Proposed land sale unfair to locals

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, January 04, 2005

While many support the variety offered by Home Depot and Wal-Mart, we should keep in mind that locally owned businesses provide far more positive impact on the local economy. Big box stores get a lot of their supplies and services from their corporate headquarters. Most local businesses keep their profits in Juneau and they also spend a considerable amount of money for supplies and services here. They buy things like office equipment, printing, insurance, banking services, office supplies, legal advice, accounting services and computer consulting, to name just a few. Those expenditures in turn create more jobs in the support sector and those additional employees then add to the local economy by buying homes, cars, groceries, medicines, and all of the other goods and services available. Those additional local purchases also provide substantial added revenue to the City & Borough of Juneau. In short, there is a greater multiplier effect from locally owned business than there is from those that aren't locally owned simply because more of the money stays in Juneau.

Our elected officials have a fiduciary responsibility to see that the citizens of Juneau receive the maximum amount from any sale of publicly owned land including the parcel being considered for the Home Depot location. Negotiating with a single party does not serve the public interest. If the Assembly decides to proceed with disposal of the 10 acres in question, they should advertise for bids and sell it to the qualified bidder that offers the highest price. Anything less is unfair to local merchants and the citizens of Juneau.

Allen Shattuck


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