By Dan Schroeder
Today's Standard-Examiner article answers the question that I posed yesterday afternoon:
"economic development" issue, having nothing to do with restoration of the river.
At this point the obvious unanswered question is "Why now?". Is a developer ready to start building in this area as soon as these properties are acquired? If so, who is it and what will be built? Also, what assurance do we have that the development will actually occur?
Editor's Addendum: Here's an interesting sidebar. This morning's Std-Ex story alludes to the infamous Kelo decision, wherein "the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 5-4 vote in 2005 that cities can use eminent domain to claim property for economic development."
Just to add perspective to the matter, we'll link a short article from the Castle Coalition, reporting on the current status of Pfizer, Inc.'s New London, CT research facility, the same economic development project which destroyed one New London residential neighborhood and prompted the litigation leading to the Kelo ruling.
But first, an eye opening article lede excerpt:
Arlington, Va.—Pfizer, Inc., announced today that the company will be closing its former research and development headquarters in New London, Conn. This was a project that involved massive corporate welfare and led to the abuse of eminent domain that ultimately bulldozed the home of Susette Kelo and her neighbors in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Kelo v. City of New London.Sounds disturbingly familiar, dunnit?
This was the same bogus development plan that five justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to question when the property owners of New London pleaded to have their homes spared from the wrecking ball. Justices mentioned that there was a plan in place, and that so long as lawmakers who are looking to use eminent domain for someone’s private gain had a plan, the courts would wash their hands. Now, more than four years after the redevelopment scheme passed constitutional muster—allowing government to take land from one private owner only to hand that land over to another private party who happens to have more political influence—the plant that had been the magnet for the development is closing its doors and the very land where Susette Kelo’s home once stood remains barren to all but feral cats, seagulls and weeds.
Read the full Castle Coalition article here:
• The End of an Eminent Domain Error: Pfizer Closes in New LondonAre the lumpencitizens of Emerald City unnecessarily about to learn some hard lessons from the oppressed citizens of New London, CT?
Land Taken in Infamous Kelo Supreme Court Case Remains Empty More Than Four Years After Ruling
We believe Dan S. Got it exactly right. Gotta say we're still scratching our heads wondering how it was possible for council members Garcia, Gochnour and Stephens to have been so easily lured aboard the eminent domain bandwagon at this particular point in time. Interestingly, the Kelo case turned on the question of whether the particular developer "had a plan in place," which logically induces the question: Does Boss Godfrey actually have a viable River Project plan in place? If so, we'd sure like to see it.
So what say our gentle readers about all this?