WEB: Annex Foes Mobilize for Fight
Local opponents of involuntary annexation are mobilizing for a another pivotal day.
On June 4, they will travel to Raleigh to encourage legislators to pass a bill that would impose a yearlong moratorium on annexation.
Annexation opponents say last year's rally was instrumental in the appointment of the legislative study committee last year and a state House of Representatives bill calling for a moratorium on involuntary annexations.
Last week, a House Select Committee on Municipal Annexation voted to move forward with a bill that would impose a statewide moratorium on involuntary annexation through June 30, 2009.
The bill now goes to the full House. If passed by the House, the bill would then move to the Senate for consideration.
Organizers expect this year's rally to be just as important in the ongoing fight.
"It would not surprise me to see as many as 150 people from Pinewild, maybe more," said John Boesch, a leader of the anti-involuntary annexation contingent in Pinewild. "People realize the past activities in Raleigh have been successful."
Boesch said thinks legislators are becoming more receptive to the anti-annexation message.
"Information is the key," he said. "The level of understanding, the level of awareness in the legislature is significantly higher than it was a year ago. The level of interest in the subject is significantly higher.
"There is, I think, a growing belief that there is some aspects of the annexation law that should be looked at."
Rumors have also swirled recently that Pinewild residents opposed to annexation were going to appear before Pinehurst Village Council during Tuesday's meeting.
Boesch said residents want to present their side to the council, but not Tuesday.
"We believe they deserve to hear our side of things," Boesch said. "We will, in the appropriate manner, schedule a meeting. We want to appear before them at a time when they can hear what we have to say and focus on what we have to say."
In April, a state House study committee voted 10-2 to recommend that North Carolina temporarily ban municipalities from involuntarily annexing areas so lawmakers can consider changes sought by some residents. The one-year moratorium would run through June 30, 2009.
The moratorium doesn't apply to voluntary annexations but does cover satellite annexations, or those taking in land that isn't contiguous to a city's current limits.
The General Assembly would have to enact legislation imposing a moratorium, and Gov. Mike Easley would have to sign it into law.
Check back with ThePilot.com for more updates on this story, as well as Sunday's edition of The Pilot,
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