The homeowners in the New London Connecticut eminent domain case are down to the wire. Governor Jodi Rell proposed allowing the remaining homeowners to live in their homes, retain the deed, but give the tow the right of first refusal when they sell. This plan is not supported by the Mayor or City Council, and the Council will vote tonight on whether to begin evictions. 5 of 7 council members are against Rell’s plan.
The case was started when nurse Susette Kelo refused to sell and became the lead plaintiff in a court battle that reached the United States Supreme Court. The decision has since opened the possibility of other municipalities seizing private homes for economic development and higher tax dollars, rather than just blight or public use.
Some states have since passed laws restricting the use of eminent domain, and a nationwide grassroots campaign to combat eminent domain abuse has begun in many locations.
Mayor Elizabeth Sabilia believes that the case is “entering the home stretch”. As of 8:30 this evening, no vote had been yet taken.
Some citizens wonder if the town will be willing to undertake the negative publicity involved in razing the remaining homes, or if a compromise will be reached. A compromise does not look likely.