Almost two weeks ago, I wrote a little item titled “The battle for the soul of Walnut Creek—over a luxury department store—grows more muddled.”
I was expressing my astonishment over how the issue of Broadway Plaza’s attempts to bring a Neiman Marcus to Walnut Creek has become so heated, so nasty, politicized, costly and litigious. I asked whether the soul of Walnut Creek really lies in this one retail project, a development that even its supporters have to admit represents conspicuous consumption.
Well, of course, the battle is over deeper, long-simmering tensions in town. It has to be. That is evident in the 69-and-counting comments that this soulful or soul-searching story has so far generated. Also, the comments from people on both sides of the issue are thoughtful, intelligent, and heartfelt. People in town—or at least those who have taken the time to comment on this blog—feel very, very strongly about this Neiman Marcus issue, but also about the new library project, and the question of who has the power in town and whether that power is being wielded properly.
Maybe the soul of Walnut Creek is this retail project, or maybe it lies elsewhere. If so, where?
And what is Walnut Creek to you? What kind of community should it be? What kind of future should it have? What should residents and city leaders be doing to ensure that we have that future?
Okay, these are somewhat big, maybe airy questions. But I think it would be interesting to get the vision thing down for Walnut Creek. Maybe a lack of clarity is why we’re in such a muddle over a department store—and, yeah, the new library project.
So, I invite readers, people who live, work or visit Walnut Creek to comment. I’d also love to hear from community leaders, city workers, and city officials, as well as those on both sides of the Neiman Marcus and new library debate. As usual, you can post anonymously, or , if you’re, say, Mayor Gary Skrel, you can sign your name.
Depending on if and how this little project goes, I might select some of the comments to post as free-standing articles.