A Better Mt. Pleasant: Village CDA members must resign if they vote to blight homeowners in Foxconn zone

CONTACT: Kelly Gallaher 414/350-6858

MT. PLEASANT, WI April 12, 2018 – Local community group, “A Better Mt. Pleasant,” is callingon members of the Mount Pleasant Community Development Authority (CDA) to resign fromtheir appointed positions if they vote to designate areas within the Foxconn development zoneas blighted. The vote is expected to happen on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm at theVillage Hall.

Residents have already received notice of eminent domain proceedings and Village officials
announced on March 20, 2018 at a CDA public hearing that they intend to invoke “blighting”condemnation against property owners in the land acquisition process for Foxconn.

“Most of these homeowners haven’t even entered into negotiations with the Village before theydecided to play the ‘blight’ card,” said Kelly Gallaher, a representative for the group. “The CDAhas been given detailed information on why these properties do not meet the legal definition of‘blighted.’ They have ignored the law and their own neighbors, and appear poised to do it anyway.”

Wisconsin State Statute 32.03(6) says that condemnation through blighting can only be used if the property is not occupied by the owner of the property, his or her spouse, or an individual related to the owner by blood, marriage, or adoption within the 4th degree of kinship OR the crime rate in, on, or adjacent to the property is at least 3 times the crime rate in the remainder of the municipality in which the property is located.

None of the homes in the Foxconn zone under threat of condemnation meet these legal criteria. Gallaher says, “There is little doubt that actions to blight these properties will lead to a lawsuit which will not just cause problems for the FoxConn development, but could set a very dangerous precedent. If Mount Pleasant is allowed to blight perfectly good family homes and give them to a privately owned corporation, they can do it to anyone, anywhere.”

The Mount Pleasant Village Code of Ethics ordinances state that any public official who
knowingly acts in excess of their legal authority and official capacity has committed misconduct in office.

Any member of the Mount Pleasant Community Development Authority who casts a vote to
impose condemnation through blight against property owners in the Foxconn zone does so
knowing they are violating state law and is therefore called upon to immediately resign from service on the Village CDA.

A petition calling for the resignations can be found online through Change.org.

“It took only seven votes to appoint these men to the CDA. We are prepared to offer hundreds to demand they step down,” said Gallaher.

The Mount Pleasant Village Community Development Authority is comprised of the following members: Rob Richardson – Chair, Matt Cramer, Frank Risler, Jack Thorsen, Jerry Franke, David DeGroot – Village President, Gary Feest – Trustee, Sam Schultz – Staff

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