Len Bechtold, St. Joseph
The city of St Joseph has notified the township it intends to annex all of the property in the Orderly Annexation Area. At meetings on May 25, 2017, attended by approximately 50 people; a meeting on Jan 25, 2018, attended by approximately 100 people; and a meeting on Feb. 15, 2018 attended by approximately 75 people, all who testified spoke against annexation and were cheered on by all attending.
At each of these meetings, one message came through loud and clear: The people of St. Joseph township do not want to be governed by the city of St. Joseph.
No one has petitioned for annexation nor has anyone requested water-and-sewer services, so what is the city’s motivation in doing this?
Is it for the taxes? Not only would the taxes be sent to the city, but there would be a huge tax increase to most residents of the annexation area even though they would receive no benefits. The annexation agreement states “When undeveloped land is annexed for the purpose of development, the city tax rate shall not apply until a plat has been recorded. All other properties shall be taxed at the city tax rate upon completion of annexation.”
Or is it for the control and authority? The only reason given for annexation is it’s “confusing and ineffective” for the city administrator to administer the county’s regulations in the annexation area. If the area is annexed, then the residents would be required to follow the city’s regulations.
What has happened to the principles our country was founded by; “Government of the people, by the people and for the people?”
Annexation just doesn’t make sense.