Reader opposes annexation efforts

As I was watching the Home Rule Law or ordinance on my computer, I stumbled onto two different articles on the subject.

One of which was the Home Rule program may be violating the state Constitution. An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail, written by a Charleston attorney and former Elkins resident, Nigel Jeffries. In the February 2019 article, Mr. Jeffries believes that the Home Rule program violates the state Constitution.

The Amendment or Article he referred to was Article 6, Chapter 39(a). According to Mr. Jeffries, “The Legislature is without the authority to grant municipalities more power than what is conferred upon them by the State Constitution. The State Constitution specifies that state law controls when a municipal ordinance is inconsistent or in conflict with the general laws of the State.”

According to WV Hub, Delegate Kellie Sobonya of Cabell County feels that Home Rule is unconstitutional. Sobonya says one of the things of concern is the Home Rule communities must apply to the Municipal Home Rule Board.

In other words, coming before an unelected entity that may “cherry pick winners and losers to delegate ‘special powers.'”

According to The Inter-Mountain, the City of Elkins is already setting up committees and boards. Isn’t that what City Council and their committees are for? Now the city is looking to hire, if they haven’t already done it, a marketing director at $40,000. Can’t the city get together with the county, in a joint effort, to hire one that will cover both city and county?

Don’t forget the one, maybe two, city managers they are looking to hire. You can bet the sales tax will go up again.

Elkins, as its boundaries currently stand, the folks within those boundaries could not afford a tax increase; thus, the notion of annexation. This gives the City of Elkins more of an area to tax.

Taxes are a necessary evil. Spent wisely, they’re wonderful. But paying city managers, a marketing director plus city council and the mayor? And if they annex the communities around the city? You can definitely bet taxes will go up. That means prices will go up. That’s just business.

Businesses are trying to make a living despite taxes. If they can’t make that living, they close. Or worse yet, close and leave. You can bet that will affect the tax base. It goes down. Less money for the city.

And will this lure business to the city or county? This affects homeowners as well.

My personal feeling is, this isn’t the way to go. How do you feel about this? If you live in the city, contact your council person and let them know of your feelings on Home Rule.

On annexation, if you live on the outskirts bordering Elkins, contact the Randolph County Commission. Become involved.

Clark Martin