JUNE 2: Wisconsin Rally to Protest Eminent Domain Abuse

Earl Giefer is the proud owner of a 25-acre farm that has been in his family since the Civil War.  The 94-year-old already has plans to ensure his family continues their rich history with the land by handing it down to his niece once he passes away. [1]

The city of Oak Creek, Wis., however, has other plans for Mr. Giefer’s farm.  It wants to seize his farm by eminent domain.  Why?  Because the city says the farm is “inconsistent with development strategies” and is preventing Oak Creek from increasing its tax base. [2]

The Oak Creek Development Authority says they have the right to seize his farm because it meets their definition of blight—Wisconsin’s prerequisite for seizing property by eminent domain. This supposedly “blighted” farm does not have a paved driveway, and is “underused”—both sure signs of “blight” according to the study commissioned by the city. [3]

Giefer’s neighbors and community are standing behind him in this fight to keep what is rightfully his.  The Oak Creek Community Development Authority has scheduled a hearing at City Hall for June 2nd at 7 p.m.  The community will be holding a rally against eminent domain abuse at 6:30 p.m. just before the hearing. [4]  The fight for the Giefer farm is the front line of the eminent domain battle in Wisconsin.  Citizens in the Dairy State should head to Oak Creek next Wednesday to show their support.



[1] Mark Schaaf, “City tries hard to land an old farm,” Oak Creek Now, May 25, 2010.
[2] Sean Ryan, “Blight ruling hangs over Oak Creek farm,” The Daily Reporter, May 6, 2010.
[3] Ibid.
[4] Mark Schaaf, “City tries hard to land an old farm,” Oak Creek Now, May 25, 2010.