Both sides making their final appeals before Tuesday’s vote
Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 06/06/2010 09:54:49 PM PDT

REDLANDS – Tuesday will be the final day in the battle for Measure O, and both sides are making their final appeals to voters.

The future of mega-retail development in Redlands will hang on the success – or failure – of the measure. More immediately, the measure could affect plans Wal-Mart has to build a supercenter in north Redlands.

The Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition drafted Measure O and manned the petition drive that forced it onto the ballot.

The group is wrapping up its campaign to see that mega retail development in the city is prohibited.

“At this point, we’ve done a lot,” said Keith Osajima, a spokesman for the group. “We’re kind of ready for it to come, one way or the other.”

Wal-Mart spent about $340,000 in Redlands fighting Measure O. The coalition spent a little more than $5,300.

Despite the difference in money spent, both campaigns have rallied significant numbers of supporters to their side.

Osajima said the coalition has not conducted any polls to gauge public opinion and as a result, the group isn’t sure if Measure O will pass or fail on Tuesday.

“We have no sense of how it’s going to go,” Osajima said.

Behind Wal-Mart’s dollars, the No on Measure O Coalition has posted signs and made phone calls to voters. The Redlands Good Neighbor Coalition has also posted signs, made phone calls, sat at tables outside Redlands businesses and walked through neighborhoods to talk with voters in person about the impact the initiative could have if it passes or fails.

“I think we’re just hoping that people will consider our arguments and look critically at all of the ads and think about what they’re saying and make a decision,” Osajima said.

The Redlands Consumers for Choice – the group fighting Measure O – includes community groups such as the Chamber of Commerce and the labor unions representing the city’s police officers and firefighters.

The group is spending the last few days before the election making phone calls and reminding people to make their voices in the argument heard on election day.

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