Local annexation opponents headed back to Raleigh

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Staff report
Rowan County opponents to the state’s involuntary annexation law are planning to make another trip to Raleigh next week for the final meeting of the Joint Legislative Study Commission on Municipal Annexation.
The committee meets at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in Room 1027 of the Legislative Office Building.
Good Neighbors of Rowan County, the organization representing N.C. 150 neighborhoods outside of Salisbury, has again chartered a bus to make the trip.
The bus will leave at 6:30 a.m. from the parking lot of Office Depot on East Innes Street. The bus is expected to return to Salisbury by mid-afternoon. The cost is $26 a person.
People interested can contact any officer of Good Neighbors or Wayne Mullis Travel at 704-633-1081.
Good Neighbors of Rowan County successfully derailed an annexation attempt by the city of Salisbury in 2008 and its members have since taken up the cause of fighting involuntary annexation statewide by seeking changes in North Carolina law.
The group distributed a newsletter in the N.C. 150 area informing residents of the Jan. 22 meeting.
“The commission will attempt to formulate recommendations to the General Assembly at this session,” the newsletter says, “so it is exceedingly important that we again have hundreds of people there to keep these folks aware that we are not going away.
“Hundreds of voters can make it very uncomfortable for a politician to cast a vote against their desires.”
The commission’s Jan. 6 meeting drew hundreds of annexation opponents from across the state, including about 50 Rowan County residents.
Mark Davis, president of Good Neighbors, and former Rowan County Commissioner Jim Sides were among the opponents who spoke to the commission at the Jan. 6 hearing.
N.C. Rep. Fred Steen, a Rowan County Republican, and Rowan County Commissioner Tina Hall are members of the Joint Legislative Study Commission on Municipal Annexation, and both have called for changes in the law.
From its Jan. 22 meeting, the commission is expected to send a slate of recommendations to the General Assembly.
Opponents say they want the 1959 state annexation law to change to give residents within a proposed annexation area the right to vote it up or down. They also recommend that an interested third party ó possibly county commissioners ó review all annexations.

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