To the Editor:
I have been on both sides of the annexation issue. Our family farm that has been in our family for over 160 years was annexed by a city several years ago. I remember that my dad was very upset. Unlike Oklahoma, where cities do not share in property tax revenue, Texas cities levy major property taxes. However, even then, I recognized benefits of being inside the city limits.
I also served on the city council during an annexation controversy. Like the current annexation issue, it is almost like biting the hand that feeds. The protestors live where they do because of the proximity to the city where work, shopping, health care, water, streets, and schools make it a desirable location. If everyone objected to being in the city limits, the attractions that bring people here would not exist.
Annexation in Oklahoma does not increase anyone’s taxes, doesn’t change their school districts or almost any other lifestyle activities that would be expected with close neighbors. However, it will increase property values and may help prevent a hazardous waste dump or other property-devaluating activity next door. It will help the city in planning for orderly future growth and infrastructure needs. It will also allow the city to assure new businesses considering the area that there is a plan for their new neighborhood. The city council has to make decisions based on the long-term best interests of all children and grandchildren of the city and county, not just on the short-term comfort of a few people.
If someone really wants to live in the “country” where annexation will not be a consideration in their lifetime, there are hundreds of thousands of acres within a few minutes of Ada where they can probably get twice as much land for half the price. They should not live next door to a growing city and expect the area to remain “country” indefinitely.