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To the Editor:

 

I attended Tuesday's town meeting on the mall expansion. The labor unions were out in force, and in favor of the expansion. They favor it due to the construction jobs it will provide.

 

Two things were apparent about these speakers. Most were not city residents, and most admitted they knew little about the payment in lieu of taxes, financial risks or long-term effects. While I sympathize with their employment concerns, it is obvious the mall will not affect them the way it will city taxpayers.

 

We are being strong-armed by a contractor to believe that this is the last chance opportunity to improve our economy. Politicians tell us that this is the best thing to put on our lakefront. Many of us do not believe them. As a resident of almost 30 years, I am tired of watching our city being sold down the river.

 

Steve Vetter of the state Department of Transportation states that 'if the mall doesn't go ahead, something else will go on in that area. It is much too valuable an area to remain the way it is now.'  So why is it going tax-free to the first bidder? We definitely need new leadership.

 

Sandra J. Gowing

October 13, 2000