Two years ago, the Atascadero City Council was repeatedly warned that exempting Wal-Mart from funding freeway interchange improvements would place an unacceptable burden on city coffers and taxpayers. The council refused to consider the matter and unanimously approved the corporate socialist bailout.
Now that costs are estimated to be about three times the original guesses, the council is looking for more taxpayer money to subsidize the freeway work required for the Wal-Mart store. Its members are looking to SLOCOG for funds to compensate for the shortfall. SLOCOG’s funds are state and federal taxpayers’ money. So the city, incapable of bailing out Wal-Mart on its own, will now call on taxpayers from across the state and country to subsidize its incompetence.
As an Atascaderan who vigorously fought against this blatant con job, I don’t wish to claim a vain vindication, but to register my disappointment in the derelict performance of our elected representatives and appointed officials and their abject failure to serve the interests of the people.
It’s time for the city to stand up and demand that Wal-Mart pay for the traffic improvements. It can afford it. The assumptions used to justify bailing Wal-Mart out were obviously flawed.