Saturday, February 10, 2007

More Legislation Introduced

There have been three more Bills introduced to the House since my last update.
  • *HB 104 Dollar, Boylan and Brown (Primary Sponsors) - ANNEXATION REFERENDUM.

  • *HB 87 Thomas and Goforth (Primary Sponsors) Blackwood, Blust, Boylan, Faison, Pate, Starnes, and Walend- ANNEXATION REFERENDUM.

  • HB 86 Thomas and Goforth (Primary Sponsors) Walend - BUNCOMBE ANNEXATION REFERENDUM.

Newly elected Representatives Charles Thomas and Joe Boylan have hit the ground running on introducing Bills to reform the forced annexation laws of NC and Rep. Larry Brown has been a real champion of this issue this year.

On behalf of all of the citizens of NC who are strongly opposed to this undemocratic and highly abused practice, _THANK YOU!

On the Senate side, there have been no Bills introduced yet, but they are coming, I've been assured. And there will be more Bills from our Representatives in the House.

In this last year, there have been a growing number of County Commissioners who are making their voice and opinion heard regarding the involuntary annexation laws. Resolutions have been passed calling for moratoriums and studies of involuntary annexation.
These County Commissioners are acting independently of the NCACC and taking a stand against the practice on behalf of their REAL consituents, the County residents.

Encourage your County Commissioners to adopt Resolutions like this and ask them to speak to the State Legislators about reforming the law.

There is a deadline for filing Bills sometime in the beginning of March.

Now is the time for YOU, as a citizen, to call, write and phone your legislators (and County Commissioners) and ask for reform of forced annexation.
Your help and encouragement is needed to get these Bills out of Committee and considered on the floor of the Assembly.
Contact information can be easily found on the homepage of the StopNCAnnexation website.

I will be watching the House and Senate calendar and posting updates on any new Bills that are introduced.
Keep checking back here because there are more Bills to come.

Cathy Heath

Monday, February 05, 2007

Annexation Legislation Update

IT'S TIME to ACT - Writing, Calling, and Visiting Our Legislators!!!

'Storm the Gates' with calls, personal visits, and letters calling for Annexation Reform!

The 2007 session of the General Assembly opened on January 24th and this past week some Bills have been introduced that attempt to reform the laws on forced annexation.

Three Bills have been introduced and I will give a brief explanation about what the Bill's are asking for and what they would accomplish.

HB32-Suspend Involuntary Annexation

This Bill would freeze any Forced Annexations that are still in process by a Municipality.
It also sets up a Blue Ribbon Committee to once again, study the Involuntary Annexation Laws. This Committee is appointed by the leaders of the House and the Senate and the Committee members are all legislators.

Last year's Study Bill introduced by Nelson Dollar put non-legislative people who oppose forced annexation at the table as participants in the discussion. With this Bill, there is no guarantee that ANYONE on the Committee is opposed to forced annexation or could knowledgably argue against it.

HB56-Annexation Service

This Bill would protect any property owners who have Water & Sewer services that are supplied by a City, County, or Sanitary District Authority, and Fire & Safety services contracted under a HOA, from being forcibly annexed.
It does not protect property owners who are currently using their own private water and waste treatment, or community service, and that is a lot of people.
Planned Communities and Homeowner Association neighborhoods that are currently served by government supplied Water & Sewer become exempt from ever being annexed, but this Bill leaves many individual property owners who have private systems still at risk!
While the passage of the Bill would be helpful to many people, it falls far short of equal protection for all property owners and does not restore to all NC property owners the right to decide whether to become part of a city or not.

HB60-Moore Annexation Referendum

This Bill is a Local Bill that restores the right to decide and gives voting rights on annexation to the property owners in Moore Co.
There are other areas around NC that, in the past, have successfully gotten local legislation passed to provide the right to vote on annexation. We sincerely hope for better success for them than the property owners living around Kernersville had in 2004 in getting this legislation passed.

Needless to say, SNCA and it's supporters are still asking (should I say DEMANDING!) and waiting for legislation that would provide this same right to decide to EVERYONE equally across the State of North Carolina.

With every hurdle, and every special interest, that tries to stand in the way of getting good reform legislation passed, it is CRITICAL that the General Assembly hear from the thousands of citizens that want (or DEMAND) that their unalienable right to have a vote on annexation be restored _ to EVERY CITIZEN OF NC.

We've been updating the website with tools and information to help you to reach the legislators with an effective argument against forced annexation.
Please check it out:

You might also want to read what the League is saying about the Bills.


This is what the NCLM is saying about the 2007 Bills:

Anti-annexation bills introduced

Rep. Larry Brown of Forsyth County has introduced HB 32 – Suspend Involuntary Annexations to prohibit cities and towns from beginning or continuing any city-initiated annexations until a legislative study commission submits a report to the 2009 General Assembly. The commission would study whether current statutes provide adequate protection to property owners.

HB 56 – Annexation Service (Reps. Larry Brown, Joe Boylan and Bill Faison) would prohibit city-initiated annexation of any area that already receives substantial urban services, defined as water and sewer provided by a municipality, county, sanitary district, water and sewer authority or other unit of government; and fire and police protection and road maintenance provided by an association with a governing board elected by its membership (services can be provided directly by the association or by contract).

HB 60 – Moore Annexation Referendum (Rep. Joe Boylan) making annexations in Moore County subject to a referendum upon petition of 10 percent of the voters in the proposed annexation area.

The League opposes all of these bills, although we do not oppose additional study of the issue.


Another item on the League of Municipalities Legislative Agenda is their goal to remove the County Commissioners, once and for all, from having any say over whether cities can expand their enforcement of ordinances beyond their city limits by extending Extra Territorial Jurisdiction over unincorporated property owners up to three miles outside of the city boundaries.

The County Commissioners are the last representative voice for the people living outside of, but near, a city. The Cities, through the League, want to take your voice and vote away from you, yet again. Write, call, and visit YOUR County Commissioners and let them know that the Cities and the NCLM are trying to do this. Some of them don't even know about this. They need to hear from you about it.

It is highly doubtful that the NC Association of County Commissioners will take a stand against the League of Municipalities on the ETJ issue. They are probably bartering with the League for support on the Medicaid issue.

Encourage your County Commissioners to oppose any legislation that would give the cities this expansion of unchecked power by speaking to them directly.
Encourage them to also pass Resolutions against Forced Annexation similar to those passed by Buncombe Co, Forsyth Co, Wayne Co, Hoke Co, and Moore Co.

Ask the County Commissioners that pass resolutions to take those resolutions to their local State Legislators, asking the Legislators to support reform of annexation and get Bills that are introduced PASSED INTO LAW.

We will be watching the General Assembly all Session and reporting to you on Bills introduced and any action taken on Annexation Bills. We will continue to encourage you to be the best lobbyists that any issue can have, the voting citizens speaking out.

Remember also that the League of Municipalities is holding their annual Town Hall Day on May 9th this year.
SNCA will be coordinating another Citizen Rally in Raleigh to counter this lobbying effort by the League of Municipalities. Please add this to your calendar and make plans to attend. Spread the word and encourage others to attend.

In 2005, the League had 400 attend the Town Hall Day.
STOPNCANNEXATION had 100 people come to the Rally in Raleigh and successfully got the attention of the Legislators and the media.

In 2006, the League pushed hard to increase their attendance and had 600 attend.
The STOPNCANNEXATION Rally brought around 100 people to Raleigh and once again had a successful presence and impact on the legislators.

This year is a critical year to get the message to the Legislators that we are seriously demanding reform of annexation and want our right to a vote on annexation restored.
The Legislators need to see a huge crowd of people at their doorstep in Raleigh this year.
Let's all commit to MAKING SOME NOISE in Raleigh this year!!

Thank you,

C Heath _