Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eminent Domain Concerns Defused


This afternoon my email notification from the City of Costa Mesa told me that on the agenda of the next city council meeting on June 5th there will be an item regarding EMINENT DOMAIN. Well, those two words always get my attention and the notification was vague, so I made a couple of calls to the city for clarification.

I eventually received a call from City Attorney Kim Barlow, who wanted to let me know th
e item in question was merely some mandatory housekeeping. It involves an ordinance that affirms that the Redevelopment Agency (the City Council in a fancy dress) no longer has the authority to impose eminent domain on the original downtown redevelopment area.

So, my heart rate slowed a little and my blood pressure dropped back down to normal. I'm satisfied with her reply and was grateful for the quick response to my question.

As an aside, it's my observation from way, way outside that this contract with Barlow's firm to provide City Attorney services seems to be working very well. Not only does Barlow and her team seem to be ready with answers put to them on the dais, they also appear to be quite pro-active in anticipating potential problem areas and taking steps to head them off. Although the shift from an in-house counsel was quite controversial at the time, this move seems to have been the right one.

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