Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Annexation Reform Bills

We have three new Bills filed in the House aimed at reforming the annexation laws. All are good, but one is especially important for the citizens looking for real reform.

House Bill 645 was filed yesterday by Rep.'s Dollar, Steen, Goforth and Brown. The list of Representatives adding their names as Co-sponsors is growing quickly. Yesterday the list included Blackwood and now has grown to include Blust, Cleveland, McComas, Starnes & Stewart.

This Bill has been referred to Rules so we need to push hard to get it moving out of that Committee. It will go to Judiciary II which is Chaired by Dan Blue.

Fire up those keyboards and phone lines and encourage YOUR Representative to endorse this Bill in the House. While you are at it, contact your Senator too, and ask them to support Senate Bill 494 submitted by Senator Larry Shaw of the Cumberland County area.

These Legislators cannot be thanked enough for submitting these Bills and signing on in support. These two Bills are the ones that actually address the three key points for reform that we are looking for:

  1. Meaningful oversight _ by the County Commissioners who are directly elected by ALL the citizens affected by municipal annexation, city and county.
  2. Meaningful services _ services that do not duplicate or replace existing adequate services, public or private. Water and sewer all the way to the curb automatic if need can be proven. Cities have to be the actual provider.
  3. Meaningful voice and recourse _ the County would be given the authority to call for a vote of the people affected if objections are raised. If an annexation is approved but ALL urban services are not in place at the end of three years, the annexation area can petition for de-annexation.

Rep. Larry Brown filed two Bills that also address the way cities qualify and provide services.Thanks again Representative Brown!

Will it be easy to get these Bills through both the House and the Senate?
Not likely, so get ready and make a commitment to speak up loudly to all of the Legislators about passing these Bills.

And mark your calendar for the Rally for Reform in Raleigh at the Halifax Mall between the Legislative Buildings downtown. May 6th from 10 to 4.

Groups from all over the State will be gathering at the Halifax Mall with time to walk the halls of the General Assembly and talk to Legislators or drop by their offices with messages about the Bills we want to see enacted into law.

There will also be speakers in the afternoon, a chance to meet and talk with people from all over the State who share this goal of changing the annexation laws.

Last, but certainly not least, is the clear message that we need to send to Legislators and especially the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

The "League" will be in town the same day for their yearly Town Hall Day bringing hundreds of municipal officials for the purpose of promoting the agenda of the Municipal League.
On the annexation issue you can be sure that the "League" will not be representing us even as they are using tax dollars to lobby against us.

Help make this Rally the success that it needs to be in this critical year for annexation reform. Help fill the halls and cover the Halifax Mall with a blanket of red attire by attending. This year we need to break all records for attendance so there is no mistaking the level of support across NC for an end to the abusive practice of forced annexation.

Go to the StopNCAnnexation website for details on the Bills to change annexation law and to find details about the May 6th Rally for Reform;

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