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Saffo says threat from Sen. Berger doesn't overrule city's rights

READ MORE: Saffo says threat from Sen. Berger doesn't overrule city's rights

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- With Christmas quickly approaching, many leaders in Raleigh are packing up and heading home to spend time with their family and friends. But not everyone is full of the holiday spirit. North Carolina State Senate majority leader Phil Berger sent a letter to some city leaders, including Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo, that's not so jolly.

"He would like us to drop the lawsuit (challenging new annexation laws), and if we didn't, there could be some dire consequences for the cities in the state of North Carolina," Saffo said.

Sen. Berger sent out a letter Wednesday defending the recent victory over forced annexation by telling city leaders who are against the new law allowing citizens in affected areas to petition against the land grab to back off. Saffo says regardless of what Berger says, the cities have the right to move forward with the lawsuits against the state.

"Nobody ever threatened the right of a citizen that took on the city in respect to an annexation lawsuit, ever," Saffo said. "For them to turn around and threaten cities because the cities are using their Constitutional rights, I think it's unfortunate."

In the letter, Sen. Berger says the General Assembly has put much thought into the process of forced annexation, and the cities should not waste the tax payers' money by moving forward with legal action.

Saffo says he thinks the General Assembly was the one that wasted the citizens' money by changing the law in the first place. He says threatening local leaders is not the way to get what you want.

"I don't think that's good public policy," Saffo said. "I think good public policy is working with the people. I hope he'll try to understand where we're coming from."

Saffo says he does not know what the City of Wilmington will do about the lawsuit. He says the City Council will talk to the other cities involved before making any type of decision on what to do next.

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Saffo is an idiot. Yes, you

Saffo is an idiot. Yes, you are wasting thousands of tax payers dollars by fighting something that is completely wrong. The really sad part is, you are proving our point. How much money of the City tax base are you willing to waste on fighting this? This is exactly why we don't want to be annexed and have to pay for your corrupt, poor spending.
Get over it. Move on. Find a new way to get your money to waste on 2012 and beyond. Here's an idea. Cut back an ridiculous projects that you and the city council dip your own interests in. Start there and move forward. We at MJ are happy with what the county provides and don't want nor need you.

what about the rights of citizens you hijack Mayor Saffo

Saffo is all about "citys rights" cept he's forgotten the rights of the citizens he and his money hungry city council keep trying to kidnap into their tax base to spend more money friviously. (I used to live in Wilmington believe me Im well aware of the waste of funds Saffo and the rest are spend happy with).

Ol' hairspray Saffo...

...needs to get a fresh can. I can't believe the people of the city voted this crook back into office. He is bound and determined to go full against the peoples wishes.

Let's just call it "Saffo City"...

Saffo's right!

If it's not good for Bill Saffo personally, then it's not good for Wilmington. Bill always knows best!

Take your own advice

From the story: "I don't think that's good public policy," said Saffo. "I think good public policy is working with the people. I hope he'll try to understand where we're coming from."

Then take some of the grease off your fathead so this can sink in, the people voted and said a resounding NO to the City of Wilmington. Now you have to work with the people and respect their wishes.


You are wasting money challenging this! The people VOTED, THEY DO NOT want it! Give it up, you will need to balance your budget via other means!


I did not perceive Berger's statement as a threat. In response to Saffo's quote, constitutional rights are settled by the courts, but legislation is constructed by the General Assembly. Annexation reform has been long overdue to protect basic homeowner rights from taxation without representation due to forced annexation by municipalities.


Poor Saffo. Sounds like he's going to pick up his ball and go home. It's okay for cities to threaten their neighbors but when the shoe is on the other foot ----. His reasons for annexation stink. They're personal.

From the article: Saffo says

From the article: Saffo says he thinks the general assembly was the one who wasted the citizens money by changing the law in the first place. He says threatening local leaders is not the way to go about getting what you want.

Mr. Mayor, I left the quotation marks off the above remarks excerpted from the article in the sincere hope that you in fact did NOT really say this.

It is a WASTE of MONEY for citizens to prevail on their representatives to enact or change a law?

Until this, the most outrageous quip by a politician this year was our esteemed governor's calling to suspend the elections. You BOTH need to be impeached.

Dear Mr. Mayor, I am

Dear Mr. Mayor,

I am enjoying my morning coffee right now. I like it kind of strong because it helps me wake up and be alert. I wish you were here so I could offer you some too.

In your comments, you say: "Nobody ever threatened the right of a citizen that took on the city in respect to an annexation lawsuit, ever," said Saffo. "For them to turn around and threaten cities because the cities are using their constitutional rights I think it's unfortunate."

Your constitutional right to sue isn't being taken away. If you feel so strongly about this, take out your own checkbook along with your supporters and go out and fight for your position as private citizens.

What is being denied to you is the ability to further squander taxpayer dollars in now vain attempts to gain money that is not yours to waste in the first place. Your office spent $700,000 on this land-grab. Heck, you would think that this is the first time ever that a large sum of taxpayer money was EVER wasted. Maybe this is a contingency that you and the City Council should have thought of before playing Santa Claus with taxpayer funds having parties and handing out bonuses...

As to the $700,000, who was actually paid this amount of money? How many hours did they spend working to earn this sum? What rate was charged to the city for these "services"?

This time, Mr. Mayor, the will of the people prevailed despite the process being heavily rigged in your favor. The unconstitutionality here that has been finally fixed is that you no longer have the right to take property from citizens without their consent.

Berger Wars

First we had Brian Berger dominating our news. He is mostly a plain old ham Berger. Now, we have some politician in Raleigh threatning us. He seems to be a Phill-y cheese Berger.

What about the

What about the constitutional rights of the people who don't want to be annexed?

Don't go away mad...just go

Don't go away mad...just go away!
Now the mayor knows how being a target have the citizens of this city under his thumb with taxation and screw ball leadership.
The BIG BOYS said "NO" Mr. Mayor...and "NO" means "NO"!!!!!!!
$700,000 spent of our tax money on an assumption you'd get Monkey Junction huh? Can't always pick our pockets for more and more and more just because you want to. Go get your own cash for your own battles!
This was one battle you couldn't play the Senator's roll and get by with it.

Cities do not have rights,

Cities do not have rights, people do. How can Saffo say with a straight face that good public policy is to work with the people? Is that what he and his cohorts on the city council were doing when they built the convention center against the wishes of the people? The newspaper says that the cities are appealing saying that ending forced annexation is unconstitutional. Really? What is unconstitutional is taxation without representation which is what forced annexation is. I wish that the citizens of Wilmington would quit re-electing him.

Listen, Saffo

The next thing you do is get over it and yourself. You keep forcing some sort of lawsuit now and you are in the same category as Berger. Let it go. You lost and that's that. YOU are the one who needs to work with people. You don't listen to John Q Public, if you did you would know everyone is against annexation. Don't bring any more embarrassment to Wilmington and New Hanover Co. Berger has done enough of that. Find something worth while to focus on.


I am referring to Brian Berger in this comment. . .

Please be aware that this

Please be aware that this story references State Senator Phil Berger, NOT embattled outgoing Councilman Brian Berger. Two completely different people. NC has a lot of Bergers, come to find out...

Reply to thumpp

I am very aware (sir,mam, whatever) that Brian Berger and Senator Berger are two different people. Since the issue has become so heated, I sought to put a little humor into it. Evidently it passed right over your head.


Didn't mean to be insulting, just trying to clarify. Take a chill pill and leave the humor to the experts, because you are lousy at it.