Ms. Schwan asks the obvious question when it comes to the ballot initiative, ‘What about Smithfield’s?’
Second, my biggest issue with the initiative as written is that it allows Smithfield to continuing expanding downtown.
Not long ago, I stood on the top floor of the new 10-story Bancorp building at Cherapa Place and looked out at Smithfield in the distance. If we’re going to have a conversation about the suitability of certain locations for meat processing, my hope is that we also can talk about how we might persuade Smithfield to build somewhere else – or even partner with Wholestone, as Hormel did. That conversation can and will never happen if Smithfield’s only option is to expand downtown. The company owns enough land to do so, and by passing this initiative, our community will ensure that’s the only place Smithfield’s growth will occur.
This has been my issue with the petition to begin with. If we are going to ban these kind of operations, we need to ban all of them in the city limits.
I wish the community didn’t have to vote on this at all and that those opposed could have worked with Wholestone to ensure the highest possible mitigation of any environmental factors of concern. That’s typically how we do things in this community.
Yes, prior to Shape Places, the council would have been all over this.
This is why local government matters, because if you don’t pay attention to the baby steps you miss Bigfoot stepping on your head.