Today: Apr 07 , 2020

Opinion: Private Property is Still Private Property in Arizona

23 October 2018   Councilman Jim Lamerson

It’s about more than 'Save the Dells.'

I find it interesting to watch individual actions and listen to special interest dialogue regarding a private citizen’s private property. I am referring to the Dells, of course. 

I thought the individual’s rights are why this country continues fighting wars. When the property in question was again up for sale, all had the right to purchase it from the rightful owner who has both the right to sell or develop it. Because some have done financially better in life than others, doesn’t legally empower them to now take it away from the rightful owner, nor expect government to do it for them at their will. 

As with any property, there is an associated risk and liability of ownership, whether private or public. All property has an inherent cost of operation and maintenance, including open space and park land. I have also talked to many people regarding their reasons for relocating to Prescott. The Dells was not at the top of the list of people I’ve talked to. However, no one I’ve talked with wants to see the Dells or any part of Prescott massively developed, including the owner of the property in question. 

There are constitutional and legal matters to consider. Private property is still private property in Arizona. Prescott is not yet a socialist environment where we can take at will from individual citizens. There are attempts to engender understanding in the negotiation process that is underway. Demeaning private property owners, or other citizens for special interests doesn’t serve anybody well. Rational people who are able to negotiate logical and beneficial outcomes will best serve the future of Prescott. People, water, land mass, basic services, and income are all part of the discussion. I for one appreciate the opportunity to work with private property owners in the best interest of their entire community.