Click here to read the latest Plains Feeder post about Elkhorn annexation.
Some folks are wondering why the Plains Feeder, ostensibly located in Nebraska and close by Omaha, hasn't made a comment regarding Omaha's Blitzkrieg attack on the small, bucolic berg named Elkhorn. It is, of course, an important matter, but I wanted to see how far Omaha Mayor Fahey and his gaggle of Downtown Democrat city council lackeys would go. Well, they have gone all the way, and it is time for me to announce what I call the 'Nuclear Option' available to the shocked and awed denizens of Elkhorn.
There has been a great deal of reportage on the issue, but most all of it by the Omaha World-Herald. Not generally a left-leaning rag, the OWH will take the pinko path when dealing with local matters: gun control, welfare, public housing, etc. So their coverage of the Elkhorn Annexation matter is suspect. I have a better analysis.
The eastern portion of Omaha, generally that part of it which lies east of 72nd Street, is an anomalous island of blue in an otherwise nearly pristine red state. (Not counting college towns, rife with commies and foreigners.) The downtown Democrat gang runs the city of Omaha like a miniature New York City, which I am sure how this cow town appears in their dreams. It is all culture and sophistication. They even have a "French Cafe" where the big-wigs can go to put ketchup on their cordon bleu. It is located in the "Old Market", a tourist trap created out of a moldering warehouse district. So cool, it almost seems real. There is talk of streetcars and fake canals with gondolas. The Stockyards are gone.
The latest downtown democrat spending binge has been an effort to turn Omaha's Muddy Mo riverfront into a gentrified world of yuppies. The riverfront is best known here for giving Omaha environmental superfund status by hosting a lead smelter for decades. The smelter site has been 'capped' so riverfront tourists won't get sick right away. But the yards in the downtown democrats districts are so polluted your kids will be retarded if you feed them vegetables grown in your own garden. They have borrowed money until they are hard put to think of new ways to tax their way out. They never have been up front about who is going to end up holding the bag for their Quest Center, a great grain-bin shaped convention center. Of course, it is managed by, who else: downtown political cronies.
The police department is a fiasco in Omaha. Their ranks are divided, the Mayor's pick for police Chief was politically correct, but otherwise wrong. Rapes, drug murders, holdups and car-jackings are common all over Omaha. Gangs rule the streets of North Omaha. It is a dirty little secret, but Omaha has a n-----town in North Omaha. The city fathers created this physical ghetto when Interstate 80 came through. They routed it so as to cut the black community off from the downtown. (In those days, there actually was a thriving downtown.) Yep, they can build a convention center, but the sewers in North O still back up every time it rains. Downtown democrats have North O covered with a couple of flaky council members who think the only way their constituents can prosper is by playing social victim and raking in grant money for 'programs'. Which money the program managers, (more cronies) promptly steal or piss away by mismanagement.
These observations, and more, have oft been cited as the reasons Elkhorn folk don't want to become a part of Omaha. Others reasons include crappy services, fearsome new taxes on cars, sales, property, etc, as well as onerous city ordinances the fine people of Elkhorn have seen fit not to burden themselves with, such as a ban on fireworks, gun registration, and zoning rules that would make the humblest neighborhoods live up to impossible standards. But I'm not so much interested in why Elkhorn resists, as I am with why Omaha persists.
Mayor Fahey insists that his reason for the sudden decision to annex Elkhorn has to do with a posterity which will blame him if Omaha's westward growth is hindered by Elkhorn's continued existence. This is patently untrue.
Mayor Fahey gives not one whit about posterity: he wants to get re-elected NOW. It is no accident that he kicked off his re-election campaign by announcing the Elkhorn blitzkrieg. The City of Omaha has a two building skyline. Sure, it isn't a one-horse town any more, but it ain't a metropolis, either. There is plenty of room for Omaha to grow up, before it grows out (literally AND figuratively). Besides, there is room to the West south of Pacific street, and even more room to the North, where development is actually needed. This issue gets Fahey's name in the paper at the expense of the good people of Elkhorn.
What can Elkhorn do? According to Fahey's lawyers, nothing. They read state law to conclude that there is no such thing as democratic self-determination when it comes to Omaha's power to annex. No power ever envisaged by our sage Unicameral was so broad as they imagine their power to annex to be. It violates the right of all annexees to due process of law; they have no say and no recourse. Our Constitutions here in Nebraska, both state and federal, allow for no such usurpation of the people's right of association. Fahey thinks he is a little Saddam, marching into Kuwait under some twisted notion of manifest destiny.
This brings me back to the Nuclear Option. Actually, it is more like a Nuclear Option dreamed up by the Mahatma than one from the cold war play book. Here is how it works: Elkhorn simply refuses to be annexed. The Elkhorn City Hall continues to run the town, their fine police keep on keeping the peace, their fire station responds to fires and the daily drive-time accidents on West Dodge, their city crews keep the place well-oiled and looking sharp, just as they always have. What will Fahey do? Like the Pope, Fahey has no divisions to send. Omaha has no army. They cannot enforce their annexation rulings unilaterally without creating a breach of the peace! As I read Nebraska law (and it has been more than 20 years since I passed the Nebraska Bar), Fahey's city minions cannot enforce their ordinances on an unwilling Elkhorn so long as Elkhorn REFUSES TO SUBMIT. Fahey cannot arrest Elkhorn's duly elected officials, nor can he force them to step down. Not without a fight, and the law doesn't allow him to start one. Just ignore Mr. Fahey, and if he sends his hordes of officers forth to harass the good citizens of Elkhorn, just send them packing back where they came from.
It's time to run up the "Don't Tread on Me" flag that flew for freedom from external oppression so many years ago. If you want to be free from oppression, you must first act like you are free. Don't ask for your rights, exercise and keep the ones God gave you.
Annex Elkhorn? You and what army, Mr. Fahey?
Read more about the Elkhorn annexation at Plains Feeder.