6.6 Town Meeting — First Lands…

I said, “We turn now to Article Six, the issue of land, property, maybe even property rights although perhaps that is best left until another day.

“It is beyond the scope of this article and meeting to address some millions of square miles of land around the planet so why don’t we just put our collective heads together and figure out how to divvy-up and claim property here in the City of Liberty. For that matter, what would be the size of Liberty.

“‘It’s growing,’ you say, ‘To whatever size it will be.’”

“Fair enough but let’s say that some colonists don’t want to reside within City limits. Where would that be? Do we set aside now, before we become a metropolis in a generation or two, conservation lands or parks within the city limits?

“Now, I also believe it prudent that some of the land here be designated as Town Property and reserved for future uses by the City. I’d further suggest that in our very immediate area, where the tents are, the Parker’s smaller eatery tent, the landing field, bio lab, and this here Town Hall (or Community Center) and, alas, our cemetary, be designated the town commons or a down town if you prefer, and be reserved either as a, shall we say, business district.”

I paused for a moment and then continued, “Claims for land for homesteads or other private uses should probably be outside of such a designated area although obviously the spot where Hanna’s is might be considered ‘private’ property.

“I simply throw these things out for your consideration. Certainly all of us here are entitled to a chunk of free property! What about the roads that will serve us? Easements? Again, no need to nail everything down now but these are things that need to be taken into account at some point.”

I looked at my notes, decided to cut my little speech short and said, “So, I open up the floor and . . . Yes, Mr. Reye, you are again the first with his hand up so . . . Please go ahead…”

9 Responses to “6.6 Town Meeting — First Lands…”

  1. Lester Reye Says:

    Thanks to the wonderful maps provided by the crew of the Mayflower we have a ready source of surveyed land. Each grid square on these fine maps is about four hundred foot on a side. That is a bit less than four square acres. I propose we use that size, four hundred foot on a side, as our basic unit of land measurement and call it a Grid.

    I hereby propose this as an initial start for distributing and recognition of land ownership.

    1. The Larger of the two maps we currently have at our disposal contains roughly 650 grids of which 500 grids are land area. The colony should take a like amount of land above what is presently marked and call that the Liberty Township.

    2. All of this land will be within easy walking distance of our Community Building. And total close to ten square miles. Within this area the township shall initially in common own all of the land. With the following exception.

    3. Each voting citizen of Liberty Township shall be entitled to choose 2 grids for a personal homestead. And there shall be no charge or monies owing for the ownership rights to these two grids.

    4. After the initial selection period all choices will be registered by the township. In the event that any grid is selected by two or more colonists they may discuss amongst themselves an equitable resolution and if one is not forthcoming ownership shall be determined by a random drawing. And new grids would then be selected by the losers of said drawing. However they may only choose from land not already awarded in uncontested selections.

    5. Each person aboard the Mayflower shall be entitled to chose one grid within the township for use as he or she sees fit. Their selection shall take place immediately after the Liberty faction has made their choices. In case of duplicate selections Article 4 applies.

    6. Liberty Township shall have authority over all unclaimed land in the township and be authorized to hold, improve, lease or sell such land at the direction of the appropriate governmental agency as directed by the citizenry.

    7. All non voting First Landers i.e. children shall on reaching the age of majority, also be entitled to select 2 grids within the township area under the same terms as presently apply provided such lands have not been previously encumbered by governmental authority.

    8. Those born or added to the citizenry by any means at a future date, will be covered by whatever rules are in place at that time to accommodate their inclusion.

    9. These initial grid selections will be known as a Freehold. Such freeholds shall not be subject to tax nor conversion by any agent of the state so long as the owner of said freehold remains a citizen under the nominal jurisdiction of the Liberty Government in what ever form that government may eventually assume.

    10. All lands outside of the Townsip proper and within a certain distance to be determined in a fashion as directed by the citizenry shall be subject to dispersal and homesteading rules which shall be set as directed and then voted upon by the afore mentioned citizenry.

  2. Jaisa Benjamin Says:

    Mr. Reye, I’m shocked. Shocked! We actually agree on something. That plan sounds like a damn good one. We certainly don’t need to figure all the details out now - that can be left up to the council. I do like Histy’s idea of reserving the downtown though - just seems like a good one.

  3. Captain Travis Says:

    Not that I have a real say but the Galileo has already burned an area into the ground at the landing site, why not make that the permanent space port — God I love the sound of that, Liberty Space Port –  here in town since there will be many more landings as well as your own fleet of ships and shuttles.  And with a welcoming restaurant such as Hanna’s Cafe near by…  Heaven!

  4. Jack the Blade Says:

    This proposal of Reye’s like every other proposal you will hear giving and then limiting power to government is a sham! Sure he says the 2 grids are yours free and clear. But he doesn’t mention how when the government wants it back it will be zoned so you cant can’t build on it. Or how what you have already built will be determined to be unsafe or out of character with community standards.

    He says you won’t be taxed on those two grids but fails to mention the fees and the permits which will need to be renewed every year.

    And the oh so clever wording about it being a Freehold and yours so long as you maintain citizenship under the jurisdiction of the government. What he meant was a Feehold and under the thumb of the government. Just see how long it will take before he starts fixing rules about what it takes to become and maintain status as a citizen.

    All of the local area should be awarded in equal sections by random drawing and everyone be free to trade amongst themselves for a different piece if they aren’t satisfied.

    If you want a park, build a park and charge admittance. Don’t try to make me pay for it. You want a road, buy the right of way from the properties owners and build it. Charge tolls. Don’t try to make me pay for it. And already Hanna Parker is receiving favors. Mark my words it will get worse.

    I will vote no on any proposal after the original division giving the government control of or responsibility for land rights and usage.

  5. Andrew Stuart Says:

    Well Jack,

    Like I said earlier, in L. Neil Smith’s dream world maybe!

    For once I find myself in agreement with Reye, I like his plan!

  6. Frank Turner Says:

    Well I guess we all know where you stand Jack. For now what say we set the corners of the town center at [S1]-[W1]-[S4]-[W4] and give Liberty Township [Y-12]-[dd -12]-[Y-14]-[dd-14] except for the point on the other side of the river at [dd-13] which will insure access to the sea and a port area. We can all choose our grids from what is left and then vote on a land use plan for what remains. I think it’s an issue to deal with after we have had time to study the maps.

  7. Connor Benjamin Says:

    I think that draws it up pretty well Frank, although I think the town center should be extended north to [S0]-[W0], to add a little room just north of this meeting hall. Other than that I’m on board.

  8. Andrew Stuart Says:

    I think Frank is right, sounds good in principle. And no way we can make decisions till we study the maps and walk the ground!

    Sounds like a done deal to me!

  9. The Historian Says:

    Well then, if there’s nobody else that wishes to speak, I’ll close the issue and we’ll move on to what I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for — Dinner! Just kidding, folks. I guess we’ve reached that stage in things…

Colony: Alchibah is a science fiction blog novel.
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