District 1 City Councilmember Sharon Hightower brought up an issue about annexation that the City Council has largely ignored.
Hightower talked about the services that have to be provided to newly annexed areas.
Before 2011, the city annexed large tracts of adjacent land that had, according to the city, become urban in nature. The property owners in these areas often objected to these forced annexations but had little recourse since they couldn’t vote in City Council elections until after they were annexed. City staff provided lengthy reports on what it would cost for the city to provide services to the areas once they were annexed and how much increased tax revenue the city would likely receive.
In 2011, the North Carolina legislature did away with these forced annexations and, under the current law, annexations almost always occur when a property owner requests annexation.
Most of the time annexation is requested by a property owner in order to have access to city water and sewer service.
At the Tuesday, Aug. 16 City Council meeting, the City Council voted to annex three parcels that totaled over 250 acres.
Each separate annexation request had a report that the city would be able to provide police and fire protection as well as water and sewer and garbage collection services to that particular area.
Hightower said that the City Council needed to consider growing responsibly. She said that too often the annexations were “dumping” people into an area without considering overall the additional services that would be needed such as police, fire, trash removal and grocery stores.
Hightower said, “You know, every time we annex, we need to buy a trash truck and hire about six people because they have to keep going and picking up trash. More and more and more, so we really need to start thinking about how we are growing. We need the tax base, but how are we doing it.”
The City Council rarely discusses the cumulative effect of the annexations that it approves on a regular basis, and according to Hightower it is an issue the City Council needs to consider.
So Hightower is concerned with how tax payers money is spent on annexation but it is too bad she was not concerned with how the largest tax increase in the US would affect her constituents. Her constituents will be impacted in some ways more than any other tax payers in the city. Just another mouth attached to a head that is so out of touch with what is going on around them. Not sure why or how she continues to be reelected with so little done for her constituents.
Hightower and most of the City Council are continuously reelected simply because voters recognize their names, but have no clue as to what they are NOT doing for their constituents.
Just do what you normally do, raise taxes then waste taxes on personal projects and screw the general public you are elected to serve.
I guess a 30% tax increase wasn’t enough.
Come on in! We need to justify our phoney-bahloney jobs.
Ms. Hightower just raised taxes some 30%, and now she’s worried about that same tax base?
Read the LAW Councilwoman Hightower! Cities can’t force annexation anymore! That happened years ago.
Actually, she has a point and it’s because the city can’t force annexation. I live in a small development in the county, a couple of miles out of the city. My home and one other were built with a septic system. Later, the city ran a sewer line and the other 18 homes were built and connected. But, they remained in the county and just pay a quarterly fee. My 20-year-old septic system failed a couple of years ago. Since the city sewer line ran right in the front of my lot with a connection stub already installed I decided to just connect like all the homes around me. Although it would have cost the city nothing, they refused to just let me connect and just pay the fee. They treated me the same as a developer and required that I apply for annexation. So now, I am the only city lot within several miles. There is no city water here so I still pay a quarterly fee like my neighbors, but because I am in the city mine is now substantially less. Also, they must send a trash truck, recycle truck, and yard waste truck and I suppose the police if needed out to my home weekly as part of being in the city. The city does this in hopes of gradually taking the development one lot at a time. But, since everyone else in the area is connected already and will NEVER request annexation, the city will be servicing my single lot and many others like it forever. Yes, I pay more for city taxes, but I will never have another septic failure plus the free services provided along with the reduced sewer fee offset a lot of the additional tax. Seems to me it would have been smarter for the city to provide no services let me connect at no cost to the city, and collect the larger fee which would have been all profit.
You lost me at “Hightower says…”
After following her antics for years in local news, I have discovered that everything she touches is a racist poo slinging fiasco.
Why do you think voters keep electing her?