Saturday, June 14, 2008

Moratorium Update

The House Finance Committee has voted the moratorium Bill through and it moves to the House Judiciary. Watching the Finance Committee was interesting to say the least.
In the gallery, the citizens of NC were well represented by people from many areas across NC.

Doug Aitken, Ron Van Hoover, and Tony Tetterton spoke decisively on behalf of reform.

The NCLM was there with the presence of Andrew Romanet and a gaggle of city planners he claimed to be speaking for.

Also there for the cities was Beau Mills of the Metropolitan Coaltion, another branch of the City Lobbyists. They sure look a bit too comfortable as they move among the legislators, but Andy Romanet actually tried to sound humble when he went to the podium to speak. Someone must of told him to tone down the arrogance. He even tried to be funny by feigning ignorance. He claimed that he didn't know the definition of "minion", a noun that was used by supporters of reform to describe him.

Rep McComas comments about the use of forced annexation being a vicious circle of abuse were great and they reflected an informed honesty about how cities are using forced annexation. Most of the legislators who spoke in favor of the moratorium were refreshingly knowledgable about the reality of how forced annexation has serious problems.

The bottom line regarding what's wrong with forced annexation was best expressed by Rep Faison when he said that forced annexation was "...taxation without representation" and that it was a "taking".

Rep Stam should be thanked for proposing a roll call vote on the Bill. The minority on the Committee tried to block that but were unsuccessful. The vote was 25 to 4 in favor of the moratorium. So the Bill moves to the House Judiciary Committee. In regard to that, I came across this interesting blog on the E-Lee Dispatch:

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Love Has Key Hand in Annexation Bill
Bill Lands In His Committee

The issue of a moratorium on forced annexation (see prior post on issue) has cleared the Senate and gone to the House Judiciary Committee, where Jimmy Love (D-Lee) is vice chair. Representative Love is scheduled to chair the next meeting of the House Judiciary Committee.

He has indicated his support for the bill as long as it applies only to forced annexation and expects the bill to clear the committee with little difficulty. Representative Love said that sponsors of the bill have indicated to him that they have the votes on the House floor to pass the legislation.
Posted by L. Keith Clark at 1:09 PM

So the focus needs to be on the Senate. There is a lot of individual support in the Senate, but the Senate leadership is clearly in no mood to cooperate on the move toward annexation reform.
Senator Basnight, Senator Rand, Senator Holliman, and Senator Soles all need to hear from a lot of people.
R.C. Soles continues to treat badly those people he helped the Mayor of Bolton forcibly annex without their knowledge.

It might be time to have a letter campaign to the Senators. Not email, but an actual letter delivered by the post office. Emails get lost in the hundreds that arrive in the inboxes and are easy to ignore. Stacks of letters being delivered are not that easy to overlook.

Senator Brock and Senator Berger deserve our clear support for their vocal, public and eloquent support for reform of forced annexation. All the other Senators who support reform NEED our support.

Here's a list of the Senate Majority Leadership:

President: Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue
President Pro Tempore: Senator Marc Basnight
Deputy President Pro Tempore: Senator Charlie Smith Dannelly
Permanent Democratic Caucus Chairman: Senator R. C. Soles, Jr.
Majority Leader: Senator Tony Rand
Majority Whip: Senator Katie G. Dorsett
Democratic Caucus Secretary: Senator Charles W. Albertson

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