Annexation must help residentsPublished 12:16am Sunday, April 28, 2013
Supporters on both sides of the debate over annexation in Chesapeake argue that they simply want what is best for the residents, yet it certainly appears that the primary point of contention comes down to one thing: money.
Officials who voted in favor of the plan to incorporate about two miles of property west of the village that includes about 500 residents contend this will allow for better police protection, infrastructure improvements and pave the way for economic development. Opponents, which include the Union Township Trustees and at least some of the residents, say things are working fine just the way they have been for years.
Both sides have valid points but neither have publicly offered enough clear evidence that their position is the correct one. With tens of thousands of tax dollars at stake, both entities are understandably going to fight for their position.
But that means these West Chesapeake residents are left to decide on their own with biased information from both sides.
Regardless of the actual outcome, the best scenario may be for village officials and township trustees to seek some middle ground.
If the Chesapeake Police Department is already responding to 15 to 20 calls per week then the township should certainly help foot the bill for that service. If road projects are a priority, the two government entities should find a way to address these together.
Simply growing — or preserving — the tax base isn’t justification for annexation.
There is really only one question: What is best for the residents? Finding the answer to that won’t be easy but it starts with an objective approach.