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Eminently practical help for farmer
Oak Creek Now (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Suburban News Roundup Online) ^ | 8-24-10 | Mark Schaaf

Posted on 08/26/2010 6:43:40 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic

Oak Creek — A local businessman has stepped up to pay the legal fees of Earl Giefer, the 94-year-old farmer who was in the center of an eminent domain controversy earlier this summer.

After following Giefer's case in the newspaper, Scott Mayer reached out to the family - which is acquainted with his own family - to pick up $5,000 in legal fees.

Empathic understanding

Mayer said he, like Giefer, has had difficulty dealing with municipal government and was taught by his father to give back and help people.

"I've been jagged around in the past on real estate stuff like this," said Mayer, who lives on 80 acres in Franklin and over the years has tried to get the city to approve certain measures on his property, only to see the process drag on and on.

"I've done well in my life, so I thought it was an opportunity" to help the Giefer family, he said. "It was a real simple situation for me."

Mayer, 35, owns the Brookfield staffing agency QPS Employment Group and is also the owner of Spin Milwaukee, a table-tennis and social club in the Third Ward set to open this weekend.

Father's ongoing influence

Mayer's father, who passed away about 10 years ago, used to sell lawn and garden equipment and was friends with Giefer. He used to talk about Giefer as a stubborn, yet kind, farmer, Mayer said.

So Mayer applied his father's message about helping others.

"His mission in life was to help people, and I thought this was something my dad would have liked me to do," he said.

When Mayer proposed to pay off Giefer's legal debt, Giefer refused to accept payment until meeting him, Mayer said.

Earl and his daughter Susie, who also works the land, spent about a half hour with Mayer, talking about the problems they faced earlier this summer and reminiscing about the old days.

Mayer promised to come back and meet with him again.

"He was a wonderful guy," he said.

Giefer could not be reached for comment before the NOW's press deadline.

Cause of the legal battle

The legal fees are tied to the fight Geifer waged to keep his land.

Giefer's 25-acre property at 10523 S. Howell Ave. was targeted by the city as property that could be used for business development. After Giefer refused to sell, Oak Creek officials began eminent domain proceedings before a public backlash helped quash those plans.

In July, aldermen voted not to pay Giefer's legal bill, saying they no legal responsibility to do so.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: eminentdomain; greedygovernment; kindnessofstrangers
Why should it cost anyone $5000 to deal with the city that is supposed to protect your home and business?

I was always taught that "eminent domain" was for a government agency to do things for the greater good of the community -- roads, schools, drainage, etc. What right does a podunk city have to destroy a 94 year old man's home and business to build a strip mall?

BTW, those questions are rhetorical.

1 posted on 08/26/2010 6:43:41 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Tar, feathers, rinse, repeat.


2 posted on 08/26/2010 9:26:35 AM PDT by Monitor (Gun control isn't about guns, it's about control.)
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To: afraidfortherepublic

Why should it cost anyone $5000 to deal with the city that is supposed to protect your home and business?
I was always taught that “eminent domain” was for a government agency to do things for the greater good of the community — roads, schools, drainage, etc. What right does a podunk city have to destroy a 94 year old man’s home and business to build a strip mall?

The KELO decision by the Supremes was the worst decision in this country’s 250 +++ years.


3 posted on 08/26/2010 11:28:03 AM PDT by ridesthemiles
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