Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Another Pro-reform Event for Rowan County Area

Here is an opportunity for Rown County area citizens to gather for a public show of support for annexation reform.

"A group of very disgruntled and unhappy Rowan County citizens are staging a group demonstration on the square of Salisbury, NC on Thursday, March 27, 2008 from noon til 1 pm.

Media have been invited to include WBTV, WRDX, WSTP, and the local Salisbury Post newspaper.

Additional demonstrations are scheduled for Saturday, March 29, and each Saturday in April same time and place."

If you live anywhere near this event, and want the laws changed, attending events like this in significant numbers is important. It's worth the sacrifice for the cause of reform.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Press Conference in Wilmington, Call for Moratorium!

To All in the Wilmington Area!

On Friday, March 28th, at 12:30 pm, Dallas Woodhouse from Americans For Prosperity will be holding a Press Conference on the steps of the Wilmington City Hall. I will be there as well representing everyone battling forced annexation across the State as StopNCAnnexation.
The purpose of the Press Conference is to make a public call for an immediate moratorium on forced annexations across NC.

While the House Legislative Study Committee on Municipal Annexation is studying the current laws and looking at making recommendations for changes to the law. A moratorium until they have made the necessary changes is only logical.

Join the Press Conference if you can and come wearing red to distinguish yourself as a supporter of a moratorium.

On the other side of the State, things are heating up in Rowan County. Cities in Rowan are on an annexation rampage. Rockwell has recently joined Lexington and Salisbury in initiating a forced annexation. Rowan County Commissioners are fightng back for the citizens and local legislators are supporting a moratorium on annexations.Read the latest news on the StopNCAnnexation website.

I hope to see lots of the coastal areas citizens for reform in Wilmington on Friday!

Cathy Heath

"If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously, we shall attain our object; but if we break into squads, everyone pursuing the path he thinks most direct, we become an easy conquest to those who can now barely hold us in check."-- Thomas Jefferson (letter to William Duane, 1811)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Annexation Study Committee Public Hearings

Here are important details about upcoming Public Hearings and events for everyone in NC who want to see the Annexation Laws reformed.

The Public Hearing before the Municipal Annexation Study Committee that is planned for this Tuesday:

March 18th

5:00 pm

A. B. Technical Institute in Ferguson Auditorium
Buncombe County

URL for directions to AB Tech :

Public Hearing before the Municipal Annexation Study Committee in Raleigh:

April 9th, (Wednesday)

5:00 pm

Legislative Office Building
Corner of Lane and Salisbury - Raleigh, NC

URL for directions to Legislative Buildings and parking:

Rules for House Select Committee on Municipal AnnexationPublic Hearing

  • All speakers must sign up on the "Speaker Sheets" before the public hearing. Two sign up sheets will be available, one "pro" and one "con" concerning the state's annexation laws.

  • Registration for speaking will begin at 4:00 p.m., one hour prior to the convening of the hearing at 5:00 p.m., and continue until 6:00 p.m.

  • Speakers will be chosen alternately from each list, in the order of registration.

  • If a speaker is not present when called, the speaker will be skipped at that time. Time permitting at the end of all registered speakers, those skipped will be allowed to speak.

  • Speakers are asked to limit their comments to 3 minutes. Time will be kept by the Sergeant-at-arms.

  • Speakers are asked to provide a written copy of their comments, if possible, and any additional material they may want to add to the Committee record, to the Committee clerk

  • Speakers are cautioned to direct their comments to the issue of the State's annexation laws. Decency of speech shall be observed by all speakers, and disrespect of personalities avoided.

  • The Presiding Chair, at the Chair's discretion, may change these guidelines if conditions warrant a change."

The Municipal Annexation Study Committee plans to meet for the last time on April 23rd at 10:00 a.m. in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building. It is at this meeting that the committee plans to draft their recommendations for changes to the Annexation Laws.

The Short Session of the General Assembly is scheduled to begin on May 13, 2008 12:00PM.

Controversial Bills are not permitted to be considered during the short sessions. This would rule out consideration of most Bills that would block or limit municipal annexation, as we all know this is considered "controversial".

I'll bet anything that the record would show that this rule has not stopped the municipal lobbyists from expanding the power to annex during the short sessions. Bills that expand the 10% limit or the three mile limit on satellite annexations are not questioned.

Local Bills that would limit city annexation power would have to be agreed upon by all the affected area lawmakers in order to even have a chance of consideration.
How likely will that be?

Perhaps this session the House will discuss the recommendations of the Committee since they approved the study itself. We shall see.

The Senate would not and did not approve of any study of annexation, so they are not likely to entertain any debate over changing the law.

People for reform of annexation are going to have to commit to hanging in on this battle for more than a year into the future. That is what it is going to take. Win or lose your local battle.

The opposition to annexation reform is counting on us to wear down, drop out, and go away.
They get paid every year to outlast and outgun any opposition to municipal annexation power. The City Attorney for Charlotte bragged about having a stable of 60 lawyers ready to attack any opposition to forced annexation. Our tax dollars at work. Yes...even OUR tax dollars.

The cities are first in line with their hand out to suck in any and every State and Federal funding that they can get their hands on to finance their existence. We pay those taxes that fund these grants and loans.

It truly IS never enough for the cities. In bad economic times the average citizen has to suck it up and make do on less, but heaven forbid the cities would do the same!
They don't want to hear that, so they are going after more property owners to bankroll their spending. The cities expect to be kept in the manner in which they are accustomed.

Remember THIS DATE: JUNE 4th

This is the date for the North Carolina League of Municipalities
"Town Hall Day"

Plan to come to Raleigh for the day to make sure that the City lobbyists do not have the spotlight with the General Assembly on that day.
Be there to turn the Legislators attention toward the citizens who are expecting them to reform the annexation laws and give the people back their right to choose whether they are city residents or not.

More information on the 4th Annual Rally in Raleigh will be posted as the day gets closer.

Thanks for staying with this effort for reform.

C Heath

Monday, March 10, 2008

Public Hearings on NC Annexation Law

The House Select Committee on Municipal Annexation will be hearing comments from the public at two scheduled Public Hearings.

If you believe that forced annexation is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG _ then try as hard as you can to attend at least one of these hearings. Attend BOTH if you can.

The Municipal League and their advocates have pretty much monopolized the presentations to the committee so far. You can be sure that the city lobbyists will try to crowd out the voice of the citizens at the Public Hearings too.
These Public Hearings need to be monopolized by the citizens!!

March 10, 2008



TO: Members of the House Select Committee on Municipal Annexation

FROM: Rep. Bruce Goforth – Co-Chair
Rep. Paul Luebke – Co-Chair

SUBJECT: Notice of March 19th Public Hearing

There will be a Public Hearing with the House Select Committee on Municipal Annexation:

DAY: Wednesday

TIME: 5:00 p.m.

DATE: March 19, 2008

LOCATION: Ferguson Auditorium – A. B. Technical Community College

FYI - A Public Hearing has also been scheduled for April 9th in Room 643 of the Legislation Office Building beginning at 5:00 p.m.

(The) final meeting is scheduled for April 23rd at 10:00 a.m. in Room 544 of the Legislative Office Building

A letter was mailed to city officials in at least the entire Rowan County area. It was probably mailed to city officials all over NC. (click the 'A letter' link to read the letter)

Supposedly, this letter is from the Mayor of Salisbury, asking for support against the rising chorus of voices opposed to the forced annexation that Salisbury is undertaking right now.

I doubt that the Mayor of Salisbury wrote this letter all by herself. How much shall we wager that "someone" at the NC League of Municipalities wrote this letter and the NCLM is organizing this campaign of support for the Salisbury forced annexation attempt??

DO read the letter. This is not the first time I have seen a communiciation from the League where they are sounding an alarm over the rising opposition to forced annexation.
But take note of the League's new "catch phrase"; "The North Carolina Way is Better".

After you read the letter, get even by showing up at both of the Public Hearings the Study Committee has scheduled. You don't even have to speak to the committee. Just be there and help show the legislators that opposition to forced annexation is BIG in NC.
Show them that the citizens, not the cities, decide what "the NC Way" is.

June 4th is the NC League of Municipalities "Town Hall Day". This is the day that they bring hundreds of city officials to the State Legislators with BBQ lunches in hand to lobby them for more power to take more money from, and more control over, citizens who chose NOT to be a part of a city.

Every year for the last several years, SNCA has organized a counter rally on this same day.
Last year, with the Fair Annexation Coalition, the turnout was the biggest ever with at least one hundred people showing up.

This year, with the Annexation Study Committee making recommendations for changes to the law, it is the year that every single opponent of forced annexation needs to be in Raleigh. No, it is not convenient, being a weekday, and being a midday event, but if you really think the people should be given a voice and vote on annexation, then this is the year to make that sacrifice and be in Raleigh.