Annexation By Referendum Only

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Tennessee Municipal League could be better identified as The Tennessee Mayor's Union, and its influence over the legislature is tremendous.  When Rep. Mike Carter proposed, and could have put into law, a bill requiring a vote by those homeowners and farmers affected rather than by the ordinance method presently used by only three states in the entire nation, the mayors asked for two years to let TACIR come up with a solution to the unfairness of the referendum method used by Tennessee.  Mike Carter graciously granted them one year, which would require action prior to the November legislative elections.  After all, who could deny the people a right to vote on matters pertaining to their homes or farms? 

The bill was referred to a governmental planning group, TACIR, to come up with a solution.   TACIR did not come up with a solution after "studying" the process over the summer.

A group of middle Tennessee mayors have now weighed in on the proposal.  They claim that allowing the people to vote on their form of government would  be overly burdensome.  This seems strange?  They don't find it burdensome to send out tax notices or to enforce additional layers of restrictions on the use of those farms or homes telling them what they can or cannot do with their property. Imposing taxes to pay city budget short falls and rules they had no voice in creating, by council members they never elected.

If you have never served in the legislature you would not realize that "study committees" are many times only delaying tactics to enable legislators to avoid having to vote on a matter, in this case to get it past the next election cycle.  After all who could deny the people the right to vote?  Annexation by ordinance does exactly this and legislators if allowed to vote now have an opportunity to correct the problem.  

Bobby Wood

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