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Delaware Political Rumblings
8/29/2007 9:48:00 PM

The Wilmington city council has recently approved a "redevelopment plan" that seeks to unlawfully seize private properties under the guise of Eminent Domain.  The "South Walnut Street Urban Renewal Plan" seeks to force the sale of 61 individual parcels (primarily businesses) to make way for new residential development.

This is another recent abuse of Eminent Domain, which have become so popular since the Supreme Court ruled on the Kelo vs. New London case.

I contacted my local representative, but sadly, I do not live in the formal city limits of Wilmington, and had no representation in the city council hearing.  However, I would like to take a moment to comment my representative for his well-reasoned and well-meaning stance on the issue.

My state representative is Robert Gilligan (Bob).  He's an honest man, which is rare amongst politicians.  Although I've only lived in the area three years, Bob has always been accessible.  I met him at a neighborhood meeting.  He routinely visits neighborhood gatherings, to meet his base.  He returns phone calls personally.  I like that.

I feel that he does an excellent job representing my concerns.  He has been proactive in the past about such issues, and he has made it clear to me where he stands on the issue of Eminent Domain.  He offers direct answers, which is a rare commodity. 

Here are a few key points that he mentioned to me:

  • When Kelo vs. New London was first decided, the state responded with an amendment to the Delaware Code that clarified the protections for Delaware residents.  Based on this, he questions the legality of the actions taken by the Wilmington City Council.
  • The state legislature is currently adjourned until the winter.  I cannot help but think that the Wilmington City Council waited until the adjournment to pull this stunt.
  • If a loophole has been discovered in the 2005 amendment to the Delaware Code, I've been assured that it will be closed during the next session.

Thanks Bob, for representing the interests of your constituents.

Here are a few articles dealing with the current Eminent Domain mess: