Farm Groups Differ On Propositions 98 And 99

May 23, 2008 7:39:27 PM PDT
On June 3rd you'll be asked to vote on a controversial issue. Two competing initiatives deal with eminent domain, or the government's ability to seize private property for public use. Vic Bringetto expects his Kerman almond orchard and will someday be plowed over to make way for the completion of Highway 180 all the way to Interstate Five. Bringetto supports Proposition 98, which would make it illegal for the government to seize property, including farmland, for private use. Bringetto said "We need some type of regulations dealing with owners, dealing with selling, dealing with market values. All those things that come into play after the fact that you are going to sell to a school or a highway, which is our case."

Prop 98 pits the California Farm Bureau against other farm groups. Manuel Cunha of the Nisei Farmers League said "We don't like to have that happen." Cunha calls Prop 98 deceptive. He says it would make it difficult to acquire land for future water projects such as a new dam at Temperance Flat. "And the court's gonna decide whether we can build a dam by taking a piece of property and the answer is no. We won't be able to build that dam or even a pipeline or a canal for a conveyance system."

The wide-ranging Proposition 98 would also ban rent control. Prop 98 supporter Marko Mlikotin said "From a policy perspective it doesn't work, I think most people are surprised to find that anyone could benefit from these rent ordinances whether you need it or not."

Critics say mobile home park and apartment owners are behind the push for the rent control ban. They say those who live in mobile home parks would be hardest hit because they own the home but lease the land.

The Fresno Chamber of Commerce opposes both Propositions 98 and 99. Amy Huerta said "Proposition 99 is a little more simple and what it does is it provides protection for homeowners. While we do support that Because it does not have any protection for business we at the Chamber cannot support that as well."

But supporters of Proposition 99 say the measure protects homeowners without the hidden agendas of Prop 98.

What's interesting is Propositions 98 and 99 are competing measures. If both earn over 50-percent of the vote, the proposition with the most support becomes law.


Load Comments