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Ignoring the will of the people

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Forced annexation is wrong. Wrong on so many levels, but fundamentally the whole process whereby seven public officials legally have the power to force someone into their city without that person’s permission or consent lacks basic fairness. As well as it ignores some of the founding principles of this nation.

In addition to forcing one to be in the city, officials burden those citizen’s property with massive amounts of debt they had no opportunity to approve and numerous rules, regulations, ordinances they had no say-so in enacting. All of this does not mention the additional tax burden placed upon unwilling citizens. And, thanks to Gov. Rick Perry, cities still have the power of eminent domain to steal property and turn it over to private interests. It all stinks to high heaven.

What really stinks is when one official runs and gets elected as being stridently opposed to forced annexation, then goes over to the dark side telling people they just don’t know the whole story. Do I smell hypocrisy here?

One of the hallmarks of our nation is the Declaration of Independence wherein it states that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. In the entire process of forced annexation all the cards are stacked against the people who are in the bull’s-eye of officials they had no say-so in electing.

Hence the whole progression of issues reminds one of Nazi Germany.

From the get-go the mayor and council members had their minds made up to carry through with this travesty.

During the required two public meetings people’s entreaties to the council were listened to with quiet arrogance but one could tell they had no intention to take any of the appeals to heart. It was all a sham.

And, therein lies the real problem with the whole process. City officials go into this thing with the decision already made.

Tuesday night, Nov. 25, the city council of Midlothian voted 6 - 1 to annex two tracts of land in spite of speaker after speaker stating clearly and plainly they did not want to be a part of the city. All they wanted was to be left alone. Their pleas fell on deaf ears, however.

City council chambers were packed. People stood outside in the lobby and even outside the building unable to get in much less to take a seat. One cannot help but believe the city officials were well aware of what the turnout would be and knowingly held the meeting in a room that was inadequate to accommodate all those interested in the proceedings. In your face, or up your nose pretty well sums up the attitude displayed. Pure arrogance. It wouldn’t have taken much effort on anyone’s part to find another, more suitable, venue that would have accommodated all the people.

Oh, and the police were well represented too. Mace containers unsnapped in case some spectator happened to upset one of the officers. If anyone deserved mace it was the city council.

What the council did was legal. But, that doesn’t make it right. My mama always told me that just because something is legal don’t make it right. For example, prostitution is legal in Nevada, but that don’t make it right, does it? At least not to my way of thinking. Of course, I’ve been accused of being old-fashioned and stubborn.

It seems all too frequent lately that public officials completely ignore the will of the people. Unfortunately, those officials are too seldom called to account for their mischief. That certainly needs to change. Public officials need to learn they ignore the will of the people at their own peril. Political peril, of course. However, back in the good old days, pots of tar and plenty of feathers taught errant officials of the people’s displeasure.

To listen to the blathering of the Texas Municipal League the whole system of government in Texas would disintegrate should forced annexation be abolished. It makes one wonder how all those states where forced annexation is not permitted actually manage to function, doesn’t it? I suspect that things would continue to function much as they always have should the unthinkable happen and citizens actually be allowed to vote on whether or not they wanted to be annexed.

The sun would come up the next day, Texas wouldn’t split off and float into the Gulf of Mexico, and things would be pretty normal after a short period of the gnashing of teeth by public officials who could no longer force their wills on unwilling folks.

I seem to remember a county tax rollback some years ago when all the public officials cried doom and gloom should the rollback pass.

It did, and low and behold life went on pretty much as it had before. But, just to make a point, a lot of deputies and others got fired, offices got closed, and office hours reduced.

In the end, most of the deputies were re-hired, offices re-opened and hours returned to normal. It was just as a lot of us predicted. Life went on.

Yes, we were annexed last Tuesday. Much to the displeasure of many, if not all, of the citizens in those affected areas.

But, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings and I have a strong suspicion she ain’t sung just yet. Some of us have real long memories.

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