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

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