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Annexation outcome important for area

Brookhaven residents and those in a proposed annexation areashould have a better idea about a time table for events following astatus conference Tuesday in Lincoln County Chancery Court.

Deadlines for evidence discovery, a trial date and otherscheduling issues are expected to be addressed during the 1 p.m.hearing. A fall trial date has been mentioned as a possibility.

Lincoln County Chancery Judge Ed Patten, citing schedulingconflicts with other court matters, has recused himself from thecase. John C. Ross, Jr., of Corinth, has been appointed as specialchancellor to hear the city’s annexation case.

Seventy-nine names, either as individuals or families, arelisted as objectors to the city expansion plan. Unfortunately,confusion regarding notification of Tuesday’s hearing could raiseobjectors’ frustration level and add fuel to the annexation debatefire.

City officials have resisted releasing tax comparison andsimilar information about the annexation plans, preferring to waituntil after Tuesday’s hearing to get a better idea ofopposition.

City officials are taking pro-active stance in preparingaldermen ward redistricting plans for both seven- and five-memberboards. Should annexation not go through in time for the 2005elections, voters will elect five aldermen instead of the currentseven.

Board composition is just one facet of the annexation issue thatcan evoke strong feelings on either side of the city limits.

Regardless of how one feels about the annexation, the outcome ofthis year’s legal action will have an impact for years to come.This is an important time for the city, the county and the futuresof both.