District 3 hopefuls take stand on eminent domain: The (Blue Springs/Independence MO) Examiner, 3/24/05

By Stephanie Howard

Blue Springs City Council candidates in District 3 took a strong stand on eminent domain Wednesday.

Incumbent Ron Fowler and challenger Steven Mooers spoke Wednesday afternoon at the Blue Springs Rotary lunch.

Fowler discussed the eminent domain issue, saying the City Council, just two days prior, had approved using the tool to acquire about 2.75 acres of land for the expansion of Moreland School Road.

Eminent Domain is a tool available to governments in which the government can condemn a piece property for public use.

Fowler, who voted in favor of the issue Monday night, said that was the appropriate use because it went for a road. However, he said he would not support eminent domain to take one business' property to give to another business. He cited the recent tax increment finance proposal on Missouri 7.

"The TIF district grew into something I didn't support," Fowler said. "Yeah, I want redevelopment, but we're not going to use eminent domain for it."

Mooers took a stronger stance, saying he didn't think eminent domain should ever be used. Going back to Monday night's vote, Mooers said everyone should be allowed the right to get what they want for their property.

Likewise, Mooers pointed out many of the farms in the area have been in families for generations.

"If a person wants 10 percent more or 20 percent more for their land to push that road through, the city should come up with it, or they don't get the land," Mooers said. "I don't think the government, at any time, should come in and take that land, for any reason."

The two candidates fielded questions about various city issues and agreed on most questions. Fowler concluded the forum thanking Mooers for keeping the campaign clean and friendly compared to last year's divisive city elections.

The Examiner: www.examiner.net