Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Fort Wayne Annexation plans intensify


I attended the City of Fort Wayne's first informational briefing on the proposed annexation of "The Carroll Road" area with about 100 other people.

This annexation will cover 4,341 people according to the briefing.

I am glad that I attended this meeting and that I can report more about what The City of Fort Wayne is planning.

Most of the readers of this blog know a lot about Fort Wayne and its history of rampant annexation. I have actually been annexed twice in my life by The City (Empire) of Fort Wayne. I was most recently annexed in the "Pine Valley" annexation in 2003.

What is most interesting about annexation is the fact that several of our current Republican City Councilman ran on a platform opposing annexation...

I have requested a copy of the minutes from the recent City Council meeting where The City Council voted to annex Huguenard Road. The Huguenard Road annexation affected about 1600 people already.

Those of you who pay attention to the media know that there has been a large backlash against local Republicans over annexation. Many Republicans now will tell anyone who will listen how opposed to annexation they are... We will see if they back up their promises during upcoming votes... I imagine almost all of them voted to annex Huguenard Road...

I looked at the projected map the City brought with them to the meeting. It shows areas Fort Wayne is considering annexing, and it is HUGE. I would estimate that the area's the City is currently considering annexing will increase the geographical area of Fort Wayne by 15%!

Expect the City to announce a total of THREE annexations this year alone. These annexations will include:

1. The Carroll Road Annexation, this is 4311 people.
2. The Bass Road Annexation, this is another 4 thousand people.
3. The Hursh Road Annexation, I do not know how many people this is; but, it is a MASSIVE annexation as far as area goes. This annexation will be almost as large as the Aboite annexation as far as geographical area. I expect this will be another 8-12 thousand people in an area that is growing rapidly. This will cover about 10 square miles and go as far north as Hursh road and as far East as the St Joe River.

After counting the Huguenard Annexation (Which already passed City Council) I think the City will announce it is going to annex about 20,000 people this year.

Annexation is not over! It continues just like it always has!

Specific information on The Carroll Road annexation is below:

The City officials actually informed the residents that annexation will NOT benefit the residents. Annexation will benefit the community and Metro area as a whole. (WOW)

This area will go into Councilman Didier's third District. Didier is supposedly against annexation...

The City will add the following staff and infrastructure to the area:
1-2 new police officers and equipment
No new firemen or stations
1 additional street maintenance person
no new parks
We were told the City's goal is to light EVERY intersection in The City of Fort Wayne (wow).
The City will install nine new lights in the area to be annexed.
The City will hire one new neighborhood code "person" (I considered using another word here.)

The City plans on introducing the actual legislation to The City Council for the fiscal plan on Feb 28th. The City hopes to introduce the annexation resolution itself in late march or early April. The City hopes to annex Carroll Road by Dec 31st, 2007.

The City claimed that they perform residential snow removal and there was outright laughter in the crowd (Note I am the President of my Neighborhood Association and we had to hire a contractor because The City was so dismal.)

One City official PROUDLY explained that The City was aggressively trying to seize Aqua Indiana with Eminent Domain and that The City hoped to provide water to the area as well (Their was a lot of laughter in the crown on this one too.) This case is to be heard by The Indiana Supreme Court in March of this year. This same City official also informed us that The City of Fort Wayne has already ran the water mains to within five feet of Aqua Indiana's water lines to that they can hook City Water up as soon as the property is seized through the court system. This means the taxpayers have already paid for this project, at least in part.

The residents were told that if they pay a drainage fee to Allen County that they will have to pay BOTH Allen County and The City of Fort Wayne once they are annexed.

There was a lot of outrage concerning a recent condemnation of a septic/sewer system on Bethel Road. Apparently, The Board of Health condemned a system that was used by 31 property owners. Apparently some of the home owners were forced to "pump and carry" their sewage. I talked to one home owner who gave me the exact details as they affected him. He agreed that his system was in bad shape. So The Board of Health mandated that these home owners hook into The City of Fort Wayne's sewer system... This home owner paid $2500 up front AND he had to sign an agreement to pay $89 per month for the next twenty years... Now for the OUTRAGEOUS part.

He was forced to sign a waiver that waived his right to remonstrate against the City of Fort Wayne. Several other people in attendance verified this for me... Imagine that.

That is all for now. More will follow.


Anonymous said...

I would like to know what the city council thinks it is gaining for Fort Wayne by all these anexation plans. If they are outright telling the taxpayers it won't help them, what is the city gaining? There are times when annexation is good. For example if they are trying to increase efficency by eliminating duplication of services, etc. Anything that will help the city should in turn help the residents eventually! Obviously city council doesn't think this is the case if they can out right tell the residents annexation will not help them!

William Larsen said...

I also attended the presentation on annexation by the City of Fort Wayne. The rate for fire protection would go up 40 cents per $100 assessed or about $122 for a $100,000 home. The city stated they would use existing fire stations that are anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes out. Their current fire protection is Huntertown, just down the road.

In addition the fire department has 385 personnel of which 80 were recent hires. They were being aggressive in hiring even more fire fighters. In addition 22 more pieces of equipment were ordered. The obvious conclusion is the annexation will not reduce the risk of loss do to a fire and that it may in fact increase the loss of any fire that occurs. Annexation of this area is purely a money grab, take from those who have to give to those who don’t.

When asked if the City had done any study as to the cost effectiveness of this spending spree, the answer was no. However, they did say that no cost was too great to save a life. In their eyes we could all pay 100% of income in taxes and it would not be too great, yet we would all starve to death.

The City views all adjacent areas basically as “leaches.” Adjacent areas reap the benefit of Fort Wayne attracting jobs. My question is how many jobs are going to the city versus the county? Is the City really attracting jobs, or is it the county?

The United States of America was founded on fundamental rights.
 The right to be represented in government.
 Article IV: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”
 Article V: “No person… shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.”
 Taxation without representation is prohibited.
 2/3rds of the citizens of each United States Territory had to vote to become a state.
 Elections are decided based on citizens electing candidates. Candidates with a majority of the votes cast in their favor win.

In 1764 the British for the first time imposed a series of taxes designed specifically to raise revenue from the colonies. The tax, whose official name was the American Revenue Act, became popularly known as the Sugar Act. One of its major components was the raising of tariff on sugar. The act was combined with a greater attempt to enforce the existing tariffs.

In 1765 a Stamp Tax was enacted. It imposed taxes on all legal documents (i.e. marriage licenses, newspapers, and 47 other documents). The colonists responded with vocal protests. Not only did these taxes hurt their pocketbooks, but they were highly visible (i.e. they were needed for every day transactions). In addition, to enforce these actions, the British announced that colonial offenders were to be tried in the hated Admiralty courts.

The protests, which grew, began developing new slogans; including "No taxation without representation".

In 1776 the 13 colonies declared independence from England on the grounds they were being taxed without representation. England commandeered US merchantmen on the high seas and placed them in the service of England. The War of 1812 was a result.

Slavery in the United States was permitted in some states and not others. In 1865 a wrong was corrected with the passage Article XIII. It did not just keep new individuals from being enslaved, but freed all who had been enslaved. It corrected an egregious wrong. Even though owners had invested resources in the individuals they enslaved, the rights of the enslaved trumped the owner’s rights.

World War I was begun because Germany wanted to rule other countries. Germany wanted the resources of others and to force their culture and way of life on others. The United States of American stood up against this tyranny and restored sovereignty and freedom to those countries affected.

World War II started when Germany annexed Poland. Hitler wanted dominion over other countries and began a systematic land grab. Hitler’s view was his culture and way of life was best and all should emulate it. The United States of America came to the aid of these countries and restored their sovereignty and freedom.

The United States of America has a long history of coming to the aid of other countries when their sovereignty was at risk. We do this because we believe in democracy where the people elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. If they do not like the decisions made, the people have the right to remove from office those representatives who violate the trust of the people and to change and or repeal laws that are found unconstitutional or unfair.

Should American Citizens expect any less from the Government of The United States?

When Fort Wayne, Indiana began annexation proceedings against the Aboite Township. Indiana Law permitted annexation of surrounding areas. The law did not state:
 the annexation had to be fair
 a plan was needed
 the people being annexed had to agree with and support the annexation.

The Annexation Law of Indiana violated an individual’s right to representation and the taxation without representation with the subsequent taking of property for public use without compensation.

What is Annexation? Annexation involves the following:
 Changing representation of the people
 Changing the laws by which people are governed
 Changing the amount of taxes and to whom taxes are paid

Annexation under Indiana Law violated the Constitution of the United States. It denied those being annexed from being represented. Property was seized without just compensation. Citizens could not feel secure in their homes or property when an outside entity could seize it for its own use.

On May 13, 1999 Governor Frank O’Bannon signed into law two acts that improve the fairness of Indiana’s annexation statutes.

For the first time, changes in the law make it possible for property owners who object to a city’s forced annexation to have the annexation over-turned by a judge on other than procedural grounds. Annexation is nullified if four conditions are met:

(1) At least 65% of landowners or owners of 75% of the assessed value of the land being annexed object through a remonstrance petition.

(2) Police, fire protection, street and road maintenance are adequately furnished by another provider.

(3) The annexation will have a significant financial impact on landowners.

(4) The annexation is not in the best interest of the property owners. (The burden of proof is on the city to show annexation is in the owners’ interest.)

The laws provide a new opportunity for citizens facing hostile annexations to defeat the city in court. The laws took effect July 1, 1999. The law improves fairness, which goes to the very core of America’s nature. Fairness has no time frame nor time limit. If something is not fair, we strive to make it fair.

We have over 135,000 troops in Iraq trying to correct decades of wrongs imposed by an unjust dictator. We have Americans dying in Iraq to help those people, yet we, as Americans in the state of Indiana, do not have the same protection.

Annexation is wrong, un-American, immoral and unconstitutional.

The area around Carroll HS governed itself and provided services consistent with what property owners wanted through a democratic election process. It assessed the needed taxes to pay and support the level of services the property owners had democratically elected to have. These residents had no representation with the city of Fort Wayne, and will not have representation for two years. However, Fort Wayne is looking at new areas as a means of raising revenue to fund their excessive and poorly thought-out projects. If this is not the case, then taxes for these property owners will not need to be increased. This same atrocity is about to happen yet again.

Now the City of Fort Wayne is again on the prowl for more land.

Mike Kole said...

We jokingly refered to the Home Place neighborhood as "The Sudetenland" as they tried to fend of Carmel's attempt to annex. WXNT picked up on the gag and started running the Hogan's Heroes theme every time they discuss Carmel.

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