Wentzville Does The Right Thing, For The Wrong Reason

After a great outpouring of pageantristic public outcry board of alderman meeting, including the wailing of small business owners, the beating of union breasts, and the normal overreactions and activist theatricism that ensues whenever a certain discount department store tries to serve the public, Wal-Mart can build a super center in Wentzville, Missouri:

Construction will begin within 30 days to expand a Wal-Mart store to include full-service grocery shopping, a move opposed by union officials and a group critical of the giant retailer.

After the Board of Aldermen approved the project’s site plan Monday night, Phil Fanara, the store’s manager, said work will begin as soon as possible.

Fortunately, Wentzville obeyed the letter of the law and allow construction to begin apace, but the mayor captures the real consideration in a nutshell:

Mayor Paul Lambi said Wal-Mart’s site plan conforms to the city’s planning and zoning ordinances and that turning it down could have placed the city in legal jeopardy.

This doesn’t represent quite the victory for capitalism, growth, private property, or offering consumer/citizens more choices for their retail dollar; no, it’s only a recognition by city officials that if they don’t follow their own laws, they might get in trouble.

A sad testament that we must see this as one of the few victories against the expanding powers of the State in all its minor fiefdom incarnations.