Eminent Domain - May Voter

Panelists to discuss eminent domain at forum

By ELAINE TALARSKI

A forum on eminent domain, featuring a discussion among four panelists with expertise in different aspects of this important subject, will be held June 4, organized by the League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area.

The forum, “Eminent Domain: What’s It All About?” which is free and open to the public, will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the San Antonio Central Library, which also offers free parking.

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Gonzalez will moderate the panel discussion. The panelists include:

  • Cassie Gresham, principal, attorney and counselor with Braun and Gresham, who will address legal aspects related to eminent domain;
  • Britin Bostick, principal, Stewardship Strategies, who will address environmental impact;
  • Marissa Patton, associate legislative director, government affairs, with the Texas Farm Bureau, who will address eminent domain legislative issues of the Farm Bureau;
  • A fourth panelist, yet to be named, who will address municipal issues.

Gresham has practiced law with Braun and Gresham since 2004. She has dedicated her law practice to protecting the rights of property owners. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Missippi and a Juris Doctor Degree from University of Texas. Her past experience includes being instrumental in bringing about the historic Dahlstrom Ranch conservation easement, a rare collaboration between a private landowner, a county federal agency, and a city to protect drinking water and create public open space.

 

Bostick, based in Austin,  is principal of Stewardship Strategies, a consulting firm that consults in areas of design, planning historic preservation, economic development and conservation.

She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Design from Texas A&M, and a Master of Science Degree in Community and Regional Planning and a Master’s in Public Affairs from University of Texas in Austin. Prior to her current position, she worked on architecture and construction projects for several years.

Patton, a graduate of Texas Tech University, works in the Texas Farm Bureau legislative office in Austin, where she advocates on behalf of its membership on issues related to eminent domain, agricultural commodities, wildlife affairs and land use. Past experience includes working with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Sen. John Cornyn. After returning to Texas she was hired by the Texas Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association as a government affairs director in Austin. During the 2013 legislative session she helped to lobby against legislation weakening common carrier pipeline laws. In her present position she has experience with eminent domain issues and the condemnation process. She continues to play a large role in efforts to improve eminent domain laws on behalf of Texas property owners.

Moderator Gonzalez is currently of counsel with Ogletree Deakins law firm. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Government from the University of Texas in Austin  and a Juris Doctor degree from St Mary’s University School of Law,. He served in the U.S House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013.  Prior to his election to Congress he was in private practice and was elected as a county court judge and state district judge.