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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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49 Comments on "Saffo says threat from Sen. Berger doesn’t overrule city’s rights"

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2015 years 11 months ago

Have you not seen the parking meters downtown? If that is enough for you to justify using the beach’s services why aren’t the city’s meters enough for me to use their services?

Tourists are not freeloading? I don’t see why a person from Wake County is any different than someone from NHC.

2015 years 11 months ago

Lowes or Home Depot were the last stores that had me driving into Wilmington. The Lowes opening in Porter’s Neck last year thankfully put an end to that. Also, to this day I’ve never spent a single penny in downtown Wilmington. I’m more than happy to keep out.

2015 years 11 months ago

We pay for it with our sales dollars. If not for the people outside of Wilmington, the city would be an economic disaster. Also, the people from the county pay for the library as well as many other buildings and government services that are located in the city limits. If the county residents must pay tolls to get into the city, then they should move all of the county’s services to outside the city limits, including the courthouse. That will provide less traffic on the streets in the city and less traffic into the businesses within the city limits.

Regardless of… Read more »

2015 years 11 months ago

My city would die without tourism, not the county residents. I already have to pay to go to any of the beaches, have you not seen the parking meters????? SOME roads are subsidized by the state and federal government, but the business and services you use are not. If you go to a restaurant, the land is part of the city. Not to mention when any crime is committed against you while in the city, it’s MY tax dollars paying those officers to respond to you being somewhere you don’t pay for. It’s called freeloading. As for the whole water/sewer… Read more »

2015 years 11 months ago

Your road system is subsidized by both the state and federal governments. Second…your precious little city would DIE without spending from county residents.

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