With a 6 to 1 vote, Wilmington City Council approved annexing about 950 acres of Monkey Junction. While the vote was expected, opponents had a strong showing. “The people that are being affected by this right now, they did not vote anybody into office that’s making this decision and that’s the key thing here,” said Ron Gerfelder.
Patrick Davis asked, “If you’re on a fixed income then how are you supposed to double tax and survive on 700 dollars a month?”
Kristi Tomey was the only dissenting vote. She said forced annexation is not the way to grow a city. “Unfortunately, I think that I am absolutely the only one on this council who is voting no on this item.”
The move is effective June 2010, so the city has a busy year ahead of it. Council member Laura Padgett voted for the forced annexation and said, “We have a very detailed plan to provide services to those areas – the things we have to provide, police, fire, development oversight.”
Padgett said it comes down to an issue of fairness between city residents and those will be annexed. “They’re being asked to pay for things that they really already get as a result of living so near to the city.”
Many others disagree. “I just don’t think it’s right to take away people’s property and raise their taxes when they don’t want to be included, said Ann Pitts. “I mean, it’s forced on them and they moved to that area to avoid paying city taxes.”
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