Yesterday I got a tip that last night's meeting was going to be more than just a petty gripe-fest. I checked out Citizens For A Free Nebraska's unassuming web site. From all reports in to the feedlot so far, these cats appear to have their heads screwed on straight. They have wisely taken the stance that Nebraska's "you have no say in the matter" statutory system of annexation needs a grass-roots legislative fix. Just because the Solons of the Nebraska Supreme Court think it doesn't violate our Constitution doesn't mean that the law is a good idea. (Nor does it mean the law actually passes constitutional muster, no offense to our justices intended.)
You know what I think of government that forces itself (and its taxes) on cats without their having any say in the matter. It just isn't the American way. The feeder called the Elkhorn debacle taxation without representation from the get-go. The Elkhorn annexation isn't just a case of 'unintended consequences' causing the unjust result; the theft of Elkhorn's wealth, honor and reputation was deliberate.
Read what the Citizens For A Free Nebraska have to say to other Nebraska communities that risk for the same sort of home invasion by nearby Metro wannabes. Don't think "It can't happen here."
The fair solution: put the matter to a vote. Here is the plan:
"No other state in the union allows one municipality to take over another without a vote of its citizens," said Jason Fuller of Citizens For A Free Nebraska. "We intend to correct (that)."(From the KETV meeting coverage.)
Citizens For A Free Nebraska unveiled its citizen-run petition drive for two ballot initiatives. The first would make annexations of any incorporated area subject to a vote of the people being annexed. The second would allow any city annexed in the last five years to vote for re-establishment -- incidentally allowing Elkhorn to de-annex from Omaha.
The movement needs 72,000 signatures from residents in 38 counties to get it on the ballot.
What do you think? Is Elkhorn going to be a feather in Mayor Fahey's political cap or an albatross around his political neck? I'm thinking it depends on how fast his electorate can swallow the ballpark boondoggle.