Domains

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Kenneth Gosselin writes in the Hartford Courant

Even though debate continues over whether the $569 million busway should even be built, the state has spent millions taking properties through eminent domain and demolishing buildings along the proposed route. It’s even tossed out some well-established businesses.

The New Britain-Hartford busway has been in the news a lot. Gosselin’s tack in the article has to do with the power of eminent domain and gray areas between the idea and requirements of the busway and its likelihood of ever seeing reality. So, question: should the state acquire properties for a project even before it sees approval and design? It seems a solid approach, but the real question seems to point to a larger problem of the state’s lack of a long term design orientation for Connecticut as a whole, which would be an intensely complicated task.

Is the busway a local issue? In larger states, what one city or town does may not immediately affect a more distant region, as those regions may be separated by hundreds of miles. In Connecticut I have a hard time envisioning parts, as the state is so small, but this may be due to my own lack of insight or familiarity.


One response to “Domains”

  1. Jeremy says:

    I think the crux of that issue is the concept of eminent domain. Most people are either unaware or deny that the government literally has the power to take whatever land it wishes, whenever it wishes.

    Granted, they have to go through a small bit of red tape, but once that’s done, the land is theirs.

    I’ve always thought that the system of land ownership in the United States, while vastly better than the majority of nations, is merely a system of renting the land from the government.

    We pay a downpayment (the purchase price), and then an annual stipend (property tax). In exchange for those transactions, the government allows us to use the land, provided that they have no need for it. If they do, they take it, period.

    Now as to whether the busway is a good idea, I’ll have to do some research. But regarding whether it is a local issue, I think that people only care about issues when they perceive that they are directly affected by them. So unless this proposal threatens them in some way, it will not become a big issue. It could, however, since eminent domain is kind of a hot-button subject.