Some residents who might be annexed into New Site are up in arms about the prospect and it seems the town government is wise to table any action until it has had more time to study it.
The annexation is an outgrowth of the necessity of drawing council districts for the 2020 elections, as New Site has been out of compliance with at-large districts.
More than 40 residents who would be annexed into New Site attended the town council meeting Monday and made it known they are not happy. Many felt they were blindsided.
“It looks like you guys are trying to be sneaky,” Gwen Bishop said. “People didn’t know about it. It looks bad.”
John Burgess said he got 150 signatures on a petition opposing annexation.
“We want transparency,” he said. “We don’t want to be swept under the rug.”
Others questioned the town’s motives, saying it merely wants to raise more revenue, which Mayor Phil Blasingame denied, although said if the population increases the town would qualify for more grants.
Some want assurances they won’t have to pay additional taxes and fees if they are annexed, a promise Blasingame can’t make because he doesn’t know what future administrations will do.
Most of those in attendance said they don’t want to abide by new ordinances.
“There are those of us that choose to live outside the city limits,” Bishop said. “We have the county and state over us. We don’t want any more regulations.”
The bottom line is there are too many unanswered questions about the annexation in New Site. More information is needed and the only way the correct decision can be made is if the town government is totally transparent.