Redevelopment Plan Hits Snag

Looks like the Mayor's land grab has hit a bit of a snag, namely a lot of City residents who apparently have had it with the Mayor's heavy handed actions toward the citizens. Based on the turn out at the public meeting and the opposition expressed by so many, it was not surprising the Mayor deiced the vote on the 28th be "cancelled in order to allow more time to consider the proposal." Interpretation, put it off till after the election. It may be too late for that. The City residents should ask each and every candidate for their position on the condemnation plan, then vote accordingly. Support of a project like this should be the political death nail for any elected official. it's unfortunate that none of the current Councilmen even bothered to come to the meeting and that the Mayor couldn't stay long enough to hear from his constituents.

Mike Lawson, chairman of the redevelopment committee stated at the City Council meeting just days before the public meeting, "I have yet to have one person tell me this is not a good idea." I guess he has heard from persons now who don't think this is a good idea. In his defense though, when would the citizens have had an opportunity to voice their concerns, given that apparently no one actually knew when the committee had been meeting? And meeting they have been doing. The redevelopment committee has already been incorporated. Click here to view documents. If the same Mayor and council members are reelected, this body will be full speed ahead. You can bet on it. Just imagine, five unelected citizens having the authority to decide whose property the City will take. That's just un-American.
You've got to marvel at Brookshire's timing. Two months before the election he comes up with a plan to start condemning private property if it doesn't meet certain expectations of his and his hand picked redevelopment committee. Beyond any doubt this is all about taking property and with the redevelopment corporation set up, they unlike the city, can condemn property, take property and sale the property. This is so wrong.

If the City officials are so concerned about certain properties not meeting their idea of "acceptable", then why not provide the funding for the residents to spruce up their property so that it will be "acceptable" to the powers that be. The $12,000.00 they paid the consultant to show them how to take property would have fixed up a couple of houses. If City officials want to build a new fire hall on the Dotson Produce property or take Shot Wilson's Trading Post, then let them buy the properties at the owners asking price. But don't try to steal folks property.

Shortly after the Supreme Court opened the door for governments to legally steal private property, the Loudon County Commission passed legislation that almost prevents any condemnation/eminent domain except for roads or schools but never for development. Why would any honest government not want to protect it's citizens?

This matter should be at the top of the candidates platforms in the upcoming election. Obviously the Mayor and incumbent councilmen strongly support the land for cash plan, or it couldn't have made it this far. Something to think about.