Archive for Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Guest column: Cost of annexation far too high

December 15, 2004

Greed and lack of consideration can cause terrible things to happen.

What am I talking about?

I'm talking about the annexation of the approximately 1,300 acres south of Lansing by the city of Lansing against the wishes of 214 people who signed a petition against the annexation.

It was the "greed" of the Lansing city administration and the "lack of consideration" by two of our Leavenworth County commissioners.

One county commissioner said he was not opposed to annexation, but he also didn't think Lansing was ready for it.

Neither do I.

"Eminent domain," according to my dictionary's definition, means "by which it can appropriate private property for public use, compensation being given for it."

What has Lansing offered? Four dollars a month savings on trash pickup. That's it. Future access to sewer and street lights if requested, but at your expense, not from the city's general fund.

  • Police protection -- Many have expressed satisfaction with the protection they have.
  • Fire protection and fire hydrants -- Where are water lines to supply them?
  • Roads -- Where is the money coming from?

These 214 signers and others have made the community what it is. And now, in appreciation, they get a 37 percent increase in their taxes. Is that an insult, or what? Oh yes, they get $4 per month savings on trash pickup.

What happened to our democracy -- "government by the people?" After all, 214 people said, "No."

  • "Liberty and Justice for all" -- Liberty, the freedom from arbitrary and despotic government.
  • "Justice" -- The moral principle determining just conduct.
  • "Freedom" -- Land of the free and home of the brave, civil liberty as opposed to subjection to arbitrary or despotic government.
  • "Despotic government" -- An absolute ruler, tyrant or oppressor.
  • "Arbitrary government" -- Using or abusing unlimited power.
  • "Blood, sweat and tears" -- We have spent the blood and the sweat and now come the tears.

There seems to be some confusion over Lansing's "wants and needs." If there were some sort of "attraction," people would want to annex. Seems to me that $4 per month trash savings against the 30 to 37 percent tax increase isn't a very good trade-off.

Reminds me of the story about a gal who went to the dance and danced with everyone except her date -- "You forget the one that brought yuh."

These 214 signers and others helped make the community what it is. They are proud of it and don't deserve to have these burdens placed on them.

My wife, Theresa, and I live on our "Century Farm" that we purchased in 1956 and where we raised our five children. A "Century Farm" is a farm of 80 acres or more that has been in the family for 100 years or more.

My grandfather Robker purchased the farm in 1882.

In 1994, our family purchased what was known as the Carnahan farm bordering Lansing on the south, which was included in the 1,300 acres most recently annexed by Lansing. The Robker farm is included in the Phase 2 annexation schedule.

-- Edward E. Eberth, 14644 Fairmount Rd., is a rural Basehor resident who lives in the Lansing school district.

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