Oak Island mayor drops forced annexation
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The Long Beach corridor between Highway 211 and the Oak Island Bridge is a target for Oak Island annexation; at least it was prior to Tuesday night. In an abrupt turnabout, Mayor Johnnie Vereen made a proposal to drop the forced annexation. Town council member Jeff Ensminger claims he was not notified and he said the whole thing reeks of dirty politics. "You told me this would put a blue ribbon on our cap for Oak Island. Well I'm telling you now that this reeks of politics. That's all this is," said Ensminger. " I'm telling you that annexation is a good idea and I don't like dirty politics, which is what you just pulled. That's exactly what it was." After a 4-to-1 vote, forced annexation is off the table in Oak Island. The mayor explains why, "This is a way to give the people in the forced annexation areas a vote on whether they want to participate in annexation or not and I think that's important and obviously most of the council agreed with me." Mayor Vereen said this will affect 1,600 hundred people, and he challenges all the other cities and towns in the Tar Heel state to do the same. "I started the process here,” he said. “I've set the bar. It is the right thing for the right reason." Jeff Ensminger disagrees. Vereen said he does not want their neighbors to worry about the Town of Oak Island. If they want to be annexed, he said the town will welcome them with open arms.

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How can it be dirty politics Jeff,, Shame on you. Way to go Johnie ,and the rest of the Board.
I am so very proud of the person you are. People deserve the right to choose what happens at home. Keep up the great work !
People from all across the State should be thanking the Oak Island Council for standing up and doing the right thing! I thank you and I thank you on behalf of the thousands across NC who support annexation reform. Catherine Heath
Finally the fear mongers in Arbor Creek will stop trying to get St James to annex us in fear that Oak Island will beat them to the punch. Great News for Arbor Creek!!!!!
What is Mr. Ensminger losing out on without forced annexation that makes him so upset? Who is the dirty politician and who isn't? I applaud the mayor and other councilpeople for doing things in true democratic fashion. Put it up for a vote. Now if only the Wilmington City Council would take a cue from their neighbors. It always seems a foregone conclusion when these annexations happen in Wilmington.
I commend Johnie Vereen and all those who voted against forced annexation. I don't even live on or around Oak Island, but it is refreshing to see elected officials actually do something that makes sense for the people.
I agree with you the mayor and other council members are to be applauded. Allowing those in the annexation area to vote on being annexed is the right thing to do. In Wilmington all they are concerned about is gaining as much money as possible from the collection of taxes. New Hanover county residents gain nothing when they are annexed into the city limits except higher taxes. The services provide by the county are far better than anything the City of Wilmington offers. I understand everyone is looking for ways to combat the current economic conditions but forced annexations is not the answer. Hopefully other cities will pay attention to this great example.
Have said it better myself...