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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials September 30, 2016

10/6/2011 1:11:00 PM
Editorial: Real work now begins on Verde Santa Fe annexation

Let’s give credit where it’s due for both the City of Cottonwood and the Verde Santa Fe Annexation Committee for procedural perfection.

Nothing they’ve done so far in the annexation process is going to come back to bite them because of statutory oversight. They’ve given annexation detractors no legal leeway to derail the process.

Thursday, as the law meticulously prescribes, the city held its annexation public hearing within the last 10 days of the 30-day waiting period after filing the blank petition and boundaries with the Yavapai County Recorder’s Office.

Now that all the legal niceties have been addressed, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road.

Petition circulators can now begin the arduous task of acquiring signatures of property owners who support annexation into the city.

Forget the protest calls of those who say the issue should “go to the voters.” The legal process for annexation is infinitely more thorough and fair than any election. Property owners within the proposed annexation boundaries will decide the issue by simple majority. Petition circulators now have one year to collect signatures of more than 50 percent of property owners by number and assessed value for annexation to be successful.

It’s no longer an issue to be leveraged in the court of public opinion or debated in community meetings.

It’s now a simple matter of property owners choosing to sign or not to sign annexation petitions.

It does not get any more fair or conclusive than that.

Related Stories:
• Cottonwood gives green light to Verde Santa Fe annexation
• City offers chance to sound off on Verde Santa Fe annexation
• Verde Santa Fe annexation petition filed

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011
Article comment by: Judith Peebles

Unfortunately, it is impossible to "chat with the rest of the community" when only about 50% of the homes are owner occupied on a full time basis. The rest are vacation homes, investor owned, many with tenants, or vacant lots. When I bought my lot in 2004, it was being pushed as Verde Santa Fe not Cornville. We were even told we could use Verde Santa Fe as our mailing address. VSF is like nothing else in Cornville, a clearly defined suburban subdivision built around a golf course, strictly controlled in appearance and about a mile from any other homes. Our average lot is 2/10ths of an acre, not 1, 5 or 10 acres. Our CC&Rs are far stricter than the County zoning ordinances that apply to the rest of Cornville. Want to paint your house a different color or plant a tree? You better get permission first. Want to park on the street overnight? Not allowed! Want to keep a horse or a even a chicken - not in VSF!
VSF may be part of the same census-designated place but it never has been and never will be like the rest of the area.
Every movement starts with one or two people floating an idea but it can't continue without support. Despite our opponents' claims, we do have support, just not theirs. When the petitions are circulated, every property owner, wherever they live, will have the chance to be heard and that's the way it should be.

Posted: Monday, October 10, 2011
Article comment by: Just because the decision...

Was not to your liking does not mean you were not heard.

Just as you have stated that your side feels that it is unfair that a few folks could start the annexation inquiry process... the other side most likely feels the same way about your expectation that a few of you should be able to stop it.

Seems you all are now in the same boat, I suggest you work on paddling together or you will just spin in circles.

The real question is why was this issue not handled within your own community? That may be a fair indication as to the 'why' you all are looking for.

Posted: Saturday, October 8, 2011
Article comment by: Deanna King

They were allowed to speak but were not heard. The second meeting that was held in April there were 13 people that got up and spoke in favor of the annexation. 9 were against. The City Council voted to move forward with the petition because it looked like the majority of the people were in favor. Does that sound fair? the meeting the other night had 6 for and 35 against. That was a bit more than before. That is all I am saying. If you vote once in favor of the majority then why wouldn't you do it again? They also said they had received lots of emails but no totals were given out. Our questions were if one or two people can start the process of annexation, why can't more than that stop it? And yes, now it is up to the residents of VSF to sign or not sign and decide once and for all where they want to live

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Just curious

How was the hearing unfair? Were people denied the opportunity to speak?

Posted: Friday, October 7, 2011
Article comment by: Deanna King

give credit where credit is due. That is a very strange way of saying a few people can approach a City or Town without any input from over 1800 people and say they want something done and it is done. Yes, there is a process to annexation and yes they have followed those rules. The rules they didn't follow aren't in the rule book. Instead of talking to a hand full of people and making the decision to change where they live, it would have been nice and respectful to chat with the rest of the community before moving forward. The City of Cottonwood, listened at three meetings hearing that the people who came out to the meetings were not in favor or moving forward and moved forward anyway. If you can listen to a hand ful of people, why can't the rest be heard. This has been a one sided movement, right or wrongfrom the begining. We, the residents that don't want annexation have not been heard fairly, and yes the petition circulation is the legal way to get this settled, but a fair hearing would have been as nice.

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