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Phoenix Loses Land Auction then Threatens Eminent Domain

September 1, 2010 - 6:10pm
Jim Iannuzo by Jim Iannuzo


Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and his tribe of Merry Men are planning to steal private property in the name of history. I love history especially the heroic tales of Robin Hood setting things right but I also remember the lessons learned when dictators like Stalin decided millions of farmers did not need their property. Robin Hood was a fictional representation popularized as a folk tale, Stalin was real.

Mayor Gordon Celebrates Deficit Spending?

Mayor Phil Gordon Celebrates More SpendingIs theft on any scale moral? Perhaps theft is justified when we do it by proxy. Elect a couple of crooks, send them to Phoenix City Hall and call them a council. Sounds like heady stuff but wait, didn’t I just imply they (city council) were working for us? That means we are the thieves. Look in the mirror and ask yourself this question; How would I feel if my neighbor used the city to evict me from my property?

That’s exactly what’s happening to local business owners who purchased the land encompassing the Arizona Living History museum via a state land auction. The museum is a collection of buildings and memorabilia from Arizona’s territorial days. The buildings were relocated to this site over time, much like the “old” Rawhide in North Scottsdale. Sure, its great stuff but the buildings sit on a parcel of state leased land. The land is held in trust for education and must be sold or leased to maximize educational funding. The buildings were located to this site over time by the museum, much like the “old” Rawhide in North Scottsdale. So, you would think that the museum’s directors would renegotiate the lease, purchase the land at auction or move like Rawhide when they first found out that the state needed some additional money. Nope, why should they when you have the Robin Hood and the Merry Men on your side.

The Roles outbid the City of Phoenix for the land. The winning bid was 3.2 million. Have no fear the Phoenix City Council is here and demand your land Mr. Roles. We are now forced to pay you the listed value (what you bid) and will use eminent domain if you resist, regardless of the fact that we lost at auction. Resistance is futile and of course will lead to all denials for zoning changes even if you are able to keep the land.

It is equally absurd that the City of Phoenix passed a food sales tax in 2010 claiming they had no money for fire fighters and police but just agreed to purchase this land for $3.5 million without any concern with shorting the police. I guess they will make it up by charging for parking.

The Pioneer Arizona Living History Museum should take a lesson from the owners of Rawhide. When Rawhide was sold they found a new site at the Gila River Indian Reservation without involving government. Involving government to act through force is no different than stealing your neighbor’s property no matter how worthy the cause.

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Related Content:

Phoenix, Drunken Politicians and a New Food Tax - Jim Iannuzo
Phoenix Offers No Reason For CityNorth Appeal - Jim Iannuzo
The Language of Liberty - Kimberly Ruff

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