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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After the state Senate voted to stop forced annexation, we wanted to hear from Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo about the city’s plan. Today we finally tracked him down.

“If this is the new law of the day for the State of North Carolina, we’ll follow that law,” Saffo said. “If they change the law next year, we’ll follow that law. If they change the law next year, we’ll follow that law.”

Votes Thursday by the North Carolina Senate pushed forward a repeal of the annexation of Monkey Junction, and put annexation in the hands of voters.

The moves come after Wilmington and other cities sued the General Assembly over annexation. Saffo said while the Senate’s decision was expected, he also believes it’s unfortunate and unfair.

“The County of New Hanover in 2002 sued the State of North Carolina and sued the legislature in 2002, and they were never retaliated against,” he said. “I just think it’s just a new day in the State of North Carolina. If you take on the state legislature, there’s a very good chance that something like this could happen to you.”

If the bills pass, Monkey Junction will no longer receive city services. It’s a decision Saffo believes limits growth, but he thinks the city could still grow in other areas.

Saffo said the potential tax base loss will not impact the city’s decision to fund the ballpark.

“That has nothing to do with it,” Saffo said. “The issue in respect to the ballpark is if it’s a good deal for the city and a good deal for the developers that are bringing this ballpark forward. If it’s a good deal, then we can move forward with it. If it’s not a good deal, then we are not going to move forward with it.”

Another big blow to annexation in the bills is that, if passed, the city will have to wait another 12 years before trying to annex Monkey Junction again.

Comment on this Story

  • Sam G

    I know! People want to live outside the city, receive all the benefits of city dwelling, but not pay for it!

  • Guest CommonTater

    Time for that sedative eh saffo? LMAO!!!

  • Guest05212012

    .. maybe then there would have been enough city voters to get Saffo out of the mayor’s office.. he’s just a little too smooth to be credible.

  • Guest 194

    For the record, when the original developers of Landfall (Goforths) began development of this fine neighborhood, Mr. Goforth struck a deal with the city that if they (the city) would provide water and sewer, he would voluntarily come into the city. The city ran the lines and provided the services, however, the residents did not want to “voluntarily” go into the city but wanted to receive water and sewer for free. Therefore, it was a choice the city had to make of annexing or turning the spigott off and letting the residents go buy their water in gallon jugs.

  • Robert Green

    It is unfortunate and unfair that we have a mayor that blatantly disregards sincere public input and has used heavy handed tactics in his immoral land grabs.The political reality is that FORTUNATELY there has been a change in the political climate in Raleigh after 100 years of corrupt Democratic rule.They see that the FAIR thing to do is let the people decide their fate.What a novel idea.You can not continue to balance the books on the backs of the people.Your pet projects(i.e convention center and proposed ballpark) will do nothing but burden the community.Even though room occupancy tax covers the convention center expenses, what happens when a severe hurricane strikes our region?You are not even good at providing core government services and sound infrastructure.You continue to shop around with the people’s money foolishly, on a beer budget with champagne taste.The City of Wilmington has a serious case of “Little Man Syndrome” and a delusional viewpoint that we are a unique area that can defy economic realities. I know the outside influences whisper in your ear.It is clear where your allegiances lie and it is not with the people.The only thing I see you are good at is looking good in your suits crowning soap opera queens and glad handing second rate, washed up celebrities at the Mayberry Festival.

    Thanks to Senator Thom Goolsby for promoting legislation that looks out for the general welfare of it’s citizens from a hostile encroachment of incompetent, jock strap sniffing bozos , who could hardly comprehend a balance sheet.

  • MJPatriot

    Unfair? A majority votes and says “NO”. Just like our democratic system provides. We have to take to to the State Congress and they say “NO”. You try to force it down our throat anyway…. Now who’s playing the fair game? Get a grip Wilmington and elect somebody with some sense.

  • Guest5654

    Everyone should know by this point that nothing is going to stop the ballpark. Just like nothing was going to stop the stupid convention center. How about city employees getting a raise or cost of living adjustment for the first time in 4 years? It better not change that.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday

    If anything is unfair, Herr Saffo, it’s Wilmington’s Nazi-like approach to seizing what it wants. Let’s hope the bills pass, before we have to list Monkey Juntion with the Polish Corridor and the Sudetenland.

  • guesty

    The property owners voted with a resounding NO to annexation by the city but you forced it anyway. Now you want to whine about some made up “unfair” ruling?

    People currently in the city limits, remember this next election that your elected officials don’t listen to you. Don’t re-elect anybody.

  • Guest234567

    It’s also unfair to the people who are FORCED, with no voice, to pay higher taxes. You cannot sit here and claim it hinders growth. What happens when you get to the county line? Are you going to start annexing Pender and Brunswick county? No!

    You tried to annex an area where the majority of residents already had sewer, water, police, and fire, and try to claim you are bringing all these new things, when in reality you aren’t. People are not stupid, and do not take kindly to being forced into the city.

  • Guest33

    I am sure the people of Monkey Junction are not going really miss the sorry services this city offers for that extra taxation. But I suspect you folks in the city circle of thieves are going to miss that chance to laugh all the to way to the bank thing.

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