Annexation foes gear up for trip to legislature
By Jessie Burchette
Annexation opponents in Rowan and across the state plan to rally in Raleigh on May 6 to show their opposition to current laws.
Good Neighbors of Rowan County has arranged to take buses ó as many as they can fill ó to Raleigh for the 12:30 p.m. rally at Halifax Mall at the State Capitol complex. They will also visit as many legislators as possible.
The organization hopes to get at least 200 people from Rowan.
Larry Wright, a member of the Good Neighbors organization, said the goal is to fill up six buses with local residents who want to see annexation rules changed. The deadline to register for the bus trip is Friday.
Good Neighbors organized to oppose the city of Salisbury’s involuntary annexation of the N.C. 150 west area in 2007.
Wright, a frequent speaker at county commissioner meetings, said the rally is important to show legislators the support for bills changing the annexation laws.
The state’s current annexation laws are 50 years old. North Carolina is one of only six states that still allows forced annexation.
Wright told commissioners earlier this month that the effort to change the annexation laws is starting to snowball. He warned that some of the bills under consideration don’t go far enough.
Marie Howell, another member of the Good Neighbors group, said HB 645 is the one that will bring real change to the current laws.
Annexation opponents also support Senate Bill 494.
“We are closer than ever before and we have to have a big turnout in Raleigh to get it (the legislation) past the goal line,” Wright said. “The only thing politicians understand are bodies, and we need thousands of them.”
“Don’t sit by and hope someone else does this for you, get involved,” Wright said.
Wright urged anyone interested in the fight to change annexation laws go to the Stop N.C. Annexation Web site at www.stopncannexation.com.
Wayne Mullis Travel will provide the buses with a $26 cost per person.
Wright said if anyone wants to go and can’t afford the the costs, they have people willing to pay the fare. Leaflets have been distributed throughout the N.C. 150 neighborhood encouraging residents to join the trip.
Buses will leave Salisbury at 7:15 a.m. May 6 and return by 6 p.m. Box lunches are available for $6.
Call Wayne Mullis at 704-633-1081 to sign up.