Special election underway for proposed Wal-Mart market

YUMA, Ariz. – The City of Yuma has already sent out early ballots for a special election, which will decide the fate of a proposed Wal-Mart. In the election pamphlet are several letters to support the neighborhood market, but there’s not a single statement against putting one at the corner of 8th street and Avenue B. Even so, people who live near the chosen lot are responding with mixed emotions.

Nicole Boar is a resident at Friendly Acres RV Park, next to the proposed spot. She fears a Wal-Mart next door could jeopardize the quiet nature of her neighborhood.

“Kids running around, cars pulling in and out, horns beeping, even the carts clanking,” Boar said, referring to the noise pollution the store could bring.

John Macpherson is the former president of Winter Gardens Co-Op across the street from the vacant lot. He’s one of the many whose letter of support is included with the election pamphlet.

“Most of us in the park, I think everyone – there’s about 400 of us this time of year – are excited about the possibility of Wal-Mart coming in,” Macpherson said.

The woman who began the petition against a new Wal-Mart owns friendly acres and formerly owned this nearby liquor store. The new owners said they are in favor of it.

They say a supermarket across the street will increase their business. Macpherson sees it as an opportunity for job growth.

“We know there will be full time jobs; there will be construction jobs,” he said.

“Friends of Wal-mart” a committee supporting the proposal, claims the new store would create up to 95 permanent positions and about 100 construction jobs.

People on both sides of this issue agree something needs to be done to clean this area up.

“What I would like to see done with that property, because I know people see it as an eyesore, it would be a beautiful piece of property to turn into a park,” Boar explained.

Macpherson added, “It looked like the dickens for a long, long time. We have contacted the city of several occasions to have something done to it and nothing’s been done.”

If you are a Yuma resident, you can have your voice heard too. Early ballots can be requested until February 27th, and election day will be held March 10th.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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