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Letters: Taking democracy out of annexation

Taking democracy out of annexation
During the past two weeks I have attended many meetings of the House Judiciary II Committee in Raleigh as a citizen interested in bringing about meaningful change in N.C. annexation laws. This committee eventually reported favorably on a very watered down reform bill and forwarded it to the Finance Committee.
Every meaningful amendment was voted down along party lines. Annexation reform has been a nonpartisan effort until recently, but it now appears Marc Basnight, Tony Rand and Joe Hackney have passed the word that Democratic legislators are not to support anything other than the tweaks suggested by the N.C. League of Municipalities. If they succeed in imposing party discipline on future votes, then reform is doomed.
Last year this same committee gutted the annexation moratorium bill, but the full House restored most of the key provisions. To be sure this does not happen again the bill currently being considered has been titled in such a way that the full House will not be able to consider amendments. Asked to defend this action, Rep. Earl Jones (D-Guilford) replied, “Democracy is chaotic enough as it is.” The committee voted to sustain the amendment-proof title!
During one of the meetings, I was seated at a seat near the end of the head table. Next to me sat Kelli Kukura, chief lobbyist for the NCLM. The purpose of this particular meeting was to hear three speakers from each side of the issue. Just before the meeting started, Committee Vice Chairman Jimmy Love (D-Lee, Harnett) turned to Ms. Kukura and said, “Kelli, who is speaking for us today?” That’s the problem annexation opponents face in Raleigh. Too many legislators regard the NCLM as part of the government and jump to do the will of its leaders.
ó Carl Eagle
SalisburyEvolve to survive
Bruce Warnix (June 25 letter) wrote glowingly about his love of oil, coal and gas. He failed to mention that we are polluting ourselves out of existence.
We’re at a similar point where scientists warned that the proliferation of horses and buggies would lead to knee-deep manure in urban areas.
Would Mr. Warnix have gotten sentimental about manure?
Someone once said that our cultural baggage is hard to carry and hard to leave behind.
But a scientist should understand the concept of evolution.ó Lutrell Hancock
Salisbury

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