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Public input part of annexation work

For years, annexation has alternated between the back burner andthe front burner of Brookhaven politics.

With consultants nearing completion of an annexation plan, theissue is now occupying the front burner and could start boilingsoon. Mayor Bill Godbold said last week that the city could beready to take its annexation plan to court after the first of theyear.

Aside from an opposition petition from some Lakewood Villageresidents, the mayor also said he has not had any feedback from thepublic on the annexation issue.

“I hadn’t had anybody say yea or nay other than them,” Godboldsaid.

Annexation is an issue that will affect many people for manyyears to come. With the city’s population dropping below 10,000,annexation could also be a factor in whether the city keeps sevenaldermen or has to redistrict for five.

Consultants and city officials have said annexation is needed tooffset a declining tax base and for continued economic growth. Theyalso point out that residents just outside the city limits havebenefited from city services for a number of years.

Opponents argue that they built outside the city to avoid taxes,zoning and other regulations associated with living inside thecity.

Regardless of your individual position on annexation, the issuedeserves public discussion and debate.

The consultants have discussed plans during public hearings,most recently in July, and we would encourage that openness tocontinue. Public input is also needed in the process.

We would encourage citizens to let city officials know theirfeelings on the issue. Annexation is important to everyone — bothinside and outside the city.