Walmart fights back against San Diego City Councilmember’s

Walmart is going to the voters to get its supercenter stores in San Diego. A signature drive began this morning at Walmart's four stores in the city.

KUSI's Steve Bosh has been following this story and lays out the details.

If this signature drive is successful the city may have to call a special election next year at a cost of 2.5-million dollars.

The San Diego City Council overrode the Mayor's veto and kept in place an ordinance that adds so many new regulations to an already large stack of current regulations, that Walmart superstores are in effect, prohibited from being built in the city. So Walmart will ask city residents to repeal this new law.

“We think its unfortunate that the current city council has put us in this position but we're here to advocate on behalf of consumers, and if that means we have to give them a voice at the ballot we're prepared to do that,” said Walmart Vice President Aaron Rios.

The signature gathering started at the Walmart store in Murphy Canyon this morning. Walmart has 30-days to collect 31-thousand signatures.

The council passed the ordinance a few weeks ago on the premise that big box stores have an adverse impact on small businesses, and neighborhoods. But Walmart supporters say this is about choice, cheaper prices, and jobs.

The city is behind the 8-ball if Walmart's signature drive is successful. In March, the new council will have two options: repeal the ordinance, or send this to the voters in a special election costing about 2.5-million dollars.

“It would be disappointing for the new council that will be seated on Monday to make the decision to spend tax dollars to put this on the ballot,” said the Walmart V.P.

Two council members who helped to fast track passage of this ordinance, Donna Frye and Ben Hueso, are gone. With two new council members being seated on Monday the dynamic could change.

Council Members Carl DeMaio, Kevin Faulconer and Sherri Lightner voted to sustain the Mayor's veto.

New member Lori Zapf will join them leaving everyone to wonder whether the other new member, David Alvarez, will join them and kill the ordinance, or send this to the voters.

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