Unity important after expansion trial ruling

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 24, 2003

As the Brookhaven annexation trial moves toward conclusion,probably this week, objectors are having their say about theprospect of being taken into the city.

It is clear they have reservations about the city’s ability tomeet its annexation obligations. Satisfied with what they have nowin the way of police and fire protection, water and other services,objectors also doubt the level of benefits they will receive frompaying more taxes.

Expansion efforts have stirred the ire of many in the proposedannexation area. While Brookhaven officials say those residentsneed to be part of the city, they certainly do notwant to be.

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City officials, of course, remain confident that can meet theirobligations – financially and otherwise – and that annexation willultimately be a positive move. They say annexation is needed tocontrol growth on the outskirts of the city limits and for futuredevelopment.

However, objecting witnesses last week testified about poorperformance by the city in handling day-to-day operations andspeculated that the city cannot handle the additional area. Onewitness, who has a city sewer line running across his property,said he felt “mistreated” by the city when he sought have asewer-related problem fixed.

With past difficulties and new ill feelings due to annexationpossibilities, city leaders would be wise to pursue somefence-mending efforts to make being taken into the city morepalatable.

Should annexation ultimately be approved, newly-annexed citizensshould be willing to accept the decision while also demanding thatcity leaders fulfill their promises.

Regardless of the annexation trial’s outcome, city and countycitizens need to be able to work together as one for the bettermentof all involved.