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Arts Center, Government, and Private Property

Written By: Travis Buhler  |  Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

A committee made up of people from government, for-profit, and not-for-profit organizations was set up five years ago to improve citizen activities in the city of Eau Claire.  Clear Vision Eau Claire is the name of the group and its goal is "to help our community reach a common goal and purpose".

Today (May 15th) Clear Vision will reveal more particularly what that common goal and purpose includes.  They will announce "a public-private partnership that intends to construct a transformative urban project that includes a new community arts center, university student housing and commercial retail complex in downtown Eau Claire."

This is only part of their plan to reach the "common goal and purpose," and is based on interviews with hundreds of residents and visitors in Eau Claire.

Some questions should be asked on this.  What do they mean by "common goal and purpose"?  Should Eau Claire have a common goal and purpose?  Who determines our common goal and purpose?  And when this common goal and purpose is determined, how will it be implemented?  What if a number of residents disagree with this common goal and purpose?  What if someone wants to do something that runs contrary to the common goal and purpose of Eau Claire?

Here are some practical examples.  Already, tax dollars have been used to fund this organization.  There will likely be grants and loans and subsidies given by the tax payers of Eau Claire to help fund future projects.  That means that people who either disagree with Clear Vision or who couldn't care less about a common goal and purpose are helping to pay for this.  It is impossible to get everyone on board for this.  Why force them to help pay for it.

Where will this arts center be located?  Will they force or compel a private property owner to sell his property so that it or any future project can be built?  This is happening more often these days.  What if the property owner doesn't want to go along with the common goal and purpose?

Will any of these common goals and purposes put others out of business?  What if a private developer is planning to build a student housing unit or a commercial retail complex without using taxpayer's money?  Now he will have to compete against the likely cheaper common goal and purpose.  What about other facilities that can host community art projects?  Will they lose customers to this?

I am not against a group of investors building an arts center.  I am against the use of government force to help make it happen.

-In other words, if a group of people have an idea for how Eau Claire should be, they could either try it out themselves and see if the hand of providence allows it, or they can use the government to form a committee and rally the people behind the implementing of this wonderful idea - by using force.  Man comes up with the idea and government makes it happen.

For the government in Eau Claire to use its money and power to help Clear Vision Eau Claire build an arts center, apartment complex, and retail center is the government going beyond its God-given authority.  God instituted the idea of private property so that these ideas can be fulfilled - not by government - but by the property owners themselves.

 - Travis Buhler, Editor

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