Annexation fears fuel talks of incorporation in Carriere

Published 1:28 pm Monday, July 17, 2006


As the saying goes, “What we have here is a lack of communication.”

Fears of annexation are stampeding people in Carriere into a quest to incorporate Carriere as a city. We’re being told either incorporate or be annexed. It isn’t true. We don’t have to have either one.

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Rather than being driven by rumor and paranoia, why doesn’t someone drive down to Picayune and simply ask to see their annexation plans? Picayune cannot annex anything in secret. It is public record, maps and all. Get the plans and maps, put them in the paper and let everyone see what’s going on.

Annexation requires public hearings and citizen input from the areas affected. It also requires court approval. Ordinarily, the courts will not approve an annexation where the majority of residents don’t want it, especially if the annexation is not vital to the city’s or citizens’ needs and is just a land grab by the city to expand its tax base.

If Carriere becomes a city we will pay double taxes – to both the city and the county — just as Picayune residents do. We’re told that Carriere city taxes would be lower than Picayune’s. No one can guarantee that. In fact, no one has any idea what the real tax rates would be. One thing is certain: the taxes would be higher than the current estimates, because politicians always underestimate costs and tax needs.

Speaking of politics, that is the other factor here. Politics is power, and we’re talking about creating a whole new set of public offices. People are already lining up support to run for positions in the new City of Carriere so they can “be somebody.” We’re told that Carriere city officials would be unpaid. Again, no one can guarantee that. Once the city is established that can be changed in a heartbeat.

Incorporating Carriere means creating a whole new layer of government and taxpayer expense. It would end the quiet, simpler rural life that we love out here in the country.

Here’s another old saying, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you”. Beware of those who want to help us too much, or burden us with more government.

We would be better off devoting our energy to exposing Picayune’s annexation plans and then fighting them if necessary. We don’t want annexation, and a united citizenry can defeat it. Let’s save Carriere, not change it forever.

Dave Sims