Friday, February 29, 2008

Update on Annexation Committee Meetings

ALERT: Public Hearings before the House Select Committee on Municipal Annexation are currently scheduled as follows:

March 19, in Ferguson Hall at AB Tech in Asheville, NC. The hearing will begin at 5:00 p.m.
If you live in the Buncombe County area and plan to speak out or attend, please contact Ann Jordan or Rosa Kelley

April 9th in the Legislative Building Auditorium

I hope that most of you have viewed the videos of the City Advocates giving their presentations to the Select Committee. If you need any incentive to write to the Legislators and express your position on reforming forced annexation, hearing the Director of the League of Municipalities "draw the line in the sand" as to what they will allow or not allow the GA to change should do it for you.

You can also view the Charlotte City attorney make his case at this link:
Charlotte Attorney address to NC House Select Committe on Municipal Annexation

Charlotte has been forcibly annexing regularly for so many years that there isn't much left of unincorporated Mecklenburg County. Because of this, and in spite of the City Attorney's intent to defend forced annexation, he actually helps to prove that one of the key arguments FOR forced annexation that the advocates repeat over and over is the load of hot air that it is.

He admits that the City of Charlotte will soon have nowhere left to go to continue to expand geographically. He then assures the Legislators that Charlotte will continue to be fine and dandy because they will focus on internal growth instead. The bottom line is that he admits that cities don't NEED to expand outward taking in more taxpayers by force in order to stay fiscally healthy.

In his "Ain't Charlotte Wonderful" speech, he admits that Charlotte has initiated 30 forced annexations since 1993 with no challenges to any of them. When he later admits that Charlotte has a stable of 60 lawyers at their disposal, it is little wonder that no victim has challenged any of them.

60 LAWYERS???!!! To pit the citizens of North Carolina against this army of taxpayer funded lawyers is outrageous! Should city revenue be spent on litigation aimed at defeating the will and the natural rights of North Carolina citizens?

The cities have declared war on the citizens around them across North Carolina in an attempt to wear them down and defeat them in Raleigh at the General Assembly.
From North to South and West to East, cities all over NC are initiating forced annexations.
Active battles against the citizens are underway in Wilmington, Pinehurst, Goldsboro, Lexington, Salisbury, Tryon, Rocky Mount, Asheville, to name some with many others recently undertaken around the State.

As the House Legislators study needed reform of annexation, they should be paying particular attention to uncovering the truth or the lie to the claims of the municipal advocates, and looking for ways to give the citizens some avenue of standing that will hold the municipalities accountable to SOMEONE in regard to this power to usurp the approbation of landowners in the decision to become part of a municipal incorporation.

In the Committee report to the Legislature submitted in May as the session starts, Number 1 on the list of recommendations should be an immediate moratorium on forced annexations, included those that are currently being challenged or incomplete.

Please plan to attend the Public Hearings.

The next scheduled meeting of the Study Committee is a closed session at the end of April to formulate the recommendations to the Legislature.
It looks like the Public Hearings are going to be the last opportunity for any input to the recommendations the committee comes up with.

Friday, February 15, 2008

City Lobbyist dictating to NC legislators!!

Here it is folks!

Ellis Hankins, Director of the taxpayer funded lobbying group for the NC Municipal governments telling the House Study Committee on Municipal Annexation what they WILL and will NOT allow or accept in changes to the NC forced annexation laws.

Before you watch this display of unhinged arrogance, do whatever you do to lower your blood pressure because it will go up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Update on Annexation Committee Meetings

Today was the second meeting of the Study Committee. It was quite interesting and a review will be coming soon. The following is a recap of the January 30th meeting.

You can view the entire January 30th meeting by going to the StopNCAnnexation website. There are also video files of citizens who made comments to the committee after the meeting.

The number of citizens who attended this committee meeting was close to 60 or better. There were representatives from the coast to the mountains at the meeting. Not just current victims, but plenty of victims from past annexations. The annexation warriors from Wilmington came and spoke to the committee. Cumberland Co and Forsyth Co. victims also attended.
These past annexation stories are important to this discussion as much as the current battles.

This first meeting had one presentation by Prof. David Lawrence of the UNC School of Government. He basically explained NC Annexation law "from the book"....the books that he wrote. Nothing really new or surprising to battle scarred veterans of fighting off a nearby municipality. But necessary, as we can't assume that all of the legislators on the committee know quite as much about the annexation laws as they need to for this study.

What made it interesting was the opportunity for committee members to ask Prof. Lawrence questions. With the committee having a larger number of reform minded legislators who have heard your annexation stories (and a 'non-legislator' citizen) than any past study has had, the questions were slightly more challenging for Lawrence. Doug Aitken asked some excellent questions and made some very good points that had Prof. Lawrence admitting to some of the pesky problems with the law that frustrate citizens.
Things like having little standing to challenge the actions of cities and not much better avenues of recourse after the deed is done. The fact that there is "no one minding the store" regarding the annexations that cities initiate was made loud and clear.

The legislators on the committee seem to be genuinely concerned about the misdeeds and shortcomings occuring with the "most liberal annexation laws in the nation".

If you have been a victim of forced annexation and have a horror story to share, do write to your legislator and to all the legislators on the Study Committee.
The committee email contact info is below on a previous post.

Today's meeting had many more presenters, including Mr Ellis Hankins, chief lobbyist for the cities. The video of his presentation will be posted to the SNCA website as soon as I get it. This is a "must see" presentation, but prepare to have your blood pressure rise a bit.

More on the February 13th meeting in the next blog post.
Stay tuned, and start thinking about coming to Raleigh for the upcoming Public Hearing scheduled for April 9th, and on June 4th for the biggest Rally in Raleigh yet!


Monday, February 11, 2008

Annexation Study Committee

Next Study Committee Meeting:
February 13th,
1:00 pm
Legislative Office Building
Room 643
Please try to attend.
Write or call your representative and the committee legislators about reforming annexation.
(See contact info below)
Thank you!