Whose Hand to Hold? How Administrators Understand Eminent Domain and Where They Turn for Guidance

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Whose Hand to Hold? How Administrators Understand Eminent Domain and Where They Turn for Guidance
  See discussions, stats, and author profiles for this publication at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267774043 Whose Hand to Hold? How AdministratorsUnderstand Eminent Domain and Where They Turn for Guidance  Article CITATIONS 0 READS 2 7 authors , including:Amanda M. Olejarski 6   PUBLICATIONS   8   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE Jesse RichardsonWest Virginia University 20   PUBLICATIONS   21   CITATIONS   SEE PROFILE All content following this page was uploaded by Jesse Richardson on 02 October 2015.The user has requested enhancement of the downloaded file.   Whose Hand to Hold? How Administrators Understand Eminent Domain and Where They Turn for Guidance Amanda M. Olejarski Dissertation submitted to the faculty of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration and Public Affairs Dissertation Committee: Larkin S. Dudley, Ph.D., Chair Jesse J. Richardson, Esq. John A. Rohr, Ph.D. Gary L. Wamsley, Ph.D. 4 December 2009 Blacksburg, Virginia Keywords: eminent domain, administrative discretion,  professionalism, implementation of a legal case   Whose Hand to Hold? How Administrators Understand Eminent Doman and Where They Turn for Guidance Amanda M. Olejarski Abstract Controversies surrounding issues related to eminent domain remain in the forefront of academic and public debate, largely attributed to the United States Supreme Court‟s landmark 2005 ruling on the subject. Much of the academic discourse on eminent domain centers on constitutional dimensions of public use and just compensation or procedural components of transaction costs and regulation v. flexibility. Noticeably absent from the scholarly conversation, however, is the study of how public administrators actually involved in the process of eminent domain understand relevant issues. This silence has resulted in significant gaps between the study of the  purpose and mechanics of eminent domain. How these public administrators understand eminent domain and where they search for guidance are significant questions that may inform and extend existing research on eminent domain. Particularly important to this research are the ways in which administrators‟ professionalism affects their administrative discretion in the  implementation of a legal case,  Kelo . Relying on survey and elite interview analysis with public administrators in the state of Connecticut, the birthplace of the  Kelo  case, this research seeks to answer the following four questions: How do administrators understand eminent domain, where do they turn for guidance, how do they interpret and understand takings law post-  Kelo , and how do they understand “public” post -  Kelo ? This study finds support that administrators are generally unaccepting of eminent domain when used under the  Kelo  conditions, that they favor a notion of public use incorporating some degree of use by the public, and that they are most likely to turn to statutory and constitutional resources for eminent domain guidance. Further, the interviews were particularly useful in developing a four-  part typology of administrators‟ understanding of eminent domain.  iii Dedication To my mom, for all of her love and support, in the hopes that she might actually read something I‟ve written.  Yes, mom, this is your personal invitation.  iv Acknowledgements I could not have written Big ED, let alone successfully survived almost four years of doctoral study, without the continual support of Dr. Larkin Dudley, my committee chair and mentor. Though I know I drove her crazy more often than not with all of my “I‟m going to be a doctor by this date”  deadlines and supposedly “quick” question s, she embraced my ambitions every time. Dr. Dudley taught me the value of the dissertation-writing  process  as an iterative intellectual  journey, as an experience to be enjoyed. The other members of Team Eminent Domain, Dr. John Rohr, Dr. Gary Wamsley, and Dr. Jesse Richardson, have contributed to my intellectual growth in ways I have difficulty finding the words to describe . It was in Dr. Rohr‟s class that I first became interested in eminent domain . His training and mentoring shapes everything I write. Dr. Gwams is responsible for inspiring me to be what he describes as a “charming firecracker.”  Dr. Richardson has been a wealth of knowledge and guidance during my research. Thank you, all of you. To the public administrators of Connecticut who participated in this research: words cannot  begin to express my gratitude to you for your kindness and candor in sharing information with me. I deeply appreciate your taking the time to help me understand eminent domain better and for all of the insight you have provided. I would also like to thank June Evered for taking me on a tour of the New London site. Kathleen Mitchell opened so many doors for me while I was in New London, CT; I am forever grateful. Thanks are due to Susette Kelo and her husband, Timmy LeBlanc, as well as Doug Schwartz, for sharing their story with me. Amy Visciglia and her husband, Steve Hallquist, provided me with so much information that I think my head is still spinning! It really does take a village, or a department, to graduate a doctoral student. Many thanks to all of the professors at the Center for Public Administration and Policy. Your support is greatly appreciated for challenging my ways of thinking, providing feedback on my research, and helping me develop a well-rounded perspective on public administration. Minnis Ridenour has been incredibly supportive of me during my tenure as a graduate assistant in his office. He has tirelessly worked with me to become a better teacher and has given me such latitude in developing my teaching. I am thankful to have him as a mentor in the classroom. Three former professors from Rutgers have continued to play a significant role in my academic endeavors: Dr. Jim Garnett, Dr. Rich Harris, and Dr. Christine Brenner. I am truly grateful for your constant support and guidance. Also from Rutgers is John Hart, who taught me many things about professionalism. Though I constantly mocked your “Boss - isms” while we worked together, I now understand how valuable they are. Each one teach one, Boss.
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