Macon’s Mayor wants to annex land and expand the city. In principle, there’s nothing wrong with that. I think it is a good idea. But, and this is key, he wants to do it without giving those to be annexed a vote. I oppose that on principle.
I don’t think we should be in the business of taking people’s land and raising their taxes without giving them a vote. In anticipation of the concern, however, the Mayor’s Office has offered up perhaps the dumbest idea to come out of his office thus far: letting the people already in the city vote on the annexation along with those to be annexed. Naturally this would more likely than not mean you’d have the people in the city embracing new taxpayers to help fix the messes of prior administrations — and there’d be more of them in the vote. Note that the Mayor is not suggesting a majority of those to be annexed and a majority of those already in the city should both approve the idea, just a majority total vote.
Can you say red herring?
The spin on annexation is that it is about “efficiency.”
“The biggest thing that drove this process was providing efficiencies of service,” said Andrew Blascovich, Reichert’s director of external affairs. “This isn’t about money. Four million dollars is not going to solve any of the city’s problems.”
It’s *always* about the money. This is about expanding the tax base within the city without having to raise taxes.
If the administration is serious about efficiency, perhaps it should first pursue in earnest a reduction in the city council and non-partisan elections within the city. If it were about efficiency, perhaps the city should first endeavor to consolidate more services with the county.
No, this is about the city needing new tax payers to bail the city out of the hotel mess and its other fiscally reckless policies — none of which are the present Mayor’s fault. Unfortunately, however, it seems we’re being asked to just expand the tax base instead of fixing the fundamental problems.
And frankly, I’d be fine with that because the annexation boundaries make sense. But only if those to be annexed are allowed to vote on the matter. Without that allowance to these residents, I oppose the plan.