Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Eminent Domain & Article X - the Public Loses

The Prattsburgh, NY town board (Steuben County) in 2008 brought local government to a new low by voting (3-2) to use eminent domain against private land owners who refused to allow wind farm developers to bury their electric cables on their private land. This is the act of taking someone’s legitimate property by force – against the will of the property owner. The use of eminent domain brought by the town board against its townspeople was requested by the wind developer – First Wind! This is akin to holding a gun against someone’s head before asking them to decide. This is appalling. The case was heard in NYS Supreme Court, Appellate Div., 4th Dept. (Rochester, NY) in Dec. 2008 and the land owners LOST the case.

And the NYS Legislature is considering passing Article X of the NYS Public Service Law that would allow bureaucrats from Albany and downstate to site an electrical generating plant anywhere in NYS without the site municipality’s permission thereby trumping municipal home rule law. In other words your town board could not say NO to the project! Can you imagine how wind developers would love this debacle?

With repugnant issues like these looming over New Yorkers – is it any wonder why people are leaving this state in droves?

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