08/29/08 — Residents speak: Annexation opponents should get their say in legislature

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Residents speak: Annexation opponents should get their say in legislature

Whether you are for or against involuntary annexation -- and whether or not you think courts should spend any more time deliberating on it -- the right answer for those who think that there is still an issue here is to take their case to the state legislature.

And this time, both the House and the Senate need to hear the arguments and to make a decision on how this issue will be handled in the future.

The General Assembly sets the laws for this state, with its senators and representatives acting on behalf of their constituents.

If enough people want the state's lawmakers to "rule" on this issue, then, by oath and duty, those elected representatives should speak out -- and the state's leaders should make sure they have the chance.

There are many people who believe that the only voices that legislators listen to are those of lobbyists -- they have the most access, the most pull.

The truth is that citizens can make their case, too. All they have to do is follow the rules for presenting their concerns.

Annexation opponents across the state have already tried to get their message to lawmakers and to get the state laws changed, but were not able to get a binding decision because of a procedural ruling.

They should be first on the list for consideration when the General Assembly reconvenes.

The reason for that priority is not linked to the merit of the case or the loudness of the voices. It is the simple fact that this General Assembly belongs to the people and is duty-bound to listen to their concerns.

There are many sides to this issue -- and it will not be an easy deliberation. But that does not mean that there should not be a discussion -- and a vote.

Published in Editorials on August 29, 2008 10:48 AM