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Asheville Citizen-Times

If Asheville wants to annex, give people a fair value

Thank you Chester! These politicians say some of the most astounding things as if they either think everyone who hears what they say is too dumb to notice the contradictions and illogic. There clearly are SOME who can't, or won't, but those are fewer than the politicians think. The only other explanation is that the politician is the mental midget. Either way, it's a sad state of affairs. And to "orz": Instead of repeating the lies that the politicians tell, think for yourself. Do you honestly think that the cities that people live close enough to visit aren't reaping a benefit from the additional consumers? Try to imagine what the city would be like without them and maybe you'll "get it". The largest percentage of the things that really make a city attractive and prosperous are the private sector offerings, not the size of the government. The high end specialty stores and service industry entrepeneurs go where high numbers of consumers with money left in their pockets are located. They aren't inspired to set up shop because there is a big tax sucking governmental entity operating. If all the people outside the city limits disappeared, the city would be a shadow of what it is.  (Sep 15, 2007 | post #10)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation issue simmers

You are either showing your ignorance here GBML, or you are showing your contempt for the intelligence of others who might read your BS claims. The city gets State and Federal funds to help pave the streets that aren't the direct responsiblity of the State or Federal government. And EVERYONE who pays taxes helps to pave the city streets whether they live in the city or not. The cities use as little of their General Fund as they can get away with on their streets. The cities are the welfare queens, not the suburbs. Have you ever heard of Powell Bill Funds? And do you know where those funds come from? NOT from YOUR city or County property taxes!!  (Jul 25, 2007 | post #78)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation issue simmers

C'mon people. Before you swallow the PR line that these suburbs need to pay for proximity to the city, do a little homework to see if it's true! Here's an excerpt from a study that looked at all the studies on the city suburb relationship: DO SUBURBS HARM CITIES? A REVIEW OF THE EVIDENCE by Brett W. Hawkins, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Milwauke e and Roberta Derlin, Department of Educational Management and Development, New Mexico State University "Many people claim, as if it were established fact, that suburbs exploit cities and cause their decline. But that viewpoint has never been free from scientific challenge nor convincingly backed by evidence. Ever since the 1950's, when social scientists first began to write about the issue, they cautioned readers not to rule out the possibility that suburbs generated more benefits than costs for cities. They stressed that suburbanites created property values wherever they worked, shopped, and played, and that without systematic benefit-cost analysis, higher city expenditures alone did not demonstrate exploitation by suburbs (Margolis, 1957; Fitch, 1957; Brazer, 1959; Davies, 1965; Davies, 1969). Even so, since the 1960's, city politicians have used the assertion that suburbs hurt cities as a political tool to seek redistribution of suburban resources. But political usefulness is not scientific validity. The issue should be decided not by opinion or expediency, but by the weight of the evidence, which forms the subject of our essay: what does the most relevant research tell us about the effects of suburbs on cities? Two points should be emphasized at the beginning. First, the fact that spending by cities grows in part to serve suburban commuters does not prove that suburbs exploit cities, unless the costs outweigh the benefits. Writers sometimes recite the costs (which are real) without acknowledging evidence that suburbs benefit cities." Read the whole thing @ http://www.stopnca nnexation.com/Subu rbvcitiy.pdf Asheville would be a shadow of what it is today if all the suburbs that surround it never existed or disappeared. The studies that the pro-annexation bunch look to are one sided. They only look at the costs that suburbs bring without balancing them with the benefits. The worse case scenario shows that the cost/benefit is a wash, but most of the studies show a net benefit to the city, which is REDUCED if the suburbs are annexed!  (Jul 25, 2007 | post #76)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation debate gets red-hot in WNC

Jeff, I think we probably agree on most points. Any appearance of disagreement was most likely a misunderstanding. I apologize if I was unclear in anything I've said. C Heath  (Jul 5, 2007 | post #86)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation debate gets red-hot in WNC

Jeff, I agree with you that the cities have little to justify their revenue demands for their out of control spending habits to those who are satisfied with the comparatively minimal government services that the county provides. I also agree with you that much of what the cities spend their residents tax dollars on our socialist style redistribution schemes. And they often openly admit to that intent when they try to justify forced annexation. They also admit that they want to "capture " businesses that opened their doors outside the city limits. They can then make the paper claim that the city itself is a "job center" even though the majority of new jobs created are still actually out in the suburbs. Then they tax and regulate those businesses to death. Unless it's a very big business with lots of political clout. Then they throw the citizen tax revenue at them. Yes, Wake County is a mess and that is probably due to the fact that there are so many municipalities in Wake. And the little that is unincorporated has been divvied up on paper to them. The County Commmissioners sold out the unincorporated land owners long ago. If my neighborhood is annexed, the city won't provide me with one single thing that I want or need. I LIKE paying the small family business that picks up my trash and recycling! I don't WANT that ability to pay a private business for the service replaced by government trucks picking it up at the taxpayers expense. Cities make small businesses suffer the most and private responsiblity is replaced by dependence on the government. That STINKS!  (Jul 5, 2007 | post #84)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville should watch its budget more, annex less

And with this I will make the point that indeed there was segregation and a very accepted racist attitude back in 1959 when the annexation laws were rewritten. Is it coincidence that the all white legislators and city leaders of the time saw the writing on the wall as the Civil Rights Movement was gaining ground and eroding the segregated society of the South? That the Jim Crow laws were declared unconstitutional at around the same time? Is it coincidence that the new laws gave the cities the right to unilaterally annex those predominately white middle class post war suburban neighborhoods around them as the city populations were becoming "less white" and the city's black residents were beginning to gain the political advantage of numbers? I don't think so. I don't think it was a coincidence at all. The idea to give cities this unAmerican power to annex was more than likely a last ditch attempt to hold on to white majority political rule. GBML_ you and a couple of other posters might want to ask the NCLM to give you better material to regurgitate in these forums.  (Jul 5, 2007 | post #13)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation debate gets red-hot in WNC

Jeff, Tell me what the Buncombe County taxes pays for. It can't be that different from what Wake Co. taxes pay for. And then tell me what constitutes "double taxation". And please list more than just the claim that the sheriffs patrols are not needed because the city has it's own police force. Show me how all (or even half) of the items that are funded with County taxes are duplicated by the city. Thanks, Cathy  (Jul 3, 2007 | post #76)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation debate gets red-hot in WNC

It might be useful to you to graduate from smartass to just smarter. Have you ever looked at your County tax bill to see what those taxes pay for? In most NC counties, most of the county tax pays for the schools; K-12 and community colleges. The money that goes to the sheriff's dept. pays for more than some patrol cars and officers. It also runs the jails and courthouses. The cities don't have to foot the bill for these expensive needs. Then there are the county libraries and parks, the landfills that the cities use, and other environmental services. If Buncombe is only providing what you think you are paying county taxes for then it is very unusual.  (Jun 29, 2007 | post #74)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Forced annexation is a blatant slap in face of individual...

To GBML, So many things to respond to here. Let's take the easiest one off the table first; #1. Your suggestion to ask for a chance to vote. If you had done a little self education before posting this acrid opinion of yours, you would know that one of the many Bills that were introduced asked for that very thing. Was it given any chance of consideration? NO. The cities want it all. Their way or the highway. No compromise. #2. I don't know how old you are but your understanding of the structure of American government seems to indicate that you are either very young or slept through Civics and American Government classes. Your theory ignores the variety of governmental units that exist in America. People have choices as to where to live that are much more varied than the choice to live in America or not. You choose to live in America, but there is variety. If you don't like how Colorado runs their government, you can move to California. If you don't like Buncombe County, you can move to Brunswick Co. If you don't like Charlotte, you can move to Raleigh. Unless you ignore the reality of choice, then your argument for the logic of forced annexation fails. And where would you draw the line of acceptable distance from the corporate border of the city that puts those on one side free from the city and those on the other beholden to the city? Which city gets to claim the surrounding suburbs when there are multiple cities in the area? Allowing cities to lay claim to land outside it's borders creates a very messy situation. Of all of the units of government in America, municipal residence is the most voluntary of them all. It should remain that way. I don't recall the day that municipal governance was declared the best form of governance over the affairs of property owners out of all the choices available. #3. In order to have an "opt out" option, there must be an "opt in" option. If you made a concious decision to move inside the corporate limits of Asheville then you "opted in" and no one is deriding you for making that choice. Many others "opt out", and unless you think that the entire State of North Carolina should be made into one big municipality, then there are far more than 200 people at any one time who have "opted out" on becoming a city resident. You wanted the complete package of services that paying city taxes offers you, fine. Not everyone does. When one lives outside the city, one pays for services offered by private alternative sources. In fact, Asheville benefits from the very existance of the surrounding suburbs. In addition to not being the responsibility of the city, Asheville benefits from the County taxes and Federal taxes that everyone who lives outside the city pays. Asheville's water and sewer system makes money from every customer, resident or not, independent of city property taxes. Using your logic, if Mexico and Canada are benefiting from being right next to America, then we should "annex" them. If North Carolina is enjoying some overflow benefit from being next to Virginia, then Virgina should annex NC. And maybe Buncombe should annex Henderson.  (Jun 29, 2007 | post #14)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation debate gets red-hot in WNC

Kelly, The Biltmore Lake group is doing much more than just fighting their own annexation. They are also fighting to change the law so no else has to go through what you did. In their efforts to change the annexation statutes, they are using their resources on behalf of all in NC that did not and do not have the resource to fight "City Hall". In fact, the laws are written so tightly in favor of the cities, a court challenge is usually nothing more than a delay of the annexation and a very expensive statement of protest against the law itself. Be glad that they have the resources to make that statement. For too many of our legislators, it's still money that talks to them. The groups like Biltmore that can pull together the money to fight are getting the attention of the General Assembly and adding an emphasis to the voices of EVERYONE, rich or poor, who are raising their voice against this horrible law. For most of the people victimized by municipal expansion, the choice they made to live in the county and ask for less from the government, was driven by what they could afford to pay. They found affordable housing in the County. With the majority of the forced annexations, affordable housing is being eliminated for retired seniors and young families. The city came to them, not vice versa. Their tight budgets are blown to bits by the fees and added taxes they can do nothing to stop. Senior citizens living in small cottage ranch homes that Raleigh has engulfed, pay $12,000.00 in development fees before they even add the higher taxes and private expense to switch from private utilities to government provided ones to that. I've seen an elderly gentleman who was caring for his wife who had Alzhiemers CRY when he heard that he would be forced to come up with nearly 20K in expenses because of forced annexation. When each community like Biltmore Lake, or Pinewild in Moore County can raise the funds to challenge the annexation, they are helping to fight for at least nine other less wealthy communities victimized by forced annexation. Rich or poor, we can do our part by writing to legislators and asking them to change this law so the people have a fair chance to have a say about annexation and the costs of it.  (Jun 25, 2007 | post #48)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Annexation passions boil over

Shake and Bake MUST be a city planner or the like. And drinking too much of the NCLM KoolAid. Another urban socialist trying to confuse the conversation by implying that if the opponents of FORCED annexation were successful at restoring the vote of the people affected, that somehow ALL annexation would come to an end. Repeat after me.. "Forced annexation does not = ALL annexation" Clean out your ears and your mind. "We oppose FORCED annexation" The cities will still annex themselves silly even if the legislature put an end to FORCED annexation.  (Jun 14, 2007 | post #8)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Ron Paul may be president many have been praying for

Ron Paul has already firmly declared that if he is not nominated for the Republican candidate that he will not run on a third party ticket. If the people want Paul for pres. then they need to speak up now or forever hold their peace.  (Jun 10, 2007 | post #69)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Ron Paul may be president many have been praying for

Ron Paul - "But Let It Not Be Said That We Did Nothing" http://www.youtube .com/watch?v=VpM_m jQhdcY You would think that the R's would be falling over themselves to run a candidate that appeals to voters across partisan lines! If Ely would look a little deeper at what Ron Paul has said about issues on the floor of the House, he might see what was said at the debate a little differently. It's too easy to fall victim to the spin that the other candidates and the media is trying to use against Paul. Ron Paul is a true patriot and a truth teller, not what the MSM is trying to make of him.  (Jun 10, 2007 | post #68)

Asheville Citizen-Times

Asheville close to annexing 3 areas

Take a look at the maps of the areas in this annexation! Only ONE area fits the claim of "orderly growth". BL and Sardis Rd. areas are fingerlike growths off of the existing city limits. Especially the Biltmore Lake area. A previous annexation that qualified BL as "contigous " looks like a deliberate attempt to reach the BL neighborhood. The Sardis Rd. area has a glaringly illogical ommission of an area above it that begs the question of why(??) was it excluded if the goal is to extend the city in an orderly way? My bet would be that the excluded area didn't meet a threshold of revenue return. That goes comletely against the stated reason for IA that the Municipal Government Study Commission gave for it back in 1959.  (May 16, 2007 | post #7)

Q & A with C Heath

Hometown:

Wake Co.

Neighborhood:

Medfield Estates

When I'm Not on Topix:

www.stopncannexation.com

Blog / Website / Homepage:

http://stopncannexation.blogspot.com/

I Believe In:

Freedom of choice_ individual rights