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The Way I See It!

I am an Ultra-Conservative, Alpha-Male, True Authentic Leader, Type "C" Personality, who is very active in my community; whether it is donating time, clothes or money for Project Concern or going to Common Council meetings and voicing my opinions. As a blogger, I intend to provide a different viewpoint "The way I see it!" on various world, national and local issues with a few helpful tips & tidbits sprinkled in.

Has the Genie already been let out of the bottle?

Eminent Domain

On Feb. 5, Common Council members unanimously approved a contract, among the city, the Community Development Authority and Single Source, which will help city officials with the process and procedure of taking over the private properties at Dusty's and Wayne's World taverns in the 4800 block of South Packard avenues.

This marks a sad day for me in Cudahy when we resort to such action, even if it is just in the infancy.  Just because we can do it, doesn’t make it right or that we should.  This is a slippery slope.  Open Pandora's Box, just once, and it may never close.  I do believe someone in the Wal-Mart public forum did post that something like this was around the corner.  I do believe someone else posted that rumors like that should not be spread.  Seems to me whoever posted that original info may have been from inside our government, giving us a warning…

 

Let us assume that we ARE doing this for the better of the city and community.  Eminent Domain can be much like a drug and once you get hooked on doing it, you cannot stop.  I think our leaders should be very careful in doing this.  Who and what is next?  The citizens have no voice on eminent domain and those using it.  Fear the beast that cannot be slain, for it has no weakness and all powerful cannot be stopped.

 

It is not a shock that I have stated we have too many bars.  Here is what I stated before and also posted in the public forum:

 

Cudahy doesn’t need any more bars.  Here is what I propose.  For every two bars we close, we give out one liquor license to open an upscale bar like the new City Lounge or K-Ranch.  We help clean up our image and get a nice place to go out to.  I become very discouraged and feel very sad to see so many people bashing my city all the time, but I know only better times are ahead for it. 

Maybe the real answer is we crack down on the bars causing problems or have violations.  Pull their liquor license, which affectively puts them out of business.  Not all bars are bad, but what standards do we use to determine what is?  Even the Mayor’s statement of, the city would use condemnation to take over the businesses and help beautify the area.  There is development taking place to the south of the bars and he believes there is a better use of the land than housing taverns.  "There's a great potential for something better,” Who determines what is better?  The process of using these technique boarders on the wrong side of morality.  This should be a last resort after all else has failed, some call that the nuclear option.  Everyone is looking for a formula that will provide healthy growth, it is just whose growth and in whose interest.

 

Eminent domain is not all bad; it does have the right uses.  I can see using eminent domain for the buildings like the old Kohl’s food emporium or the old Walgreen’s store. They have been vacant and nonproductive for years.  In those locations you do have blight and unwilling of the landowner to find a new tenants.  Why not start there?  Maybe the Mayor should set clear guidelines and we all could see as to what is in store for us!  It was just recently rejected in Muskego.  Muskego Condemnation

 

"It's (the eminent domain option) in the infancy state right now," said Mayor Ryan McCue.  "This is a formality to let us think about it."  Think deep Mayor and council members, think long and hard!

Here is something to consider and think about:

Just about everyone knows that under a process called eminent domain, the government can (and does) seize private property for public use - to build a road, a school or a courthouse.  But did you know the government can also seize your land for private use if they can prove that doing it will serve what's called "the public good"?  Cities across the country have been using eminent domain to force people off their land, so private developers can build more expensive homes and offices that will pay more in property taxes than the buildings they're replacing.  Under eminent domain, the government deems the property “blighted” and buys your property, paying you what's determined to be fair market value.  Why?  So that private developers can build high-priced condos, a high-end shopping mall or anything that can raise the property tax base.

 

A city like Cudahy reaches an aging tax base that has been shrinking and the city simply needs more money.  The term 'blighted' is a statutory word, and it is, it really doesn't have a lot to do with whether or not your home is painted. ...A statutory term is used to describe an area.  The question is whether or not that area can be used for a higher and better use.  Somehow, I feel that our inventiveness in offering ourselves crazy escape routes from our own foolishness will take us to a place where we won't want to be.

 

But, what’s higher and better than a home?  The term 'blight' is used to describe whether or not the structures generally in an area meet today's standards.  And it's the city that sets those standards, so Cudahy could set a standard for blight that would include most of the homes in the neighborhood.  I am not using a scare tactic, I am stating a fact.  Here in lies the problem, if the city officials state that a home could be considered blighted if it doesn't have the following: three bedrooms, two baths, an attached two-car garage and central air and then there is a problem.  We are at the whim of whatever they want it to mean.  Total power with total control equals total disaster.

 

Herein lies the over powerful subjective tool that I hope the Federal Supreme Court overturns the government’s authority on.  We don’t get a vote (if they choose that option), we the people, we the citizens that is.  I have argued with friends that the great flaw of democracy is that it assumes we are all rational and understand what roles each of us have to play.

 

The magnitude of the situation should not be undermined.  I am not trying to be an alarmist, a catastrophist, or “Chicken Little” in the doom and gloom of doing said action, we just need to pause and ask ourselves if this is the path we want to take!  The effects will ramify through the city good or bad.  Once we move forward, we can never return!  No resetting the game!  No do overs!  Has the Genie already been let out of the bottle or can we put it back? 

 

Contact the Mayor or your Alderperson and tell him to be careful with this process!

 

Contact:

Mayor Ryan McCue

Phone Number: (W) 769-2222

Address: 3927 E Plankinton Ave

mccuer@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

Alderperson First District Joseph Mikolajczak

Phone Number: (H) 483-1255

Address: 3754 E. Plankinton Avenue

mikolajczakj@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

Alderperson Second District Mary Schissel

Phone Number: (H) 744-0420

Address: 3836 E Munkwitz Ave

schisselm@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

Alderperson Third District Mark Otto

Phone Number: (H) 769-6626

Address: 3324 E Mallory Ave

ottom@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

Alderperson Fourth District Sean Smith

Phone Number: (H) 486-6221

Address: 5618 S Rosewood Ave

smiths@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

Alderperson Fifth District Name Thomas Pavlic

Phone Number: (H) 483-7116

Address: 6015 Summer Winds Ct

pavlict@ci.cudahy.wi.us

 

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