04/24/04 — ‘Northbrook’ residents are reacting admirably

View Archive

‘Northbrook’ residents are reacting admirably

Seldom is the Goldsboro City Council faced with a decision as sensitive as the one it faced Monday night.

Despite vigorous opposition, the council voted 5-2 to move ahead with the annexation into the city of about 400 homes in the area around the intersection of Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads. Those opposed included most of the people who live in the 400 homes. None of the residents has said publicly that he wanted to be annexed.

Although the debate about annexation was intense, the reaction to the decision has been commendably calm, at least in the public discourse. The residents quite effectively made their feelings known before the vote. Now, the vote having been taken, the time for acrimonious outcry has past.

Instead, the residents have formed an organization of neighbors and hired a lawyer to challenge the annexation. Doing their talking in court was the proper choice.

They can hardly be blamed for their opposition to being taken in by the city. The city will begin collecting property taxes from them long before it can offer them most of the ordinary city services. Some of them also have noted that the involuntary annexation infringes on their rights.

On the other hand, the members of the council are aware that the city can grow only by annexing developed areas that lie along its borders. Residents of the Salem Church Road area have tried to form a municipality called Northbrook to prevent annexation by Goldsboro, but they could not get enabling legislation passed in the General Assembly. The councilmen know that if the Northbrook initiative ever succeeded, Goldsboro’s growth would be blocked in that vital northern area.

It is a matter of the best interests of the city competing against the rights and wishes of those who don’t want to be a part of it. There are fine people on each side, and their discussion should reflect reason and respect.

Published in Editorials on April 24, 2004 10:16 PM