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 03-15-2006, 11:09 Post: 126154
Chief



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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

Sadly this seems to be a trend that is on the increase. Truely an example of corrupt, unaccountable government, out of control.

This is something that could conceivably happen to anyone of us. It should make your blood boil and we ALL need to be ever vigilante and fight this where ever it occurs.



Property fight in Cumberland County heats up
Lawsuit occurs as assembly eyes reform on eminent domain
BY GREG EDWARDS
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Saturday, March 11, 2006


Cumberland County's efforts to reclaim a school it sold at auction three years ago took a turn yesterday when the school superintendent appeared at the property to claim ownership.

Mary Meeks, the property's disputed owner, said she was intimidated by the actions of Superintendent James Thornton and others who showed up at the former elementary school without any warning. The school sits just off the north side of U.S. 60 in Cumberland, the county seat.

"This is not right, what they are doing," she said. The county is seeking to condemn her property for an amount that is only a third of what it is assessed for on county tax roles and much less than what she and her husband have invested, she said.

The condemnation dispute, in fact, has developed just as the General Assembly is considering a bill tightening up the state's eminent-domain laws. The legislature could make a final decision today whether it will go ahead with some sort of eminent-domain reform this year.

Meeks, a Farmville real estate agent, said she was in neighboring Buckingham County when county officials arrived at the old school and told a work crew and a tenant, who runs an appliance repair shop, that the county now owns the property. The workers were scared and so was the tenant, who was told he would have to start paying his rent to the county, Meeks said.

The county filed a condemnation suit and a certificate of taking against the property this week and deposited $200,000, the amount it estimates the property is worth, with the Cumberland County Circuit Court. Those filings, said Robert Hodges, the county's lawyer, gives ownership of the property to the county.

Not so, says Joe Waldo, the Meekses' lawyer, a property-rights advocate from Norfolk. Unless the Meekses relinquish the property willingly, the county cannot take it without a hearing and a court order, Waldo said.

State law, he said, says the county can get title to the property but only after the Meekses get due process.

Mary Meeks called county Sheriff Claude Meinhard to the school, and after Meinhard talked with Waldo on the phone and later with the superintendent, the county officials left. "They didn't apologize, but they left," she said.

Meeks said the officials told her that their attorney had told them they now owned the property.

The Times-Dispatch attempted to contact several county officials about the case yesterday but without success.

Meeks said she and her husband bought the school and 20 acres from the county with a sealed bid of $110,000 after it had been advertised for a month in a local newspaper. The school had sat vacant for several years and was in poor condition, she said.

They hoped to put in apartments and agreed to fix up the gymnasium and auditorium for public use, Meeks said. They obtained a $250,000 mortgage on the property and have spent about $400,000 renovating it, she said.

Besides the repair shop, four church groups use the building. The police have used the property for dog training and senior citizens walk in the gym for exercise, she said.

"I'll take it all the way to the Supreme Court," Meeks said. "This is not fair. . . . This is what I term eminent-domain abuse."

Property owners are going to fight when a condemnor tries to take property for less money than it's mortgaged for, Waldo said. Essentially the county is asking the Meekses to pay to sell their property to the county, he said.








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 03-15-2006, 14:13 Post: 126157
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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

Hey Chief

Don't blame the Government for a few as-holes who want to abuse the powers and priveleges of Government.
When I was in the Marines I overheard a Gunney yelling to a Lance Corporal "You can Hate some of the people in my Marine Corps but you DO NOT hate the Marine Corps" I have had many years to think about what he was saying and he was right. It is the people that make up the organization and som eof the people can screw it up for the rest. In the Corps in 68 and 69 they tried Drafting and wow! did we get some real low-lifes. Thos elow-lifes which were less than 10% of the entire Marine Corps gave the rest of us the bad names.
Like the Mayor and Govonor of N.O. they are to blame and how they have tried to turn the spotlight over to President Bush and try to stay in the shadows. The ones in your article will not be under investigation because someone STOOD UP and said NO.... One person CAN make a difference. The real owner has drawn attention to this country reps and these reps better hope and pray that they had legit reasons for what they were doing because they are now under the BIG LIGHTs. You have helped it by publishing on this site.... That is what I was trying to say earlier. Ignore it and it will stay, Fight it and it will leave.






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 03-15-2006, 14:13 Post: 126158
wingwiper



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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

Hey Chief

Don't blame the Government for a few as-holes who want to abuse the powers and priveleges of Government.
When I was in the Marines I overheard a Gunney yelling to a Lance Corporal "You can Hate some of the people in my Marine Corps but you DO NOT hate the Marine Corps" I have had many years to think about what he was saying and he was right. It is the people that make up the organization and som eof the people can screw it up for the rest. In the Corps in 68 and 69 they tried Drafting and wow! did we get some real low-lifes. Thos elow-lifes which were less than 10% of the entire Marine Corps gave the rest of us the bad names.
Like the Mayor and Govonor of N.O. they are to blame and how they have tried to turn the spotlight over to President Bush and try to stay in the shadows. The ones in your article will not be under investigation because someone STOOD UP and said NO.... One person CAN make a difference. The real owner has drawn attention to this country reps and these reps better hope and pray that they had legit reasons for what they were doing because they are now under the BIG LIGHTs. You have helped it by publishing on this site.... That is what I was trying to say earlier. Ignore it and it will stay, Fight it and it will leave.






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 03-15-2006, 14:53 Post: 126160
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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

It seems like I recall OUR Supreme Court saying it is legal and good to take a persons land and give it to someone who needs it to make anything for the public.

We have a big battle brewing in Syracuse. A developer needs a bunch of tax paying property so he can develop Destiny USA the largest Mall in the US. The kicker is he has billions of dollars and will not pay the owners of the property fair value and wants the property condemmended. Of course since he is building this for the public it all must come off the tax rolls for 30 years.

Me thinks some where there are some very serious RATS in our legal and political systems.

I WILL BLAME GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE THAT KEEP ELECTING THEM... KENNEDYS, CLINTON, GORE... and the friggin list goes on and on... ONE PERSON DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Many people can make a difference. The realitor in Chiefs story does not and will never have the resources to go the distance. It will take many people to help with the legal battle brewing. The county will just increase taxes to fund their scheme.






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 03-16-2006, 13:26 Post: 126171
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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

Harvey

I have never heard of a Mall claiming Eminent domain. It is Public but not government owned and only the Government can take a person's preperty thru eminent domain and that is usally after fair market price has been paid. I have only hear dof ONE case where a bridge had to cross a river in this one area, it was practicle for the road to go the route it went and there was NO other feasible solution or location other than the location being looked at for the bridge. The lady who lived there was offered Fair Market Value and she said NO! and they offered more than Fair Market Value and she still said No! and then thru eminent domain the Government took possession of the land needed for the bridge and that was the end of that. I would like to see a Mall take possession of private property thru emninent domain. I will bet it will NEVER happen. If you people in Syracuse allow it to happen, you all needs your heads examine and your people in involved sent to Jail.






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 03-16-2006, 19:16 Post: 126193
Chief



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 An Example of Government Fed Too Much of Our Money and Out of Control

wingwiper, NO WHERE in the 5th amendment to the constitution is "fair market value" mentioned, nor is it intended. "JUST COMPENSATION" IS called for and required by the 5th amendment. Just compentation is to make the injured party whole again.........meaning like for like replacement or genuinely agreed upon compensation.

America needs to get this "fair market value" out of their heads. Fair market value decided by whom????? How can you place a fair market value on an historic family estate or farm owned for centuries? I wouldn't take 3 times "fair market value" for my place as I could not replace it for that amount. I would take a replacement ranch in additionm to ALL of my costs to get there however. That would be just compensation.

I have heard the arguements about the bum who lives in a tar paper shack holding up a project for millions. Just not a rational arguement. If the public project is that important, then the public won't mind paying what it take to get the project done instead of stealing private property at gun point.






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 03-17-2006, 07:59 Post: 126215
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Chief

My mom was killed many years ago in a Gas Explosion, we lost EVERYTHING. The family Bible had the last entry made in 1760 something. Paintings, coins, hand me down furniture, milk glass, depression glass, hummels, etc etc all gone, blown to bits.
I sued and for several years we debated the Fair Market Value. It is Fair and if you were the one who had to pay, you would be defending it. As far as your arguement about Family Value, you are right. Like my Lawyer said to me, that Bible was priceless to the family but to anyone else it was really worthless and Value is based on what someone would pay for it. That is the ONLY True Compensation otherwise it isn't considered compensation but rather selling price and that is only good if there is a buyer willing to pay. I know it seems unfair and for what we got compared to what was lost would make a grown man cry. After looking at it from both sides, the settlement seemed as far as I could get, if I had wanted to take the time a search out buyers for the items lost I don't really think anyone would have been willing to pay for that Bible what we felt it was worth. So thereofre, what was it really worth? remove sentiment and leave only the value.
The Bill of Rights 5th amendment says JUST COMPENSATION which is interupted as Fair Market Value.
Think from BOTH sides and what would you prose as being MORE fair? When you are talking about the Taxpayers or the collective of your Town etc, why should they pay more than what any of them is willing to buy it for? I can stand here all day and say MY Bible is worth $100,000 but unless I have someone willing to pay that amount, it IS NOT worth it regardless how sentimentaly I am attached to it.
As much as I do NOT agree with the 9-11 compensations by the U.S. Government ( they are NOT an Inusrance Company) the compensations for lost of life was based on several factors. The question first is simply what is the value of the human life lost? tough question. Historic homes can be subsituted and rebuilt, life can not.
1. Did you share the Same bed? (usually a spouse will get more than a sibling)
2. How old was the person ( To establish how many productive years were left based on the Avg life span)
3. What was their annual earnings?
But even still, things could change and this compensation did not allow for that. What if the guy would have won the Lottery? how could that be predicted or covered? what if the guy became a criminal and ended up in Jail for life? yet the family was reimbursed for a productive life. Too many factors, no one can say for sure, but anyone who has a better formula I am sure people will listen.






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 03-17-2006, 08:45 Post: 126218
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wingwiper, you are mixing apples and oranges here. Fair market value is and always has been predicated upon a genuinely WILLING seller and genuine WILLING PRIVATE PARTY BUYER. Eminent domain produces a price via the buyer holding a gun to the seller's head and dictating a price which is forced upon the unwilling seller. A key ingredient in fair market value is impact upon selling price the seller has by being able to refuse less than their target price. When you factor in other issues such as the reality that most sellers do not have the financial resources to sue or fight in court; they did as you did or any of us would have done and taken what you can get. This is most certainly NOT fair market value. It IS a buyer holding a gun to the seller's head and forcing the seller to accept the buyer's price.

A true example of "just compensation" would be rather than forcing a price at gun point upon the seller; assist the seller in identifying another property to their liking and assist the seller in completing an IRS Schedule 1031 Tax Exchange sale. The state would be required to buy the entire property if the seller refuses to sell only part. If the state is in fact offering fair market value, then purchasing the seller's entire property should not be an issue as the state can later auction off the uneeded portions of the condemned property at "fair market value".

i.e. if the state forces a 8 lane highway through the middle of my ranch and I choose not to sell only the land needed for the highway; the state would be required to buy my entire ranch and assist me in locating and purchasing another ranch to my liking. That IS just compensation.






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 03-17-2006, 09:38 Post: 126222
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No! I don't think I was comparing Apples to Oranges.
You speak of the state as it as an endless pit of Gold. It is the Taxpayers, You and me that is in that pit.
I mean we could challenge the word OWNERSHIP and the results would have most baffled. The point I was making is that if the State or the Town needs that piece of property to put in a Bridge or a Highway, they will offer the Fair Market Value, which is based on the Appraisal of that land, if you thought that land was worth more, then you should have Grieved the assessment when it was first apprasied. Is it denying you an oppurtunity to wait it out and try selling later? Yes! but the needs of the many out wiegh the needs of the few. Is it fair? Well not always but that is based upon the people inolved and how it is represented. Can a Mall take possession of land for a purpose of building a Mall. NO! that is why I would like to see the premises to this story. The RailRoad could not even do it and Ranchers were cocered into selling by their own dimwits and today we refer to that as "Being Railroaded" If you want to be stubborn, the LAW IS on YOUR side. Eminent Domain has not been used very often and in times where a Dam is going to put in, then they will buy ALL of the proerty from the owner. otherwise it is ONLY as Needed.
Companies do NOT have that Power to take over. The Mall down the road a few miles, took many years to go in. Because from the beginning when they first starting to lay out their plans and apply, much of the property had been re zoned and transferred ownership. The Mall went in and everyone left Happy.
The By-Pass was in the workks for 25 years and only ended up going Half of the distance as originally planned, becasue many people who owned the land later, did NOT want to sell and because there were other alternatives, the state could NOT use Eminent Domain to aquire the land needed, instead they halted the project.






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 03-17-2006, 10:21 Post: 126226
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wingwiper, you can rationalize and attempt to justify anything you want but that is not what is in our constitution nor what the founding fathers wrote.

You speak of private property owners as if they are an endless supply of booty and plunder for the state to sieze for whatever reasons the so called tax payers deem.

I can try to illustrate to you what "fair market value" is but I just don't think you have any concept of fair market value and private property rights covered in our constitution.

No offense intend but you speak of the "tax payers" in much the same way that that Mao Tse Tung and Karl Marx spoke of "the people" when these governments engaged in the same things ours is doing now. Again, no where is "fair" mentioned in the 5th amendment. This clearly leads to the tyranny of the majority that Thomas Jefferson spoke of.

Although our nation and its municipalities have headed down the road of "if we can pass a law and the courts validate it, and law enforcement enforces it; it must be legal" mentality...........it does NOT make it constitutional.

What you contend is democracy governed society and this nation is NOT nor has it EVER been a democracy. No true democracy has ever survived in the history of mankind. It is a representative republic. We CANNOT just continue to vote for whatever we want as a majority. Our constitution and its original 10 amendments forbid this. In a nation of over 300 million (and growing) and ever dwindling finite resources; where does the line get drawn with respect to when the government, state, the tax payers (whatever term you choose) have siezed enough private property? In a Capitalist/Representative Republic aka the United States of America, the tax payers must be treated the same as ANY buyer in the market and compete just the same in order to have fair market value. Fair market value IS whatever price a truly willing seller and non-threating genuine buyer mutually and agreeabley arrive at. The EXTREMELY rare exception should be eminent domain used ONLY for ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL reasons of unavoidable neccessity.

The unfortunate reality due to greed, corruption, graft, and good ole' criminal conduct....... developers, power hungry political leaders, and liberal/socialist "do gooders" naturally resort to eminent domain to avoid paying fair market value. The "tax payer's" wants and absolute neccessities are two TOTALLY different things. Even our Candian friends understand this concept and do a MUCH better job with it. I am sure Murf can elablorate on this much than I can. Tag! Your it Murf! ;O)






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