income. When you go to a place such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, you also see many woman, young people and the elderly who are providing income for their families. You also will see people of different ethnic backgrounds. I do not believe that these business’s hire illegal immigrants. They hire within their guidelines whomever they believe can fill the position and want the job.
Owning a small business in Summit County myself, I love to compete with Home Depot and Lowe’s as they draw business, and if you can provide exceptional service and competitive pricing you will win the business the majority of the time. Many companies in Summit County have not had to compete previously during the “good times” and are deathly afraid of competition. This is not a good reason to deny a business from opening in Summit County. Fear-mongering and elitism is just what it implies. Not all builder centers, Home Depot among them, have six-lane highways and seas of corporate commercialism resulting from their approval. It is up to the community to “Do it right.”
I do not deny that location is key, and growth needs to be regulated. However, we must be smart about it and do not deny a business just because it does not provide jobs that appeal to college students seeking to return to Summit County. If the author is taken literally, Summit County would only have part-time wealthy residents, and wealthy full-time non-job-needing full time residents.
Believe it or not, Summit County has a middle class – retired people, jobless people those of immigrant status and women – who would like an opportunity to work. Any well-thought-out and community-approved business that can provide this should be welcome. Competition should also be welcome as it truly can provide an opportunity and benefit for those companies that can truly excel.
If we want to deny any business that does not hire our “bright educated youths” then why build affordable housing, and why pursue anything that can make Summit County a better place for all residents?
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