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Friday, November 04, 2005

Is Oakland the Eminent Domain Sister City of New Brighton?

[Be sure to check out the “New Brighton Needs Doffing and Bauman at City Hall” post below.]


The Eminent Domain Abuse virus has spread to Oakland, California.

But first, the U.S. house of representatives has just passed a bill that would cut federal funds from cities that use Eminent Domain to take private property for commercial development.

Now, back to Oakland where its redevelopment practices mirror that of New Brighton’s .

Oakland’s city council is undertaking a redevelopment effort to convert private land into multi-unit housing. Sound familiar? Think Northwest Quadrant Oceanside.

Land has been seized to benefit a private developer who will build condos and apartments. Included in this seizure is Revelli Tire, a business that has stayed in the Revelli family for 56 years.

What makes this particularly interesting is that the city council has also “obtained” a parcel of land for the benefit of Sears – which plans to build a Sears Tire Store.

Have you put the dots together yet?

Sears is the only major retailer in Oakland. The city council kicked out Revelli Tire. It then helped acquire land for Sears to build its own tire store. Are you starting to wonder if anyone on the city council has a financial interest in Sears?

This mindset of freely using Eminent Domain to take private property for the benefit of another private individual or company is ripe for corruption. Private developers could influence the city council to help them get land cheaply. And, a large retailer could influence the city council to kick out its competition.

To be fair, I do not know if any such corrupt acts have been alleged against Oakland’s city council. But, city councils like Oakland and New Brighton are paving the way for corruption down the road.

So why should you care about that New Brighton’s city council has exercised Eminent Domain with such frequency?

Besides the obvious – your land may be next – this provides an insight to the mindset of a council member. Anyone willing to exercise the strong arm of government to take private property would be willing to use such force in other matters as well. This is a mindset that puts the “good of city hall” above and beyond that of the citizen. If city hall wants more money to advance a pet project, they will tax the fruits of your labor with ease. Taking land, or taking income – all in a days work at city hall.

Remember, it only takes three votes on city council to yield this power. On November 8, citizens of New Brighton have the opportunity to elect two of those votes. Fortunately, two candidates – Sharon Doffing and Gina Bauman – are “people first” candidates. They understand they will be voices of the people at city hall – and not representatives of outside special interest groups.

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Blogger Raymond's Edge said...

Good luck with that situation. This land grab has got to stop! It's un-American.

11/04/2005 8:48 PM  

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