Updated February 19, 2005
Please notice the date that this original article was written (below). Originally I'd sent a copy to the Houston Chronicle, KPRC television/radio and the Voice talk radio. I now have also sent copies of this letter/blog to several elected officials; local, state and national. This issue is still unresolved in the court system and the City of Freeport is not being forthright in its dealings when confronted by citizen’s request for information. This is not simply a local issue for those who live in Freeport. The repercussions will affect any land owner or anyone who believes that he/she owns land.
For those of you reading this article on my blog, I have linked the URL for the web page Scandal in Freeport in my blog title bar. There are a few interesting pages; one in which you can sign up for automatic updates, another to contact various elected officials and also those directly involved. Please take an active part in this issue.
Eminent Domain or Land Grab
July 20, 2004
The City of Freeport is using the doctrine of Eminent Domain to “acquire” a parcel of land that is currently owned by a shrimp company and turn it over to another private investor for the purpose of establishing a luxury yacht club. According to the spokesman representing the City of Freeport; pardon my not having an exact transcript in front of me, “The State of Texas encourages this.” The idea being that the City of Freeport would be better off, its image would improve and more especially its tax base would greatly improve if there were a bunch of rich folks with yachts instead of a smelly shrimp company using that piece of the beach front.
The idea of a governmental agency: National, State or local, deciding who should own property based on this particular rational is Un-American in nature. I could understand if the land were barren and not useable for anything, left unattended for lack of any possible use or any number of zoning issues that were already in existence; however, this is not the case. This property has been and is currently used at the discretion of its rightful owner; just not the most advantageous tax revenue partners that the City of Freeport has chosen to support. This is nothing more than theft, outright theft.
A special thanks to Mover Mike for reminding me about the importance of keeping tabs on the government when they claim the right of eminent domain.