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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The petitions are in, and the people have spoken but the fight over annexation is far from over. The city of Wilmington and four other cities across the state have filed a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina, the North Carolina Board of Elections, and multiple county’s Board of Elections.

In the lawsuit, the cities claim the law regulating petitioning for annexation is unconstitutional.

“And then the thing they made you do was have an election where only certain land owners were allowed to vote,” said Wilmington city councilman Kevin O’Grady. “So, people who rent, they don’t get to vote. People who don’t live in the area, they don’t get to vote. People affected by the vote, the city of Wilmington residents, they don’t get to vote. That’s un-American and that’s basically what we’re challenging. It’s an unconstitutional election.”

Representative Carolyn Justice says the lawsuit is a waste of time.
“It will be a monumental waste of taxpayer’s money and probably embarrassing for the cities when they’re finished,” said Justice.

Justice says the cities are scrabbling to figure out how to annex even though residents, like those in Monkey Junction and near Southport, have shown in the returned petitions they do not want it.

“Forced annexation ignores the voice of the people,” said Justice. “Just the very action, ignores the voice of people. And now, 75 percent in Monkey Junction, and I think a greater number than that in Southport, have spoken. And now, they’re ignoring that voice. But worse than that, they’re wasting the money, tax money paid by the people who already live in the city of Wilmington on this legal action.”

O’Grady says he thinks the state is the one who is wasting citizen’s time and money.

“I thought it was a waste of taxpayer money to pass a statute that was so obviously unconstitutional,” said O’Grady.

O’Grady says the cities will ask a judge in Wake County Thursday to temporarily stop the Board of Elections from verifying petitions that were due back Tuesday.

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23 Comments on "Fight over annexation continues"

2015 years 10 months ago

The people on the city council should have to pay (personally and not with tax payer money) for the cost of this frivolous lawsuit. I am really sick of these so called leaders wasting the money of the taxpayers. The law is to prevent forced annexation and they should obey it.

Ray Briggs
2015 years 10 months ago

Everyone posting here is correct. We should all resist growth and change as much as possible. Never in our wildest dreams did we envision having to pay city taxes when we bought property a few blocks from the city limits. Let all those fatcats inside the city deal with city taxes and such. We were the ones with the fool-proof plan of moving into a very spefic area in which we could be “mostly-residents.” (We spend most of our time in the city; working, shopping, eating out. We have Wilmington on our addresses, we go to Hammerhead games, we shop at Independence mall, we get upset at Market St. & College Rd. traffic, we listen to Wilmington radio stations & watch Wilmington tv; even ask anyone back in PA/NY/NJ where we live – they will all say Wilmington, NC.
But WE know the truth – that we only mostly live in Wilmington.
You see, we are actually a few blocks outside of the city limits so we don’t pay city property taxes – brilliant, isn’t it?

Your fault
2015 years 10 months ago

If you voted saffo you caused it so you can’t complain!

mark haines
2015 years 10 months ago

They aren’t listed on the headlines, but a bunch of smaller towns signed their name to the lawsuit so they can push through some annexations that were stopped. Chiefly among those “secret” names is Marvin in Union county, which has the highest median income of any town in north carolina- over 150k per household. The best part is that Marvin provides absolutely no services. No police, fire, sewer, waste removal, water, NOTHING. They don’t even have a town hall, they just rent a room at the local church for meetings where they decide how to divvy up 900,000 dollars of annual tax revenue. They are trying to annex 1400 households to get another 1.5 million dollars in revenue. And they spend all that money on nothing except their own salaries. It’s legal highway robbery and it is time all of this ENDED.

2015 years 10 months ago

Many people live in Castle Hayne and work in Castle Hayne. Many people live in Murrayville and work across the river on 421. I live in the county and spend most of my workdays in Columbus, Bladen, or Sampson County.

Wilmington is NOT the center of the universe.

BTW, all your nonsense about “we watch Wilmington TV stations” is exactly that – nonsense. If I watch the Cubs on WGN should I be annexed by Chicago?


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