As one who has worked very hard on the issue of forced annexation across the state for more than 15 years, I want to thank Sabrena Turner for all she has done for our cause, especially in Hamilton County’s 7th District.
Had it not been for her personal efforts and the efforts of a small, determined group, thousands of residents and property owners in Hamilton County would have been forcefully taken into the city of Chattanooga five years ago. If that had happened then, the city would have already collected millions of dollars of taxes from its victims. But Sabrena and Hamilton County Residents Against Annexation decided not to be victims of forced annexation—they decided to fight.
When I initially met with Sabrena and other concerned property owners in 2009, I told them this was a fight that would last for years rather than weeks or months; that the fight would be in the courts and at the ballot box. I told them that their group needed to raise a lot of money. I was overwhelmed at the effort they put into it and the success of their money-raising efforts. But they didn’t stop there.
The struggle against forced annexation is also a political struggle at both state and local levels. I am delighted that Sabrena Turner is running for Hamilton County Commission, District 7. We desperately need people in local government who know what it is like to challenge the powers at be without being intimidated by them. We need people who have the courage to stand up and lead the fight, not just join it later on when the political winds shift a bit.
I have no doubt about Sabrena’s courage, judgment, and integrity. I am thankful that she has been in this struggle against forced annexation in Hamilton County from the get-go. I wish her success in her campaign, and success in representing the citizens of District 7 once she is in office
John Avery Emison, president of Citizens for Home Rule, Inc.