Property Rights

"Eminent domain, no one likes it"

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That's Auburn, New York Mayor Michael Quill talking to Fox News, where he defended his city's shameful threat to use eminent domain against private property on behalf of a hotel conference center. "We have a responsibility to the entire community," Quill told Fox, "we do not want to hurt an individual property owner or business owner, but we have to look at the long range for the entire community." Think of the community! Fox also turned to Quill's potential future victims for their thoughts:

"This is abuse, it's one case of eminent domain abuse," says Renee Smith-Ward, owner of a dog grooming salon, Wag'In Tail, that could be plowed down for the hotel's parking lot. "I don't believe it's right to take someone's property away from them for a hotel, for a private developer."  

"These people just want to come in and steal it from you," says property owner Michael Kazanivsky, who says he has dreams to build a family amusement center on what is now a grass and rubble filled lot. "They're trying to take if from me," he says bitterly, "it's not right."

He told Fox News that he put his "heart and soul into it," and now "someone just comes and says 'I want that, give it to me or that's it!.. it's hell."   The plan would put an $11 million, 88 room hotel on what is now a mixture of an abandoned building, and two businesses.

Read the whole thing here.