by Timothy Rutt
In September, the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations used Altadenablog to gather questions to ask representatives of the Walmart Neighborhood Market under construction. The result was a long list of questions, which were forwarded to Walmart, and Walmart responded at the October 9 ACONA meeting.
“When Wal-Mart was invited to address the ACONA open forum on October 9, their Director of Community Affairs agreed to answer any questions posed by residents of Altadena, as long as the questions were submitted in advance,” Elliot Gold of ACONA wrote Altadenablog in an email. “While some of the questions were answered at the ACONA public forum, a significant number were not,”
Gold sent a pared-down list of unanswered questions on Oct. 13 to Walmart Director of Community Affairs Javier Angulo, who was at the Oct. 9 meeting, and to Randy Terrell, of Passantino Andersen, Walmart's public relations firm. During the past 30 days, Gold told us that ACONA has received assurances from Wal-Mart and Passatino Andersen that the questions would be answered.
But to date, Gold said, they have not responded.
The questions include the makeup of part-time vs. full-time employees, what Walmart has identified as the "big issues ...[that] matter to Altadenans and how does Walmart plan to address them."
Also left hanging are questions about Walmart and the vacant lot at Lake Avenue and Calavaras Street. Walmart has said they are considering it but are not committed to it. Other sources say -- with a Walmart Neighborhood Market going in an existing building not too far away -- the odds of Walmart actuallly building a second Altadena market are remote.
Gold admits that his list of questions could be confusing -- it includes the answers given in the Oct. 9 meeting to earlier questions that were asked -- but is not happy that a month has gone by with submitted questions left unaddressed. Gold said that ACONA has to take a neutral position on Wal-Mart’s desire to open stores in Altadena, but “that said, I wonder how many people in Altadena will shop at an Altadena Walmart, based on Walmart’s attitude towards our community.”
Altadenablog has reached out to Walmart's Javier Angulo requesting comment, but none were recieved by presstime.
Update 11/20: Elliot Gold said this morning that Randy Terrell contacted him after reading the above article and said he'd sent answers in an email on Nov. 6 -- timestamp indicates that he had, but somehow didn't make it to Gold's email box and followup was inadequate despite subsequent requests.