Last Chance for Fair Annexation Law

25 04 2015
This letter is from a rural Fortville, IN resident, embattled in annexation with Fortville for more than 2 years.  This is the last time you will have an opportunity to voice your concerns on annexation, as the committees have studied this issue for months and months, and this is the best they came up with.  There may NEVER be an opportunity to change the annexation laws again, and if the House amended version passes, we are back to the law that is now on the books, screwing the rural taxpayer with hostile annexation into the city.
We do not want the House version of SB330 to pass.  It reverts back to current annexation laws.  SB330 as written was nore favorable to rural residents, and we should urge the legislators to can the amendment, and go with the original SB330 as written.
My Dear Legislators,
 
I feel compelled to write once more after attending the Conference Committee Hearing on April 22 and listening to the skewed information being perpetuated by IACT.  Please consider these 3 points.
 
(1) Their claims that municipal growth will be negatively impacted without their Economic Development Protection clause is simply unfounded.  The example given by their spokesperson referenced an annexation in Mishawaka.  It may have been a friendly annexation because it could not have happened during one calendar year if it had been litigated.  Where are their examples of litigation where a couple of owners prevented annexation for economic development purposes?  There are none, because a small number of owners cannot afford to litigate against a town!  They want this loophole so they can annex at will with little or no resistance from a smaller population.  It negates all the good things in this bill by putting remonstrators right back where things are now.  We should not have to go to court!  I am appalled they would argue that their due process rights are violated because a super-majority says no to a municipal-initiated annexation. 
 
As far as “economic development” goes, I ask you to look at these undisputed statistics:
 
• Indiana ranks 5th nationally in the production of corn.
 
 • Indiana ranks 4th in the production of soybeans.
 
• Indiana is the 2nd largest producer of popcorn in the nation.
 
• Indiana ranks 2nd in tomatoes for processing.
 
• Indiana ranks 4th in peppermint production and 5th in spearmint production.
 
• Indiana ranks 2nd in the number of layer chickens. The state is also 3rd in the nation for total number of eggs.
 
• Indiana produces more ducks than any other state in the nation.
 
• Indiana ranks 2nd in the production of both regular and fat free ice cream. 

IU Kelley School of Business reported:
“Hoosiers…hopefully will also realize the great economic contribution that Indiana agriculture brings to the state. It is understandable why Indiana’s agricultural industries have been encouraged to expand in the past decade—with $37.9 billion in total economic output, leading to approximately $13 billion in value added to the state’s GDP while supporting approximately 190,000 jobs.”
 
The Indianapolis Star ran this headline on November 15, 2014:
Business Insider: Agriculture produces bushels of cash for Indiana economy

How can ag industries maintain or expand when municipalities continue to railroad property owners with their Annexation Express?

IACT gave you a list of 24 supporters for this so-called protection for economic development.  If I had the time, I could get these – and many more- Indiana companies and businesses to counter the IACT list.
 
Indiana Farm Bureau
Red Gold
Maple Leaf Farms
Culver Duck Farms
Indiana Pork Producers Association
Weaver Popcorn
Indiana State Poultry Association
Dean Foods Company
Good Humor / Breyers Ice Cream
Indiana Dairy Producers
Wabash Valley Growers LLC
Indiana Corn Marketing Council
Indiana Soybean Alliance
Cargill, Inc.
ADM Countrymark, Inc.
Indiana Beef Cattle Association
Indiana Horse Council
Con Agra
Monsanto
Pioneer Seed
John Deere
Dow Agro Sciences
Co-Alliance
DeKalb Seed
Harvest Land Co-op
Superior Ag
North Central Co-op
Farm Credit Services
Premier Ag Co-op
Massey Ferguson
Case Corporation
BASF
 
Please, do not include this clause in the bill.  Municipalities can still annex successfully without it.
 
(2) Besides, they still have a plethora of subdivisions with waivers that they can swoop in and take over.  Which is why waivers should be eliminated.  There is no need for them.  Municipalities need to get in the 21st century with innovative ideas and work for the right to bring in more property to increase their tax base.  This feudalistic practice has made them complacent and arrogant.
 
(3) If remonstrators are required to get signatures, then consider reducing the threshold to 51%. Otherwise, the municipality should get the signatures if the 65% threshold is required.  That is only fair if they are the ones initiating the action.  Individual property owners should not have to do the work of municipal officials they did not elect.  Those folks could certainly get out of their comfortable meeting chairs and actually DO something!
 
Thank you for your hard work, thank you for reading to the end and I would appreciate your consideration of my concerns.
 
Respectfully,
Susie Whybrew
2236 W. 900 N.
Fortville, IN. 46040
317-372-6509
You can call these legislators to express your concerns.  The final day of the hearing will be Wednesday, April 29.  If you wait for others to do your job, it will never happen!
Call and leave messages for all
direct numbers to the legislative assistants…  sometimes they will actually answer and speak to you.
Rep.  Negele                                      Hanna Fagen- 317-232-9816
Rep. Rieken                        Latisha Varnesdeel   317-232-9991
Rep  Thompson                Seth Hinshaw   317-232-9651
Rep. Sullivan                      Ali Bartlett     317-232-9671
Sen Taylor  800-382-9467  ext   2-9491
Sen Broden  800-382-9467  ext   2-9523
For Senators Boots, Alting, Buck, Head,   call 800-382-9467 and request to speak to the legislative assistant for each legislator…. Boots   is most important one, as he is the author of the bill.
For Representatives Errington,  Pryor  call 800-382-9842 and request to speak to his legislative assistant.
For Representatives Aylesworth, Truitt, Mahan  call 800-382-9841 and request to speak to their assistants.


SB330 – Annexation

3 04 2015

I attended a hearing before the House Government and Regulatory Reform on Tuesday of this week.  An amendment was presented to Senator Boots SB330, which requires 65% of the property owners to remonstrate against annexation.   Our experience in obtaining signatures of people not wanting to be annexed is a daunting task, requiring many man-hours of time from a lot of volunteers.

SB330 REQUIRES the City (or annexing authority) to obtain signatures from 51% of the property owners APPROVING ANNEXATION BEFORE ANNEXATION CAN PROCEED.  We do not want this amendment.  Send e-mails or call members of the committee and express your concerns. We want SB330 as written!

E-mail: H–@iga.in.gov.   (Insert the representatives district number after H)

Chairman, Mahan H31

Vice Chair Lucas H69

Harman H17

Kirchofer H89

McNamara H76     *****EVANSVILLE

Miller H48

Olthoff H19

Truitt H26

Wolins H18

Riecken H77       *****EVANSVILLE

Batlett H95

Errington H34

Harris H2

 

 



Annexation Possibilites Rears Its Ugly Head Again

17 03 2015

On the third edition of Tri-States Voices, the four At-Large City Council candidates, Adams, Burton, O”Daniel, and Weaver, were asked questions on how to correct the financial woes of the City of Evansville, and unanimously they all thought ANNEXATION is one way.  Nothing about cost cutting measures, or putting an end to the reckless spending of the current administration.  This puts the voters between a rock and a hard place – the current city council have  voted for all of the Mayors spendthrift ideas, except for the “doggie park”.  The new medical center could have gone out on Burkhardt Road at no cost to the City, but instead, the Mayor wants to throw another load of taxpayers money into the defunct downtown. We won’t even discuss the Motel 6 project.

Keep this in mind when you go to the polls in May!!!



SB330 Assigned to Government & Regulatory Reform

5 03 2015

SB330 has been sent to the House and was assigned to the Government & Regulatory Reform Committee.  Members are: Chairman Mahan (H31), Vice Chair Lucas (H69), Harman (H17), Kirchhofer (H89), McNamara (H76), Miller (H48), Olthoff (H19), Truitt (H26), Riecken (H77), Bartlett (H18), Harris (H2), Errington (H95), Wolkins (H18).

This bill is not too bad, at least giving property owners a chance to deny annexation by NOT signing a petition by the City to agree to annexation.

……or, 75% of the assessed valuation. This sentence allows big box stores to agree to annexation ( as was done on the East Side Phase I in 2009) even if 51% of the residential property owners do not agree to annexation.  We have written many of the Senate and House members expressing our desires to have this removed from the bill.  While the bill is in committee, it can be amended, but you must let the legislators know what you want done.  WRITE YOU LEGISLATOR!!!!!



SB330 Annexation Bill Sent to House

2 03 2015

SB330 has been sent to the House for consideration.  Representatives Negele (H13) and Truitt (H26) are sponsors of the bill.  We have written the sponsors, requesting they amend SB330 to remove lines 1-4 on page 6 of the bill, namely, “or,  75% of the assessed valuation“.  This sentence  goes against democratic principles of one person, one vote.  It would allow a City to cherry-pick its annexation sites to include big box stores that will not go against annexation, thus easily acquiring the 75% of assessed valuation.  Even if a majority (51% or more) of  the residential property owners refuse to sign an agreement to be annexed, the assessed valuation could override the will of the people.

Have you sent an e-mail????

To be continued………….



HB1561 is DEAD – SB330 Moves to House

28 02 2015

The rural voters of Vanderburgh County can rejoice, as HouseBill 1561 is dead.  Although amended several times, there was language in this bill that is not in the best interest of rural residents.  No need to go into details, as this is now a mute point.  SB330 earns our support, although we have issues with some of the language, this bill tightens the restrictions on un-wanted annexations.

(1) requires the annexing entity to gather signatures from 51% of the property owners before annexation can take place. YES

(2)annexation can take place if 75% of the assessed valuation agree to annexation.  Big Box stores can over-ride the vote of the majority of property owners rejecting annexation. NO

(3) If the annexing entity gathers 51% of the signatures from property owners, they must submit the signatures to a local court.  Neither the city nor the landowners would incur attorney fees unless landowners who do not voluntarily sign, file a  lawsuit against annexation. As long as the courts are a normal part of an annexation process, the scales are tipped in favor of municipal government. YES

(4) Requires 6 months of outreach, and a beefed up fiscal plan that cannot be amended without consent of landowners. YES

This bill has now been passed to the House.  The House has an opportunity to make changes.  House sponsors are Randy Truit (H26@iga.in.gov) and Negele (H13@iga.in.gov) We urge everyone to take a few minutes and write these representatives expressing changes you would like to see made to SB330



CORE2012 Running Strong

3 07 2012

Thanks to everyone who has visited our web site.  WSAA remains a viable but idling organization, ready to step up when the “Reorganization Plan” is defeated in November.  We expect to be faced again with annexation in the future.  We beat them once, and we are ready to stand up for taxpayer rights and fight the politicians again if needed.

Visit core2012.net and learn what the facts are in the reorganization plan, and it is not good.  EVERY TAXPAYER will suffer from the political folly that is meant to be a take-over of all of Vanderburgh County, and make the Mayor a King.

Please vote NO in November.



New Organization Opposed to Reorganization

24 04 2012

www.core2012.net is up and running full blast, educating the voters as to the real purpose of reorganization (consolidation) of Evansville and Vanderburgh County Governments.

Thank you faithful followers, we urge you to check the new web site, as it is full of factual information that will help you sort out the “wheat from the chaff” in this fall’s election.

To find out where your candidate stands on the reorganization issue in the primary election, we will post our candidate inquiry results Wednesday May 2 at www.core2012.net



Citizens Opposed to Reorganization in Evansville

16 04 2012

We are underway, looking for support from all of the community, to educate, inform, and advise the voting public on the issues with “consolidation” in the upcoming referendum.

We have a general meeting at the Fam Bureau Insurance office, Diamond ave, next to Donut Bank.  Thursday April 19, 6:00PM.   Everyone is invited.

Come listen, learn, contribute, volunteer.

Our web site is under contruction, but is accessible: www.core2012.net.



Citizens Opposed to Reorganization in Evansville

13 04 2012

Citizens Opposed to Reorganization in Evansville has officially opened a campaign to educate the citizens of Vanderburgh County as to the pitfalls of consolidation/merger/reorganization.

Our grass roots organization is looking for volunteers to carry our message to all citizens that reorganization is not in the best interest of the people of Vanderburgh County.  Reorganization is self-serving, rewarding those in power with more power, promoted by the power-seekers to satisfy their thirst for more power.

Economic development is the catch phrase.  There have been many studies on this subject, and not one of the studies have shown increased economic development.  In fact, it has been just the opposite.

An excerpt from Louisville Courier-Journal newspaper:  “The 2003 merger of Louisville and Jefferson County governments has failed to bring more jobs and economic development to the city, according to a University of Louisville report published this month. The city-county merger also has failed to bring a more efficient government to residents, according to the report, by urban and public-affairs professor Hank Savitch.”

“The report claims economic development “has not accelerated but moved downward” and that the decline cannot be blamed on the economy. “The decline is not just a product of the national recession that began in 2008, but had beset post-merged Louisville while the nation was in the midst of economic growth,” the report says.”

“Savitch’s report says promises of a more efficient government also fell short. He writes that the cost of running metro Louisville is not substantially different from the combined costs of running separate city and county governments.”

The full article can be found at: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20111124/NEWS01/311240063/Report-Louisville-Jefferson-County-merger-fails-deliver?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

The web site for core2012 will be up an running soon.