On Wednesday, Sept. 5 a letter was published in the Burbank Leader stating that we should forget a Walmart and that Burbank should look into a Whole Foods Market instead. Well, oppositionists blocked a Whole Foods Market from opening in Burbank years ago. As I recall, they complained of the same kind of traffic issue then as has been used in the Walmart case today.

During their effort to get the city to deny the Walmart permits, oppositionists submitted a petition signed by 2,000 persons. The city did issue the permits and three individuals have filed a lawsuit related to traffic issues. Now Walmart cannot proceed with the tenant improvements needed to open the store.

I find it very hard to believe that they are really concerned about traffic issues. If that’s the case, they should have objected when a large condominium complex and two large office buildings were constructed. They should have also done so when two stores in the Empire Center were vacated or when Target added a grocery section. Hiding behind the traffic issue does no one any good.

In America the oppositionists have the right to oppose a Walmart. However, 2,000 residents do not have the power to deny the 103,000 Burbank residents of their rights as Americans to freedom of choice. Our free market economy has long been the building block for our nation’s businesses and trying to alter it based solely on one’s prejudices and toward one business is terribly unjust and misguided.

When the Great Indoors store closed last year it left an extremely large retail space vacant. This location needs a stable and viable business such as Walmart that will attract customers to it and other stores in the community.

My wife and I strongly support Walmart coming to Burbank and the benefits it will bring to the local economy.

Residents of Burbank should make their collective voices heard by telling the Walmart critics that they want a Walmart in Burbank.

Dennis Shiflett
Burbank