Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fort Wayne commits ANOTHER shameful act

Mike Sylvester sent the below letter on April 8th, 2006

This email was sent to:
The City of Fort Wayne
All members of the current City Council that have an email address on the official city
website
Local news sources in Fort Wayne
Select individuals interested in property rights

Please feel free to contact me for clarification on anything in this article and please feel free to publish this article.

April 8th, 2006

The attorney’s fees associated with Fort Wayne’s misguided attempt to seize the assets of Aqua Indiana North with Eminent Domain should certainly be a matter of public record. I am currently the President of The Valley Place Neighborhood Association and I am a satisfied Aqua Indiana customer. I have filed a Freedom of Information Request with The City of Fort Wayne. I wish to review the attorney’s fees that The City of Fort Wayne has incurred trying to seize the assets of Aqua Indiana North, the company that currently provides my water service.

I read the article in The Journal Gazette entitled “secret payments to city lawyers” {<http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/news/editorial/14296212.htm>} on April 8th and I am completely appalled that The City of Fort Wayne is refusing to provide this information to the public. One of the keys to a successful Democracy is an open government with as much transparency as possible.

I find it particularly troubling that The City of Fort Wayne is hiding information about a case in which The City is trying to seize the assets of a PRIVATE BUSINESS. This use of Eminent Domain is shameful and unnecessary. I have spoken with several of my neighbors and none of us feel that Fort Wayne will provide us a better service then Aqua Indiana North!

I often read articles about how hard Fort Wayne is trying to attract outside investment. If I were a business owner and I was looking for a place to invest money Fort Wayne would not be on my list due to its current and past abuse of Eminent Domain. Fort Wayne has recently used Eminent Domain to take land from both business owners and homeowners. I wonder how many businesses have elected NOT to move to Fort Wayne due to fear of having its property seized through Eminent Domain.

I testified about Eminent Domain abuse in Fort Wayne earlier this year at The Statehouse. I was specifically invited to testify by the author of the bill (Rep. Wolkins) that was passed and will limit local government’s use of Eminent Domain, HB1010. I was the only private citizen invited to testify and I was specifically asked to testify about Eminent Domain abuse in Fort Wayne!

The House of Representatives was appalled by Fort Wayne’s frivolous use of Eminent Domain. Phyllis Pond spoke up after my testimony and she backed up my testimony on The House Floor. The actions of The City of Fort Wayne have identified us as a City that does not respect private property rights. This does not help Fort Wayne attract new investment.

It is unfortunate that The City of Fort Wayne continues to abuse Eminent Domain and that it is also abusing the open records law that requires government records to be reviewed by the public upon request.

Mike Sylvester
Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Allen County
President of the Valley Place Homeowners Association

7 comments:

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

I was as outraged as you when I read the article. It also made it sound like the city wasn't even willing to disclose the attorney's fees - this certainly doesn't fall under attorney-client privledge. And their argument that the council was the client and not the citizens of the city is outrageous. Who does the council represent? Their representation of the city certainly makes the citizens of this city de facto clients...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

What do you do for a living Jeff?

Anonymous said...

Mike:

Congratulations on an outstanding letter. Let's hope the city council members understand the very basic premise here.

As an Aboite resident, I am watching this legal action with extreme interest. Next, our portion of Aqua Indiana will be up for grabs.

bobett said...

God bless you and your beautiful family. After countless referendums to fight city hall, door to door...countless
common sense talks, petitions and after thousands after thousands of
citizens personal money to fight city-hall to get them to think, talk and play fair... it just did not happen. Aboite got beat-up, unjustly...with annexation and especially with the proliferation of expanding a $76 million school corporation expansion in the Southwest. This includes the interest due in 20 years. I do not understand the short-term common sense that a population of 28,000 people in southwest Aboite can substain this level of repayment over the next 20 years. It just upsets me.

And to add insult to injury, it's
still going on across the board.

Our schools, need you and a fresh voice...please believe. When you get on the board up north... tighten that rope and juggle those unthoughtful persons in the name of ethics. I still believe.

Bobett
4kelleys1@comcast.net

Bobett said...

The newly, annexed southwest a.k.a
aboite township should be more concerned with private, secret talks about the plan of taking over Aquasource and then the city
taxing and flubbing up the water.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

I'm not a lawyer so my analysis is from a layperson's view although it is supported by a couple of lawyers I know.

I'm an electro-optical engineer. Basically they let me play w/ lasers...

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

This one topic probably illuminates most chillingly the mindset of our elected officials.

Imagine, if you can, that you boss comes to you and asks you how much you are spending on a project. Then imagine telling your boss that it is none of his/her business, it is your job and you are doing a fine job, don't question me. Can you imagine keeping your job?

Our city officials can. They forget that we the people are their boss and that it isn't the other way around. They work for us and should be more than happy to answer any questions we might have...And yet, here we are: Citizens demanding our employees tell us what they are doing with our community.

I cannot begin to put into words my repugnance at this mindset of our elected officials. It is beyond belief.

I say forget whether you are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or Independant: Vote against every single incumbant!

Maybe next time we'll get some employees who answer our questions.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner