ReasonGovernment officials like to use eminent domain for the convenience of their preferred policies and/or the enrichment of themselves and their buddies. Usually, they get away with it, because the folks on the receiving end are too few and powerless to hold their tormentors to account. In Hackensack, New Jersey, however, the officials who targeted Michael Monaghan's property for seizure as part of an "area in need of redevelopment," even while denying him the right to develop it himself, pushed too many people around, too often. Last month, voters booted out the entire city council.
Michael Monaghan has wanted to develop his property on Main Street in Hackensack, New Jersey, just a few miles away from Manhattan. Yet the city twice denied two applications for banks to build on his land.
Instead, Hackensack’s Planning Board designated Michael’s and another owner’s land as an “area in need of redevelopment,” authorizing the use of eminent domain to condemn and seize the properties. “I've stood up and tried to protect my property for the last eight years,” he said in an interview with a local paper. MORE