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Eminent Domain Stuff

New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)

Friday, September 16, 2005



Update 8:30am

From the Castle Coalition


As you may know, the New London Development Corporation has begun sending eviction letters to residents of the Fort Trumbull neighborhood in New London. Breaking their promise to Governor Rell, the NLDC seeks to send everyone that remains in the neighborhood packing. That can't happen.

To support the folks in Fort Trumbull, please join members of the New London community at a rally on Monday, September 19 at 6:00 p.m. The rally will be held at City Hall, 181 State Street, immediately PRECEDING the scheduled City Council meeting and will call for the New London City Council to support a moratorium directing the NLDC to immediately suspend eviction proceedings in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. This is the first City Council meeting since the NLDC broke its promise to the governor.

Let them hear your voice - tell the City what's happening is not just unconstitutional, it's morally wrong.


Steven D. Anderson
Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
1717 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20006
T: 202.955.1300
F: 202.955.1329
E: sanderson@ij.org
Unfortuantely, I won't be able to make it. But if you're in the area stop by and show your support.


It would appear that the NLDC has officially made it onto the poopy-list of a no few state and local officials:

New London — Gov. M. Jodi Rell ordered the New London Development Corp. Thursday to rescind the relocation notices it sent to some property owners at Fort Trumbull, and her staff suggested that she — like some city officials — had lost confidence in the agency's management of its $73 million redevelopment project.
City officials, meanwhile, pressed forward with their plan for a vote of no confidence in the development agency on Monday, and told state officials that the project cannot go forward unless the NLDC's current leadership steps down.

“I don't think it can be overstated, the frustration of the governor,” said her legal counsel, Kevin Rasch, in an early morning meeting with NLDC officials, including its president, Michael Joplin, and chief operating officer, David Goebel.

Rasch was joined by Commissioner James F. Abromaitis and a deputy, Ronald Angelo, of the Department of Economic and Community Development, which has provided virtually all of the funding for the Fort Trumbull project. Neither the governor's office nor the agency was informed before the relocation notices were sent on Friday.
Yep, just about everybody is pretty pissed. Of course, all this consternation would be totally unnecessary if the State Legislature had done more than just talk back in July. Remember, they only "asked" that the NLDC abide by the moratorium.

While I'm glad that the seizure of homes has been stopped, and I think it's pretty slimy that the NLDC went back on their word...let me play Devil's Advocate. The NLDC was granted a piece of land under a the governmental power of eminent domain enumerated in the 5th amendment to the US Constitution. They were then sued by the people who would be displaced, they won in the state court and the case was eventually heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. The SCOTUS ruled that there was nothing in the Constitution to prevent the action planed by the NLDC since increasing the tax base of a municipality was defined as "public good". Then, with the court case won and plans ready to go forward, the State Legislature asked them to hold off. Now, they're a business (or at least a quasi-business) and they've got a (quasi) bottom line. They want to go forward now. They decide to do so, and then the cow flop hits the windmill. And to top it all off, the Governor has the audacity to order them to cease and desist! Does she even have the power?!

Well, now I just feel unclean.

Guess what, this could have all been avoided. All that was needed was for the State Democrats to agree that passing a temporary ban on all eminent domain takings (say, until midway through the next legislative session) with the force of (wait for it...wait for it) law. Then, there would have been no question and we could have avoided all the associated long-term health problems of getting the gubernatorial panties in a bundle.*

Anyway, I guess all's well that ends well, assuming this is really an 'end'. It just irks me that the Governor (while I agree with the outcome) and other politicians are going to gain points by being outraged, not happy and full of displeasure for something that they themselves let happen. But then I suppose this is just politics as usual.

I'm happy for Michael, Susette and all the other home/landowners. Just don't expect to me fall down and worship at the feet of our benevolent rules in State government for offering to include two blanks in the firing squad.


* Pre-emptive strike: Yes, I would have used that phrase regardless of our Governor's gender, so lay off.


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