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Objectors want time to study new city plan

Parties in the city’s annexation effort may know this week ifthe trial will go forward on Nov. 5 as scheduled, an attorneyrepresenting objectors said Wednesday.

A motion to continue the case is one that is awaiting a judge’sruling as sides prepare for the scheduled trial. Attorney CarlisleHenderson, who is representing over 200 objectors, said one reasonfor seeking the continuance is the city’s revised Services andFacilities plan that objectors received in the mail Tuesday.

“The city has thrown us a curve ball, and we need more time todeal with it,” Henderson said.

City Attorney Joe Fernald, however, said the city wouldchallenge the continuance motion.

“We’re going to oppose it because we think there’s been adequatetime,” Fernald said.

After a status conference was canceled Wednesday, Henderson saidparties are in the process of setting up a conference call withspecial Judge John Ross to deal with pre-trial issues.

“That should be done this week,” Henderson said.

Objectors are also seeking additional time to prepare theirtrial exhibits.

Henderson said he had spoken with Jerry Mills, the city’s leadattorney in the annexation case, and had informally agreed to someextra time. He expected objectors could have their exhibitsprepared and to the city by next Tuesday.

Henderson; attorney Jerry Evans, who is representing severalindividual objectors; and urban planner Kathy Garner met Tuesday todiscuss their plans in challenging the annexation. He said it was agood meeting.

In discussing trial planning, Henderson said objectors have nothad a chance to review the city’s revised Services and Facilitiesplan in detail yet.

“We’re going through that and studying the revisions to see ifit’s necessary to change any of our exhibits,” Henderson said,adding that was causing a “slight delay.”

A review of discovery material has some discrepancies in city’strial exhibits, Henderson said, although he did not elaborate onwhat those are. Also, some of the revised numbers in the city’s newServices and Facilities plan affected totals objectors were usingin planning their defense.

“We don’t know if we’ll need new exhibits,” Henderson said.

Following city board approval of the new Services and Facilitiesplan last week, annexation consultant Mike Slaughter said it breaksdown projections on adding personnel, estimated costs, a time tablefor providing services and a financial feasibility analysis. Hesaid the revised plan “fine-tunes” an earlier version, but therewere no major changes.

The city’s annexation trial is expected to take about twoweeks.