Union County Pulse: May 27

Marvin Forced Annexation – Time for Reflection

Marvin has tried to involuntarily annex 1,455 properties since 2006 even though the original intent of the town’s incorporation was to stop (such an action). A former Mayor of Marvin calls the actions of the current Council “a perversion” of the original intent. According to the current Council, what was once detested is now desirable.

The Village is now looking for its fourth administrator in the past ten months even though they had one of the most experienced, knowledgeable, professional, diligent and dedicated administrators in all of North Carolina working for them until someone decided she had to go. It makes me wonder whether the current council knows what they are doing and what their true motivations might be. On May 24, the council voted themselves pay raises. Are Marvin residents comfortable putting their trust and tax money in the hands of such a small self-serving clique?

The only words in defense of the Council came recently in a Letter to the Editor from the new councilman (appointed, not elected) who thinks publishing outlandish and transparent scare tactics are going to make the case for Marvin. He says Marvin is protecting residents from things like “smelters” as if unincorporated Union County would ever allow something like that. I am confident our thoughtful Union County Board of Commissioners would laugh any proposal for this type of heavy industry right out the door. This same councilperson also points to town enacted ordinances as protective services to justify its existence. Don’t we have enough laws, rules, ordinances, mandates and requirements to live by already? Again, I’d put my trust in our Board of Commissioners to do the right thing in protecting our individual property rights and in spending our tax dollars wisely.

Police protection is a service Marvin provides, you say? One police officer, eight hours a day, five days a week sounds like less than 1/3 time to me if you acknowledge the 24 hour, 7 day week. Last time I looked, our highly respected Union County Sheriff’s office was and still is responsible for protecting all the residents of Union County. We already pay state and county taxes to support the public services we receive. Why would anyone in his or her right mind want to pay twice for the same thing? If paying twice for the same thing sounds good, I’ve got a car I’ll sell you twice.

As continuing evidence of their fiscal irresponsibility, the Council just purchased two dressed up 4-wheel drive gasoline powered golf carts for $10,000. Try googling the Rhino 700 FI Sport Edition to view the specifications of one of these little toys. Where is the need for and wisdom of such a purchase? Again, someone else’s money is always easy to spend, especially when there is no accountability.

The North Carolina Legislature is about to pass reformed annexation laws that will forever forbid the kind of involuntary annexation that Marvin is pushing for. Even the North Carolina League of Municipalities, which has been fighting against annexation reform for decades, supports Bill H845, which has already been passed by the House and is now in the Senate. The legislature sees the fallacy of allowing paper towns like Marvin to continue to steal the individual property rights and money of citizens. I applaud the current legislature for their forward-looking attention to righting a long-standing wrong. Forced annexation is taxation without representation and is clearly wrong.

Representative Craig Horn and Senator Tommy Tucker are working hard to see that the individual property rights of their constituents are not stolen, and we all owe them a debt of gratitude for their dedication to honoring their campaign promises in seeing that we are protected. Let’s lend them our strong support by contacting the legislature to ask for quick passage of true annexation reform. Pass H845 now and end municipal theft and abuse of power.

So what’s the solution? Marvin must abandon its attempt to involuntarily annex 1,455 properties and reform their free-spending habits to better reflect the actual needs of the town. The Council should show Marvin residents and taxpayers the respect they deserve by not treating the treasury as their personal piggy bank.

Paul Schneider

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