I read with great interest and enjoyment the excellent column in the Sunday East Oregonian by Richard Hensley. It is also true about people wanting the new and old businesses to co-exist.

It is painful to watch locally owned businesses pushed out by giant conglomerates and the resulting drain of dollars that goes to stockholders and executives thousands of miles away. The pain is really aggravated when you realize that for a large part this is created by selfish city officials - assuming growth is everything.

When you consider the benefits these large companies receive - cheap or free land, streets, water/sewer at little or no cost - exemptions from taxes and every other consideration that the city government can offer, then through the cooperation of these same farsighted individuals we build a freeway to their front door which enables them to sell the remaining cheap land for as much as $1 million per acre of the total purchase pricier.

This is done with the taxes being paid by those and collected from these locally owned businesses we want to save or do we really want to eliminate?

If we truthfully wanted to keep Main Street and these locally owned businesses and charming community why don't we create a level playing field? Don't these large conglomerates have an obligation to contribute to the local economy, not feed on it like a parasite?

To equalize this why not put these new businesses on the tax roll at full value and give the local merchants a free ride for a equal period of time. Then maybe we could keep Main Street.

It will be interesting to see how these same city officials and advisers who are interested in Pendleton's charm and economy receive this idea.

BOB HART

Pendleton

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