Saturday, April 22, 2006

More on the Norwood Theft

Normally, I find George Will incredibly boring. But he wrote a great article in this week’s Newsweek about the Norwood, Ohio City Council’s scheme to steal the homes and businesses of hardworking, honest citizens there, in order to turn the property over to a politically connected real-estate developer.

Read Theft In Norwood

He focuses on the plight of an elderly couple, Carl and Joy Gamble, whose home of 35-plus years is threatened with being bulldozed to satisfy the “will of the community”. I’ve met the Gambles on a couple of occasions, and they are the nicest, most pleasant people you have ever met. You have be one cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch to want to kick these people out on the streets.

Then again…we are talking about politicians, aren’t we?

The Gambles say that when the city offered them money for their house, they were not interested. "We had everything we wanted, right there," says Joy, who does not drive but could walk to see her mother in a Norwood nursing home. "We loved that house—that home."

Past tense. Norwood's government, in a remarkably incestuous deal, accepted the developer's offer to pay the cost of the study that—surprise!—enabled the city to declare the neighborhood "blighted" and "deteriorating." NEWSWEEK reader, stroll around your neighborhood. Do you see
any broken sidewalk pavement? Any standing water in a road? Any weeds? Such factors—never mind that sidewalks and roads are government's responsibility—were cited by the developer's study to justify Norwood's forcing the Gambles and their neighbors to sell to the developer so he could build condominiums, office buildings and stores.

The case is currently awaiting decision by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Oh, and now would be a good time to promote the Castle Coalition, an organization dedicated to fighting eminent domain abuse. If you value property rights, then sign up for their email list. Become a member. Send them a donation. Pass it on.


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