Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 19, 2017

Eminent domain turning life upside down

By Lila Williams | May 15, 2014

To the editor:


The hounds of eminent domain are baying loudly at my doorstep. Some people don’t understand my depression over this.


When I was 4 years old, my family moved across country to occupy the home of my mother’s dreams. A few years later, my father told me that someday we may have to move, as the city might take our home. I replied, “But Daddy, they can’t take our home – it’s ours!” My father then began the process of explaining the concept of eminent domain to a 7-year-old child.


I lived my childhood under the pall of eminent domain. Although the initial plans were just talk, they were well known enough that we could not have sold our home, but could not live in peace and security, either. We lived waiting for the other shoe to drop, not knowing if it ever would.


Many years later, when the much rumored eminent domain became a reality, my mother was under so much stress that she could not take on more. Her health quickly deteriorated under the pressure, then her business. I remember her saying “What will I do? Where will we go?” She was unable to recover and died within the year. My father had to go hat in hand to the city and ask for a stay of execution on the eminent domain so my mother could die in the home we moved across country to occupy so many years before.


After her death, I moved out on my own. Some years later, the eminent domain papers arrived for that home, too. I simply fled. This is my third eminent domain, and it has brought me nothing but heartbreak.


To that end, I am writing to ask for help from Fairfield residents: (1) If you see me about town, please do not ask “Have you found another place to live?” and (2) Please do not ask me to buy your house, or offer your services as a real-estate agent. I know you mean well, but I may be having an OK day, and eminent domain may not be on my mind. When you ask this, I am reminded of the heartbreaking, nearly impossible thing in my life that I have to deal with.


Instead, the city is required to find an equivalent property, if one is available. if you happen to hear of a four-bedroom, 2.5-bath home, with central air and heat, a garage, a fireplace, 2,500 square feet, zoned so I can run my business, six minutes from the post office and FedEx drop offs, with an east entrance, aligned perfectly north/south, on picturesque acreage with stunning views, would you please let the city’s relocation expert know (dmk@lisco.com) so that the wheels of eminent domain can turn in my favor for a change?


If the public would help with these requests, it may not solve my problems, but it would help me get through each day a little easier.


Thank you so much.




– Lila Williams, Fairfield

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