Saturday, September 29, 2018

Some holdouts kept their land from Foxconn; the outrages continue

The Mt. Pleasant-for-Foxconn property seizure bluff was called, and the authorities blinked. That's good news, but that whole process continues to reek.

I know it's hard to follow every budgetary, environmental and planning twist, turn and outrage associated with the Foxconn project; the archive I've put together about it now runs to about 260 posts, and there are far more links embedded there within. 

Some of those posts focus on a real travesty - - the use and misuse of eminent domain and the companion abuse of blight designations by the Village of Mount Pleasant to facilitate the taking of people's homes and land to suit the company's plans - - ever-changing as those plans are - - or those of road-builders hired to spend tens of millions of public dollars to build or expand highways also to please the company.

Here's one such archive post:

In Racine County's Village of Mount Pleasant these days, you can't count on your home being your castle anymore.
Because if the government wants to take it for Foxconn and the bulldozers, the Village is closing in on saying it belongs to them - - and they can take it - - because it's blighted.
Does this look blighted to you?
Cabbage fields on the Foxconn site, 2017
The fancy term for what may come along now that "blight" has been officially invoked upon the heads and deeds of residents not interested in being booted out would be "eminent domain," but, in reality, it's property seizure.
Many property owners accepted the company's purchase offers because they got paid a premium, and the timing was good, even fortuitous.

But others sold knowing that the authorities had already declared their acreage and buildings blighted to justify and trigger the seizure power that was in the officials' back pockets.

Others fought back, and this week some won the right to remain in their homes or on their land for at least another year - - which again makes one wonder why Foxconn's plans and needs and intentions are so malleable.

Every time I see pictures of all the highway work going on, I wonder 'are they building roads to nowhere?'

Or to the smaller factory already conceded by Foxconn, or to a less complex complex, despite company P.R. that makes the built out site something of a cross between The Magic Kingdom and Suburbia on Steroids.

But my basic point is that this disrespect for residents goosed along by state power right is out of some Soviet-style playbook, where the government takes what it wants and individuals be damned.

If this is really Wisconsin, circa 2018, then some basic changes have got to be made.

I'd also recommend you Facebook users 'like' the home page of the grassroots group "A Better Mt. Pleasant" if you want to keep abreast of what's really happening there.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is Mt. Pleasant doing this as a TIFF district? If so then I strongly encourage the activists to closely examine the supporting materials that the municipality uses for their creation of the district. The law sets limits on how much money can be given away based on a formula of total value of property in the district. Municipalities are famous for "mistakenly" having phantom properties and buildings in the base documents. If you take the list of properties and actually go take a drive is when you will be scratching your head about an address with buildings that is supposed to exist but when you get there no such thing exists. The inclusion of these phony properties allows them to massage the numbers so they can max out the money they hang the taxpayer for. They also list phony valuations that don't match the tax records on file.