In an incredible week to end the year, TWO more counties have called for eminent domain reform! This week the Rusk County Board and Columbia County Board called for the prohibition of eminent domain for private gain for oil pipelines. The advisory referendum reads:
NOW, THEREFORE THE ____ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HEREBY RESOLVES to express their desire to the Wisconsin State Legislature and Governor to reform eminent domain laws to protect the property rights of Wisconsin citizens and prohibit the state from granting the power of eminent domain to for-profit oil pipeline companies.
First, on Tuesday, December 18, the Rusk County Board UNANIMOUSLY passed the resolution with 20 people in attendance and six eloquent speakers from around the area.
Speakers testified about their experiences with Enbridge, their concerns about what they could lose, and the unfairness of a private company taking their land without their consent:
The next day, the Columbia County Board passed the same resolution!
Speakers all spoke so eloquently and movingly that most of the Board could not vote against them:
Mary Jo Wentz thanked the board for being so open and willing to listen to their constituents. Check out this great letter-to-the-editor she wrote here. Check out this other great letter-to-the-editor here.
The only spoken concern about the resolution came from Portage Supervisor Rohrbeck who seemed confused about the resolution; he misconstrued a lot of different things and brought up an unrelated Supreme Court case, federal laws, and even whether or not we should ban pipelines. Other supervisors spoke to the resolution and directed the board back to the real issue at hand.
Supervisor Pufahl (who moved for approval) stated, “We can sit on our hands and not do anything, or we can vote on this and push the state and the federal government.”
Ultimately, the resolution passed 20 – 5.
That makes seven County Boards who have supported eminent domain reform!
If your county isn’t one of those seven, but you’d like to see it added to the list, contact us.