Annexation conference canceled

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, October 14, 2003

A Wednesday conference for parties involved in the city’sannexation case to exchange trial exhibits has been canceled,attorneys said.

Hattiesburg attorney Jerry Evans, who is representing severalindividual objectors, said there would be no formal courtappearance for the exchange of the trial material. He believed itcould be done informally, but the mechanics of the exchange wouldhave to be worked on and arrangements made.

“I think the parties are going to need to get together anddiscuss that,” Evans said.

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City Attorney Joe Fernald said the conference situation was notunusual.

“Most of what we need to do can be done over the phone, ifnecessary,” Fernald said.

Evans said he would be meeting with attorney Carlisle Henderson,who is representing most of the over

200 objectors, and urban planner Kathy Garner Tuesday. Hendersonwas unavailable for comment.

Evans said he could also talk with the city’s attorneys todayregarding trial material delivery.

City officials last week revised the Services and Facilitiesplan for the annexation area. The plan includes projections onneeded additional manpower, a timetable for providing services anda financial feasibility analysis.

Sandra Gerald, who has organized the opposition group, saidobjectors have not seen the new plan.

“We’ve not been advised of those changes,” Gerald said.

Evans said some trial material from the city arrived at hisoffice Monday but he had not had a chance to look at it. He saidthe new services plan could be in the delivery.

“I don’t know if it’s going to impact my defense of my clients,”Evans said.

Regarding defense trial exhibits, Evans said he did not have anyto prepare. He planned to discuss other objectors’ activity withHenderson and Garner Tuesday.

“To what extent I can help them, I’m going to do that,” Evanssaid.

Several motions remain pending. One is a continuance motion thatwould postpone the trial.

“We’re going to oppose it,” Fernald said.

The city’s annexation trial is scheduled to start Nov. 5. It isexpected to last about two weeks.