My comments are in regards to an article by Mr. Bruce Wood (“Sound Off,” Dec. 30).
What I would like to say to you sir, is what you people do not realize is that “big box stores” do bring a lot with them to our community. The number one plus for our community is employment, employment for those of us who are not military.
The company where I am employed has over 150 employees. Now how would most of these people provide for their families if your big box store was not here? I would also like to add my family was here way before your military base, they actually owned one of the farms where your base now sits.
My great grandfather was the undertaker whose mortuary was on the same property. My father was one of your local business owners from as long as I can remember until the late ‘80s. He was the first on the island to rent VHS movies in his television store in Oak Harbor. Yes I do remember him having a lot of business and knowing most of his customers by name. Unfortunately, time changes everything. It cannot be the ‘60s forever.
I too remember the big fields on both sides of town, it is a terrible thing that everything is now concrete, buildings and stop lights almost as far as you can see. But I do not believe you should be targeting the big box stores. They bring needed jobs and careers to Oak Harbor.
Many of the employees in these stores also volunteer their time for different projects going on within the community. Without the big box store where I am employed being in Oak Harbor, my children and I would have to be living off the welfare system or we would be homeless.
I would also like to point out that there is more land being cleared in this area for housing than anything, which is going to benefit people in the military, not your local business owners, the environment or those families who have been here since before the base was here, and who are not military.