damnum absque injuria

July 23, 2009

Annexation Reform?

Filed under:   by Xrlq @ 7:09 am

North Carolina has one of the worst (if not the worst) annexation laws in the country, making it ridiculously easy for cities to gobble up unincorporated areas over their residents’ objection. The nearest town to me, Midway, exists solely for the purpose of avoiding annexation by Winston-Salem or, more likely, Lexington. The WS Journal, which has long been an unapologetic apologist for this oppressive policy, reported yesterday on a “reform” that barely survived an early procedural vote, and may or may not ever actually become law. The upside to the purported “reform” is that in some rare instances, residents might actually get to – gasp – vote on whether an annexation will or will not occur. The down side is twofold. First, the process for getting the referendum is onerous, requiring 15% of registered voters not just from the area targeted for annexation, but among existing city residents, as well. Second, if that threshold is ever met and a vote finally does occur, the annexation will be upheld by a simple majority of city residents and residents of the targeted area combined, no matter how overwhelming opposition may be within the area targeted for annexation.

By that logic, maybe the U.S. should be allowed to annex Canada. And it’s 100% legit, as long as all Americans and Canadians are allowed to vote on the matter, and as long as a majority of people who are either American or Canadian vote “yes.” Meaning, if my math is right, that the measure need only obtain a 56% majority in the States to pass even if 100% of Canadians vote against it. That’s about the way I see any annexation vote going under this new “reform,” assuming such a vote is ever held in the first place. Why on earth would any city resident oppose annexing just about anything (or at least anything their own city council would have wanted to annex in the first place)? This thing strikes me as a phony “reform” that is actually designed not to work.

One Response to “Annexation Reform?”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    We’ve got similar disputes in Tennessee. The story goes that there was a lawsuit over annexation many years ago, in which it was ultimately ruled that the only way to avoid annexation is to incorporate on your own, and further, that you need to incorporate before the intent to annex is announced (i.e., you can’t incorporate to avoid imminent annexation). I have no idea what precedents and laws may have been used or abused, but the basic gist seems to be that you have no guaranteed right to NOT live in a city, town, or village.
    .-= tgirsch´s last blog ..Obama Presser Open Thread =-.

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