Friday, February 25, 2011

Annexation Moratorium Being Discussed This Week


The Senate Committee on Finance will meet at the following time:




March 1, 2011
1:00 PM
544 LOB

The following will be considered:




SB 27 
Involuntary Annexation Moratorium.
Senator Brock
Senator Newton
Senator Goolsby

Presentations by the Office of the State Treasurer

Senator Fletcher L. Hartsell, Jr., Co-Chair
Senator Bob Rucho, Co-Chair

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Committee Meetings This Week & a bit of News

Senate Bill 27 to be heard in Senate Finance Committee very likely on Wednesday but it has not been scheduled. 
Please check the Senate Calendar daily @

Senate Finance Committee meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays at 1:00 PM in 544 LOB LB

IF S27 is heard in the Finance Committee on Wednesday, it is very likely to be voted on by the Senate on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, The Kinston and Lexington Annexation Ordinance Repeal Bills will be on the agenda for the House Finance Committee.

February 24 - House Finance Committee - 8:30 am - Rm 544 - Legislative Office Building
300 N. Salisbury St. Raleigh NC

I will be heading to the Outer Banks early Monday morning to be with my daughter as she welcomes her first child into the world. I will be staying with her for most of the week so I will not be attending these Committee meetings. 

Please try to attend the meetings and send me an email about how the meetings went.
I'd appreciate it. 

Thanks for fighting this fight with me!

Catherine Heath

Friday, February 18, 2011

Update on Annexation Bills

 "POLITICAL CONNECTIONS" on News 14 - Tim Boyum interviews Berger and Tillis
Senator Pro Tem Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Tom Tillis will be interviewed on the show tonight with a replay on Sunday.
The State Budget and the Governor will likely be the main topic of the conversation, but it is also likely that the legislative efforts to stop forced annexations will be mentioned as well.

You might want to tune in and listen Friday night at 6pm and Sunday at 11am. Read more here:

What is the Status of the Annexation Moratorium Bills in the House and Senate?

Neither Bill is on the Legislative Calendar for this week as of yet.

The Senate Bill might show up on the Senate Finance calendar some time this week
This committee meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays at 1:00 PM in 544 LOB LB

S27 is NOT on the Tuesday agenda for Senate Finance at this time, but is expected to be heard this week.
The House Moratorium Bill is not showing up on any legislative calendar at this point in time.

It is being said that the Kinston, HB5, and Lexington, HB37, Annexation Repeal Bills will be discussed and voted on in House Finance on Thursday.
This is very likely, but the House calendar for Thursday's committee meetings has not been published. If the Bills are heard on Thursday of this week, here are the details:

February 24 - House Finance Committee - 8:30 am - Rm 544 - Legislative Office Building 300 N. Salisbury St. Raleigh NC

On the Senate Calendar for Tuesday is Senate Bill 80; "Lewisville Annexations". This is a Bill introduced to stop the Town of Lewisville from proceeding with their plans to annex the asphalt of some roads. The Town is petitioning itself to annex roadways only so they can "control the development" of the land that underlies and adjoins the roadways, although the land itself is not being annexed.

Yes, this move by the Town of Lewisville is as legally suspect as it sounds.
February 22
SB 80   Lewisville Annexations 

In the past, the Town of Wendell tried to annex a corridor of road to reach a community that would have put Wendell closer to the new 64 bypass, but the NC Courts ruled that an illegal "strip" annexation.
This was one of the very few legal challenges that I have seen succeed for the property owners opposing the forced annexation. Strip, or 'shoestring' annexations are already illegal, but they have been done.

The Town of Cary previously annexed a strip of Ten-Ten Rd. to contiguously connect the Town to a parcel that the Town owned where an extension of the Water & Sewer infrastructure was located. Cary was successful in implementing this strip annexation.

Please consider these Committee meetings very important to attend. Even if you can't attend them all, try to fit at least some of these meetings into your schedule so we have some people attending all of the meetings that come up. Check the StopNCAnnexation Blog for updates on Legislative Committee Meetings

Some of the County Commissioners are opposing the NC League of Municipalities attempt to convince the Legislature to remove the approval of the County in extensions of Extra Territorial Jurisdiction.
It is great to see the County Commissioners stand up against more over reaching for power by the city lobbyists. These Commissioners have our sincere thanks!

StopNCAnnexation has copies of "Fighting Annexation" by Grady Jeffreys available!
(Limited supply)

For a $25.00 or more donation to StopNCAnnexation you will receive a copy of this concise and excellent history of NC Annexation Laws and the battle to end the practice of forced annexation.
This book is an invaluable resource of information to help you when you speak with Legislators.

Send a check by US Mail payable to 'StopNCAnnexation' along with your mailing address and the book will be quickly mailed to you. Details here:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Senator Berger's Response to State of the State address

NOTE: Annexation Repeal Bills are NOT on the Finance Committee Calendar for Wednesday, 2/16

In the response to the Governor's State of the State address, Senator Berger included this firm and unequivocal statement;
"To help you protect your property rights, we will pass a moratorium on forced annexations."

Please take the time to thank Senator Berger for standing strong against forced annexation and making this statement a part of his response that the whole State heard.

Also contact Rep. Tom Tillis, Speaker of the House, and let him know that thousands of people across the State are waiting and anxious to see the House Moratorium Bill move forward soon.
In the Senate State and Local Government Committee meeting today @ 12 noon, the Senate Moratorium on Forced Annexation Bill, S27, was on the agenda for a vote.

The rows of seats for the public were full of citizens showing their support for the Bill by wearing red attire. Six or seven rows approximately. The very last row was filled by representatives from the NCLM and even Ellis Hankins showed up for the meeting, but he did not have any public comments for the committee.

Kent Dozier, a citizen who was forcibly annexed by Rocky Mount was the first person to speak to the Committee and he did an excellent job of explaining how he, as a property owner who is now paying taxes to Rocky Mount, received NOTHING from the Town that he needed or wanted or that improved his property or life. The only thing that was added to his life was an additional tax bill from Rocky Mount.
He told the Committee that when he asked the Mayor of Rocky Mount why he annexed his and the largely rural property around him, the Mayor flat out told him that it was for the money.
Kent's testimony was a wonderful thing to be present for.  Well done Kent! Thanks!

Tony Tetterton spoke next, and he refuted the comparisons that the city lobbyists have made about NC versus Virginia. After throwing out a lot of statistics and calling attention to a spreadsheet he put together that compares the way the 50 States "do annexation", he finished by bringing to the Senators attention a fact that the city lobbyists like to muddle with confusion regarding the extension of water and sewer to landowners outside of the city limits. Tony reminded them of a point with which I have many times refuted the "water & sewer excuse" to forcibly annex that has been made by the city bunch:
The water and sewer services that cities and towns provide are indeed separate from the property taxes the city charges and this utility is a separate enterprise business that is paid for with user fees.
If the city officials made a decision to extend the utility to additional customers outside of the city limits, then that is a business decision that the city made that has NOTHING to do with forced annexation or annexation AT ALL.
Good point made Tony. Thanks for bringing it to the Committee's attention.

At this point Senator Don East made a motion to approve the Bill. No one else came forward to speak on the bill. It seemed like the time was right to get on with the vote and end the discussion.
The Chair ended the Public Comments.

Before the vote was taken, Senator Hartsell raised his hand to be recognized. Hartsell was the first to once again bring up the request that the cities that are now proceeding with an annexation be exempted from the moratorium and be allowed to complete the forced annexation. Remember that people. Especially those of you who vote in Hartsell's District. He wanted to throw all the current victims under the bus for the sake of his loyalty to the League of Municipalities.

Senator Blake then asked to be recognized and he also supported the idea of exempting cities from the moratorium. He did begin his comments by stating that he supported the moratorium.

Then Senator Kinnard also took the opportunity to try to make the case for exempting cities from the moratorium.

Senator Brock's reply was perfect. He stated that the people who have been working to change the law and reign in the abuses (including himself) have been waiting 8 to 10 years for the League of Municipalities to come to the table and be reasonable to no avail. He explained that the Bill will be discussed further in the Senate Finance Committee where the Bill would go next AND that there would be ample opportunity to discuss the bill that would change the annexation laws when it came out.

The vote was then taken and was unanimously approved to be sent to the Senate Finance Committee.

The meeting was short and sweet for the citizens who came to support the Bill and well worth being a witness to. Thank you once again, Senator Brock! Send your thanks to
and the other committee members who supported the Bill.
All the Committee Members Contact info found here:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Annexation Related Bills in Committee This Week

Senate Bill 27 - Annexation Moratorium _ Andrew Brock, sponsor

In the Senate State & Local Finance Committee
Tuesday, February 15th
12:00 Noon
Room 1124
Legislative Building

House Bill 5 - Kinston Annexation Ordinance Repeal, Rep. Stephen LaRoque
House Bill 37 - Lexington Annexation Ordinance Repeal, Rep. Rayne Brown

Both Bills sent to House Finance.
House Finance Committee regular schedule:
Wednesday and Thursday
8:30 am
Room 544 in the Legislative Office Building.

These House Bills have not been officially scheduled on the published Calendar to be heard.

We have been told that these bills would be heard this week.

Check back here for notice when the Calendar has been officially published.  

The NC League of Municipalities has called on City Officials to implement their astroturf campaign to bring city residents to the General Assembly to speak to Legislators on Tuesday and Wednesday.

If you can be there on either day to bring encouragement to Legislators to put an end to forced annexation, it will be extremely helpful to the cause of getting to the legislation that will end forced annexation.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Forced Annexation Repeals - Government Committee

 CORRECTION: The MAYOR of Kinston, BJ Murphy did not speak at the meeting.
Mayor Murphy won his seat as the first Republican Mayor of Kinston in 100 yrs and he ran on a platform of being adamantly opposed to forced annexation.
It was the Mayor Pro Tem who spoke on behalf of the rest of the Kinston Council members.
Note to Mayor Murphy: Sincere apologies for making that error.

Two Bills to repeal the recent forced annexations by the cities of Kinston and Lexington were discussed and voted on in the House Government Committee of the Legislature.

There was great attendance by citizens belonging to communities fighting forced annexation. OLCAFA, Rowan Good Neighbors, CUAFA and others were there. Freedomworks representatives were also in attendance.
Big thanks to all for driving to Raleigh in spite of the snow and for the sacrifices you made to be there.

Rep. Larry Brown Chairs the House Government Committee.

House Bill 5 - Repeal Kinston Annexation
Introduced by Rep. Stephen LaRoque.

Rep LaRoque explained and defended the bill forcefully and eloquently today. He stood up for the people he represents who have no other voice to defend them on their behalf when it comes to forced annexation.
It was wonderful to be present and to hear a State Representative stand so strong for the people being harmed by forced annexation and against the arrogant entitlement attitude that the city officials and their lobbyists and Legislative advocates have come to have over the years.

The arrogance of the cities was apparent in the questions that their advocates asked and the statements that were made in opposition to the Bills.
Rep Alma Adams was more concerned about whether the Kinston City Council had approved the repeal than whether the citizens harmed by the forced annexation were being represented or were being helped by the repeal.

Rep. Leubke took the several opportunities he was given to address concerns about the Bill to remind the Committee that the Annexation Study Commission that he co-chaired had recommended House Bill 524 to "fix" the annexation laws. If you recall, H524 was the Annexation Study Committee Bill that included nearly ALL of the League of Municipalities recommendations, would have created MORE financial harm for the victims of forced annexation, and was soundly rejected by the citizens asking for an end to forced annexation.
Let it go Rep. Leubke, let it go. Stop trying to resurrect a very bad Bill that deserved to die.

The new talking point from the League of Municipalities (NCLM) appears to be to accuse the State Legislature of MEDDLING in the affairs of the city governments.
Do the city advocates really believe that the State Legislature has no right to regulate the affairs of the cities?
Have they forgotten that the NC Consitution defines cities as "creatures of the State" and it is not the other way around?

Several of the Representatives on the Committee who were clearly acting as mouthpieces for the City Lobbyists voiced concern that the State was meddling. This accusation was, in my opinion the most egregious example of the arrogance and out of control sense of self importance that has become far too commonplace from the city officials and their chief lobbying organization, the League of Municipalities.

The Mayor PRO-TEM of Kinston was allowed to address the Committee and he spent most of his time opposing the Bill as "meddling" on the part of the General Assembly. It takes one's breath away to hear this type of arrogance, but this is what the NCLM has accomplished over the last 50 years in the State of NC.

This type of arrogance from the NCLM lobbyists has always been on display over the years that I have been attending Committee meetings where property rights issues were being debated, but this new blatant display is incredible.
The NCLM appears to have grown used to waltzing into the General Assembly and saying "jump" to the Legislators and having the Legislators respond with "How High?".
It is a whole new ballgame this Legislative Session and it is refreshing. 

To witness Rep. LaRoque brush the arrogance aside and stand strong in knowing he is doing the right thing for the people of his District and of North Carolina was also a breath of fresh air.
Thank you Rep. LaRoque.

HB 5 was approved and with the majority voting the Bill forward.

House Bill 37 - Lexington Annexation Repeal.
Introduced by Rep Rayne Brown 

Rep Rayne Brown was also absolutely eloquent in her statement to the Committee about repealing the forced annexation that Lexington imposed recently. You could really tell that she is an unshakable woman of principle who is stepping up to do what is right for the people in her District. Stepping up for those who have no one other than her speak for them and to defend them against the tyranny of forced annexation.
Thank you Rep Rayne Brown. 

When the Mayor Pro Tem of Kinston was speaking, his defense of the city against the State reversing the annexation, and calling the action of the Legislators "meddling", it brought to mind the way that the City Bunch have responded to the citizens who say that forced annexation is taxation without representation.

The city advocates response to that has been to tell the citizens that they DO have representation in the State Legislature. Now they are complaining that the State should not be standing up for the citizens who were forcibly annexed and are appealing to the Legislature.
As usual, the City Bunch want it all and they want it both ways.
The truth is they couldn't care less about good government. All they seem to care about is increasing the power and the money flowing to the cities.

The Representatives on the Committee who were entrenched in their decision to oppose these repeals and speak for the League of Municipalities kept the conversation going until they ran out the clock for the meeting and a vote could not be taken at that time on HB37.
The way Alma Adams eagerly (a little too eagerly) called out that the clock had run out, it almost seemed like that was a planned strategy.

But Chairman Larry Brown was not to be undone on getting that vote done today. He knew the House was going to have a recess from the Floor and he was able to reconvene the Government Committee a little later on to allow a vote on HB 37. Some of the members were unable to return and some who opposed the bill didn't bother to return. The Bill was approved and soundly voted forward.
Thank you Rep Larry Brown.

There is another Bill that has been introduced on behalf of the forced annexation victims of Rocky Mount.
House Bill 56, Sponsored by Rep. Jeff Collins.
HB56 has been sent to the Committee On Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House.

Rep.'s Rayne Brown and Jeff Collins are both new Legislators.
Rep LaRoque made a comeback in the last election. He served in the GA before 2006.

Please take time to send a word of thanks and encouragement to the Legislators who made today possible.
Contact information for House Members

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Moratorium Bill, Senate Committee Meeting

WRAL and News14 were filming the Senate Committee meeting on Tuesday as they discussed the Annexation Moratorium Bill. You can watch a half hour of the meeting here. Some of the audio requires your computer volume to be turned all the way up but most of it does not.

Senator Andrew Brock did a terrific job of explaining the Bill and answering questions from the Committee Members. He defended the people of NC and the need for the moratorium very well.

I took notes about the questions that some of the committee members asked.

Senator White asked why a moratorium was necessary and tried to defend the right of cities who have annexations in process to complete them. He also thought some cities should be exempt from the moratorium.

Senator Blake defended the cities right to complete the annexations in process and that each annexation in process should be looked at on a case by case basis. 

Senator Robinson stepped up for the cities by declaring that the cities have added the annexation tax revenue to their balance sheets and shouldn't be asked to forgo that revenue.
She also wanted to know if anyone had an accurate count of the cities who are in the process of a forced annexation. Legislative Staff answered that by stating that the NCLM kept them informed and would provide that number. Hmm...

Senator Jones wanted to know if there was any support from "other organizations" for the moratorium.
Every person in the room who belonged to an anti-forced annexation group stood up to be recognized.
Senator Jones did his best to ignore the people while he clarified that he was referring to the lobbying organizations for the Cities and the Counties.

Senator Kinnard began her comments by telling a story about communities that elected their own Mayor and then followed that by stating that there are now "donut holes" in municipalities.

Perhaps I was having trouble hearing everything she said, but I couldn't make much sense out of her comments other than the fact that she dutifully brought up the "donut hole" argument against changing the law.

Senators East, Tucker, and Goolsby had strong statements in support of the moratorium and against how things have been done in the past.
  • The people need a real voice, 
  • The people are paying and getting nothing for the money paid to cities, 
  • The law has been abused and paper towns were approved as favors and now they are out of control and engaged in land grabs amongst themselves.
All good and true points.

Senator Pate and Senator Nesbitt were absent from the meeting.

Charlotte's lobbyist told us about the horrors of Virginia and the moratorium they passed years ago. 
Mayor Walser from Lexington got up and cried us a river about extending water and sewer to the County schools and that gave Lexington the right to forcibly annex.
It was noted during the meeting that Walser is a Republican who supports forced annexation.
Wow__I wonder how many more of those we need to watch out for.

There were some interesting aspects of the meeting from the perspective of how some things have changed since I began attending committee meetings for the annexation and eminent domain issues:

The city lobbyists and their faithful servants are not quite as arrogant as they have been in meetings as recent as last session. This last election has clearly knocked some of the wind out of their sails, but they are working hard to regain their influence in the General Assembly.

The defenders of the cities and the status quo are still repeating the same old tired push-back arguments against a moratorium or against putting an end to forced annexation as they have time and time again. And they STILL can't make their case with any decent backing. It's just so because the NCLM said it's so.

Paul Meyer, the NCLM lobbyist, did throw out a mild threat. He warned that passing a moratorium would "throw a wet blanket" on the current negotiations underway between our Legislators and the NCLM. (Throw that blanket, Legislators!)

Hmmm..... (again) Meyer stated that our Legislators are "negotiating" with NCLM lobbyists as to what the promised, but still not seen, annexation reform legislation will contain.

Yet we've been told that input from our side is not wanted or needed. We are just supposed to let the Legislators write the Bills because that is what they were elected to do.
Double Hmmmm.... when was the NCLM elected to help write the Bills?

Well, at least the League lobbyist told us that some of their concessions will be surprising.
(eyes rolling)
I can hardly wait. WHOOPPEE!

All I know, _and I believe I'm not alone in thinking this, _is if this Legislature fails to put an end to forced annexation this year, with everything in place that has raised the hopes of thousands and thousands of people across the State, I'm not sure what else the people would have to do to get it done.
Perhaps some further "house cleaning" would be in order? 

Nevertheless, "Thank you Andrew Brock for standing strong against the opposition to the moratorium and for the great answers you gave to their comments."

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Annexation Bills in Committee

Annexation Bills are being discussed by Legislators in Committees this week! 
These Bills and the Legislators that submitted them on behalf of the people need a visible show of support.

If there is any way that you can make it to Raleigh and attend these committee meetings please consider your attendance as critical.
Senate Bill 27 (Involuntary Annexation Moratorium) ***** TODAY!!

Tuesday, February 8
State and Local Government Committee
Room 1124 - Legislative Building
12 noon

We also need to bring a show of support for every Bill that DE-annexes the victims of forced annexation.

House Bill 37 (Lexington Annexations Repealed)

Thursday, February 10th
House Committee on Government      (Rep Larry Brown is Chair)
Room 643 - Legislative Office Building
10:00 am

Thank you!!