The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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Willingness Ordinance Passes in Springville

Posted by ALmod on April 3, 2007

UPDATE:  I’ve made the corrections needed in this article.  The name of a business owner has been corrected and the sentence stating an unnamed business supports the annexation has been removed.  I’ve also provided a better reference and clarification for my quote from the Birmingham News, lest there be any confusion.  The quote was properly reference before (via hover and link), but someone had printed it out, and the reference didn’t show.  I will have more updates soon, but they will be reserved for a future posting instead of corrections for this one.  It’s pretty big news, so stay tuned!

Argo residents are one step closer to becoming a part of Springville. The Springville City Council voted 5-3 last night to pass the willingness ordinance, stating that they would take in Argo should residents vote to be annexed. As you already know, Judge Wyatt of St. Clair County has already certified the petition. While the petitioners state that they do not need a signature from Judge King of Jefferson County, he will still make a ruling this week.

Next comes the hard part. We will need a simple majority vote in order to pass annexation.  From the Birmingham News:

After the meeting, Argo Mayor Louie “Butch” Glenn said between 75 and 90 town businesses are interested in de-annexing from the town instead of joining Springville.

I doubt his numbers are correct. The reason I’m calling b.s. on that statement is due to the numbers given by the mayor. He should have left it at the original “four,” since it sounded more believable. Keep in mind, Argo has a population of roughly 1800. There are 90 businesses? And who gives an estimation range of 15 businesses? Why not just simply give the exact number if you’ve been keeping tabs? And lastly, Mayor Glenn says that he’s willing to grant de-annexation to these businesses, but he has yet to do so.  Someone told me that the quote from the Birmingham News is wrong, but I’ve not seen a retraction from the publication.  That person told me that the quote should state a percentage instead of an actual number, but I have no way of checking what the mayor actually stated after the meeting.

These are the businesses that I’ve counted thus far that are most likely to ask for de-annexation:

  1. Any business owned by Mayor Glenn.
  2. I am told that the business with the broken down truck (it has since been fixed) actually belongs to council member William Leake.  This information could still be incorrect, but I’m working on getting a list of Argo’s businesses, so I should know for certain in a few days.
  3. The business beside it, if different, where the owner keeps crossties and trucks and miscellaneous other things.
  4. Sylvia’s Birdbath & Beyond. The mayor’s neighbor.
  5. Buckeye’s. Owned by the Carol family.
  6. Argo Video. I’m actually guessing on this one. My guess only comes from the blurb on the saveargo.com website, which states that Argo Video is assisting in a fund raiser for Argo Park. There’s nothing wrong with that, as I’m sure many people would love to help Argo gain a beautiful park, but my guess is that the council wouldn’t have asked unless they knew that Argo Video had “sided” with them.
  7. Argo’s used car dealership, located at the Hwy 11/Argo-Margaret Road intersection.

UPDATE: Rep. Jim McClendon (from Springville) was kind enough to correct the information someone had previously given me that we’d need a 75% vote in favor for the annexation to pass. Good thing, because it sounded fishy to me, too. Turns out, we only need a simple majority. The trick is to get a number of people at the polls that is equal to or greater than the last election. (If anyone has information on the number of voters from that election, please send it my way.) I’ve edited the above posting to reflect that. Here is the information he sent me (red for emphasis):

Section 11-42-100.1

Mode of consolidation — When municipality to annex city or town.

(a) When two or more municipalities lying contiguous to each other desire to consolidate and operate as one municipality, they may do so by proceeding in the manner hereafter provided in this section.

(b) If it is the purpose to annex a city or town to another municipality, then the governing body of each city or town shall adopt an ordinance expressing a willingness to such annexation. After both ordinances are passed and published as provided for by law, the governing body of the municipality to be annexed shall, by resolution submit the question of annexation at a special election to be held at a time specified in such resolution, not less than 40 days nor more than 90 days after passage of the last adopted willingness ordinance or at a time otherwise specified by law. No other proposition may be on the ballot. Said election shall be held pursuant to the general municipal election laws.

(d) If at the election on consolidation of two contiguous municipalities, a majority of the voters cast votes in favor of the annexation, and the number so voting in favor of the annexation equals or is greater than one-half of the number of voters who voted in the last general municipal election held in such city or town, then, upon the expiration of 45 days after a canvass of the returns, the territory within the corporate limits of such city or town shall become a part of the annexing municipality and may be divided into wards or districts or annexed to wards or districts already established.

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