We often lament the abuse of eminent domain power that occurs when the property of one private owner is forcibly transferred to another private owner.
But this doesn’t mean all grabbing of property for “public use” is honorable or sensible. Government officials too often mindlessly deploy their power, simply because they possess that power and can get away with abusing it.
And if the easiest way to get what they want also happens to show brutal contempt for the rights of their constituents? Hey, them’s the breaks, pal.
The editors of a Phoenix area newspaper, the East Valley Tribune, also oppose such arbitrary assault on the property and rights of others. In the town of Chandler, Arizona, Lloyds Complete Auto Supply must close its doors. Not because they can’t make money any more, but because Chandler officials want a new town hall. Aztec Wrought Irons in the same neighborhood is also on the government’s hit list.
There is no more urgent reason for the peremptory bulldozing of these businesses than the expiration of a ten-year lease in a private office building where many city officials have their offices. That’s the crisis. That’s the dire emergency.
The Tribune believes that instead of using tax dollars and police powers to “knock down decades of hard work,” Chandler officials should take the trouble to align their plans with those of property owners.
Yes. They should.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.