April 9, 2006
Slow To Protect Property Rights
At the April 3 New London City Council meeting, a proposal was voted on that, had it passed, would have returned to the former owners the Fort Trumbull properties taken through eminent domain. As someone who attended the meeting, I can say that this rejection of a solution to the Fort Trumbull tragedy was a foregone conclusion.
After the first couple of testimonies, one of the councilmen got up and left the room. But the reason for this rejection only became evident afterward, as several people discussed “the word” from Hartford.
“The word” around New London is that the General Assembly is purposely stalling on eminent domain protection to give New London a chance to carry out its plans. Whether “the word” is true—or even applies in this case—misses the point.
This national eminent domain storm started here in Connecticut. Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year, 47 states have introduced (and some have already passed) eminent domain protection for their citizens. But not so in Connecticut.
Is it any wonder that people see this as a conspiracy or that city councils take this as their cue to continue abuse?
The tragedy continues—and spreads far from New London.
Joseph D. Wactowski