Mayor Littlefield needs to realized that forced annexations like this do no good for anyone and are an outdated concept, which is why most states have banned the practice.
In Sept 8, 2008 City Councilman Jack Benson stated to the Times Free Press:
"...upfront costs such as improving sewers and roads can offset property taxes gained from existing homes. It could take years before the city sees a significant gain in new property tax collections because subdivisions and developments would have to be built and sold before taxes were collected, he said.
“I’ve seen some studies of annexed areas that shows it takes 15 years to bring service up to the level it needs to be,” he said.
Even before annexation, the city needs to take care of itself, he said."
Forcing county residents to become city residents only creates hostility.
It will result in one thing- new members elected to the City Council by those annexed who will fight tooth and nail against the other City Council members in the future. Forced annexations will make the City Council more ineffective at getting things done in the future.
You need to be creating harmony Mayor Littlefield instead of polarizing citizens against each other and the city government.
The only reasons you are doing this forced annexation is to upstage Knoxville in the 2010 Census; for your own ego, legacy and bragging rights, and to try and force the county governments hand on consolidation and metro government. Your motives have very little to do with serving the best interests of the citizens of either the city or county. I can't see anyway for you to implement this annexation without having to raise taxes on those of us already in the city in order to pay for services for those annexed from the county.
This vote doesn't affect only City Council members that will be over the newly annexed areas. It affects the other council members as well, for it means they will have to vote to raise taxes on all city residents to pay for this, which will incur a backlash from city residents upon them as well.
I agree the city council needs to show some backbone.
The city council members all seem to be looking to the Mayor for leadership and to give them their agenda, which is wrong.
As elected representatives they have an obligation to be looking to their constituents and the public to lead them and tell them what their agenda is.
Most of us in the city are as opposed to this annexation as those in the county. It doesn't improve anything and simply makes the existing city problems bigger and harder to manage, which in turn leads to a bigger bureaucracy that is even further out of the touch with the public.
Coercing people to become Chattanooga citizens is simply not smart.
It goes against the American spirit of democracy, and will simply polarize the politics of this town towards the negative for decades to come.
County residents should be allowed a choice of whether or not they wish to be annexed into the city.
What annexing the proposed areas will do is unify a rather large, white, Christian, republican and conservative voting block against the existing city government, and shift the balance of power in Chattanooga further to the conservative right. (So, instead of Chattanooga being ruled unjustly by the wealthy white democrats from Lookout Mountain it will in the future be ruled unjustly by wealthy white republicans from Mountain Shadows.)
But perhaps that is the legacy Mayor Littlefield wants, to be known as the Chattanooga Mayor who shot his own political party's power base in the foot.
Seriously, don't annex the proposed areas, you do not want to give those people a voice in our city government or the ability to run for office in city government.
It will set Chattanooga back decades on the progress it has made.
The money spent on extending city services to them will be a waste, and the property tax revenue they bring in will simply not be worth it to suffer such a huge shift in the city population towards the conservative right.
I think most of us in the city are as opposed to this annexation as those in the county. It doesn't improve anything and simply makes the existing city problems bigger and harder to manage, which in turn leads to a bigger bureaucracy that is even further out of the touch with the public.