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Munson - Don't use eminent domain

August 25, 2005|by TARA REILLY

Washington County Commissioner John C. Munson says he wants county government to keep its hands off private property, for the most part.

Munson on Tuesday asked the County Commissioners to approve a resolution that states the county would back away from using eminent domain to acquire private property, except as a last resort.

The commissioners plan to place the proposed resolution on next Tuesday's meeting agenda.

Munson asked for the resolution's approval in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that upheld a government's right to take private property for public purposes.

The draft resolution states that the Supreme Court upheld "what the majority maintained is local government's ability to take private property for a vaguely defined 'public good' such as economic development, or increased tax revenues to the local government itself."

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"The Supreme Court decision put at risk the very right of private individuals to be free from government interference in their right to keep and enjoy their private property," the proposed resolution states.

Using eminent domain as anything other than a last resort would be an assault on basic foundations of liberty and a threat to the rights of private property ownership, the proposed resolution states.

Munson said Wednesday he thinks the commissioners will approve the resolution.

"I think we owe it to the people that we are not going to come in and take their property ..." Munson said.

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