The following Heart & Soul internet post was brought to our attention by Wal-Mart associates who are upset and angry:
If your CITY has PLANS and CODES and ZONING requirements that reflect the desires and VALUES of the COMMUNITY, you can REQUIRE businesses to build in certain ways. [see photo below] So far, most comments we are hearing about our new Walmart building don’t reflect much hope that it will be stylistically suited to our surroundings…”cement block fortress”, “penetentiary [sic]”. What do you think?
Heart and Soul posted the message and included a link to an article in the Miami Herald. Heart & Soul leaders, Daniel and Darlis Smith, are in agreement with anti-Wal-Mart activists who are causing problems and delays for the Midtown Miami Wal-Mart by rejecting their architectural plan. The Polson Wal-Mart plan was stalled for many years by anti-Wal-Mart activists. We wonder if the Smiths (and friends) were part of the anti-Wal-Mart group here.
Please note this photo of Wal-Mart was posted by Heart & Soul on June 10. Construction was far from complete but they thought it appropriate to begin criticism!
Someone asked if Heart & Soul believes the Mission Valley Aquatic Center is more “stylistically suited to our surroundings…” or is it a better example of a “‘cement block fortress’, ‘penitentiary’.” The Smiths replied that they haven’t heard any negative comments about the Mission Valley Aquatic Center. We find that very odd. The reason cannot be because the aquatic center is tucked away somewhere out of sight. Here is a photo also taken on July 10 of the Mission Valley Aquatic Center from the exact location the Wal-Mart photograph was taken, just turning slightly to the left.
We are glad Heart & Soul asked what we think:
We think Heart & Soul (the Smiths and friends) has had a personal agenda from the beginning. We said they would try to push their agenda by acting as an authority on what the people of Polson want. The Orton Family Foundation leads them.
We think a successful business like Wal-Mart certainly knows better than Heart & Soul about how to style their building. They do not need any advice from anyone.
We believe in property rights and think any business has the right to style their building to fit their personal vision and not be concerned about pleasing the vision of someone else. Success or failure may play a part in that style decision, but it is still their choice to make.
We think Heart & Soul wants to remake Polson in their image and we don’t understand why they think they know best or why they should have that authority.
We have witnessed Heart & Soul presenting only versions of a story they want to promote. Much evidence of this bias exists, but here is a story from Miami citizens thankful for Wal-Mart in their neighborhood, especially for the elderly and lower-income working class families. Wal-Mart Welcome in Midtown
We do not understand this explanation attempt made by Heart & Soul (the Smiths) “…the intention (of the post) was to provide an example and increase understanding of zoning and its impact on all of us.” What impact could the style of Wal-Mart possibly have on anyone’s life? Please explain!
We think the Heart & Soul claim about simply being the messenger for what they hear is absurd. They support that opinion. That’s why they posted the opinion on social media. It is meant to promote their opinion. That is exactly what Heart & Soul is all about. Period.