Thursday, February 15, 2007
"I agree, you shouldn't turn expropriation powers over to anyone who is not elected".
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As a resident and voter in Washington Parish, I wish to go on record in opposition to Senate Bill 639 sponsored by Sen. Ben Nevers that will create to Washington Parish Economic Development District.
Senate bill 639 creates yet another Political Subdivision much like the Washington Parish Reservoir District with a board of appointed Commissioners that are not accountable to the people of Washington Parish, but shall wield enormous powers of Expropriation of Private property. This power is in the name of Economic Development.
Every property owner in Washington Parish has cause to be very concerned about this bill. This Legislation was not put to a vote by the voters in Washington Parish. It is yet another stealth bill designed to circumvent the voting process.
If this Economic Development District is so good for the people and Land Owners of Washington Parish why not let us decide for ourselves by giving us a chance to vote on the bill. The landowners in the unincorporated areas of Washington parish will have no representation on the proposed Economic Development District or the Commissioners if this bill is passed.
Over 200 years ago our forefathers fought the revolutionary war over taxation without representation. Now the landowners of Washington Parish face expropriation without representation by a gang of 7 appointed Commissioners who may decide our say with their pockets if this bill is passed.
Please return the democratic process to Washington Parish and allow the votes or Washington Parish to have a say in our future. As voters we elected you to represent our interest.
We are not opposed to Economic Development; we simply believe it should remain in the private sector where buyers and sellers work out their own agreement.
Government should be in the business of governing and not in the business of Expropriation of private property for the Economic Development of others.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
SB 639, which was pulled last year when a vote of support failed 4-3 over wording that included powers of expropriation in the makeup of the Washington Parish Economic Development Commission it would have created.
But Taylor did a poor job of "playing dumb" when council member Kenneth Wheat told a full house, "I'll vote for it (economic development) as long as the language that created all the uncertainty (expropriation) is taken out. Taking that out will not change or alter a thing ... if there's uncertainty, leave it out."
Taylor then put both arms up in the air, looked at Wheat, who sits closest to him at the council table, and asked, "What's the language? What's questionable?" in what might be described as a sarcastic tone.
"Out of respect for the people," I'll stand my ground," Wheat said, "even against economic development" to a round of applause from the audience.
Wheat was the swing vote last year when the vote of non-support was cast, forcing Taylor to request SB 639 be pulled.
Discussion of economic development was opened by parish resident Winford Pittman, who presented council members and Taylor with a version of an economic development bill remarkably similar to SB 639.
It wasn't, however, a clone.
"There are some differences," Pittman, who was one of a number of vocal opponents of SB 639 said, reading them aloud.
The differences, he said, include the following:
During his comments, Taylor pointed out several times that expropriation was a part of the U.S. Constitution - a point he made during the initial arguments a year ago, even to the extent of pulling out a pocket edition of the document and slapping it against his open hand.
"This commission's not going to take your property. It can't take property unless this council approves it," he said, adding that the argument over expropriation was unfounded.
Yet, when Wheat said he would support economic development legislation if expropriation were removed, Taylor balked.