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"What price growth...?"

Who's calling the shots in Lacey?

Who calls the shots?

Last summer, Lacey officials and residents got together to plan for a new day in Lacey. We would beautify' our "downtown" with fountains, trees, small shops and pedestrian ways - a place for people.

Huge parking lots to serve gargantuan box stores would not be tolerated. Local entrepreneurs would cater to shoppers attracted by the quality and variety of their wares and pleasant ambiance. It was a high point for often-maligned Lacey and a credit to visionary city staff and elected officials. A "let's do it" attitude was almost universal.

But the bell has tolled for Lacey's dream. The business elite has chosen to stand with Lacey's recalcitrant "godfather"

They forced the Planning Commission to drop discussion of zoning amendments to expedite downtown redevelopment. The Lacey 2000 Task Force, dominated by "chamber" interests, refused to back the city's attempts to mitigate impacts of the Target proposal.

Instead these movers and shakers with "I'll show you who is boss" defiance chose to support plans for intrusion of a huge Target store into Bob Blume's mall.

As a result, Lacey can save the $150,000 earmarked to identify its refurbished downtown.

So it will continue to be defined by its big box corporate stores, fast-food outlets, strip commercial development and frustrating traffic - all common to small time towns along the freeway.

But now we also can look forward to having the biggest Target around here as the crown jewel of our downtown - thanks to those who call the shots in Lacey.

Gene Dziedzic/Lacey


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