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Opening Arguments

Go away now

Here's what seems to be an unprecedented move:

Muncie City Council delivered a happy New Year's gift for the roughly 360 people in the Brewington Woods neighborhood and a section of the Halteman Village addition.

The council voted 5-3 Monday night to repeal an annexation in those areas, despite objections by Mayor Sharon McShurley's attorney, Jason Delk, that the repeal would cost the city $109,000 annually in additional property taxes and was also an illegal move.

[. . .]

Democratic councilman Sam Marshall authored the ordinance to repeal the annexation. He had voted in favor of the annexation in 2007.

"I couldn't have supported it in 2007 if I knew that 32 firefighters would be laid off," Marshall said, referring to layoffs in June 2009.

I doubt if giving those 360 people back their non-city status will do much about the 32 firefighters being laid off. On the other hand, considering the fiscal nightmare being faced by Muncie (and most other Hoosier cities), the loss of $109,000 a year doesn't seem like that big a deal, either. But it should be an entertaining and educational fight to watch if the mayor vetoes the move and the legality of the repeal is tested.

I've been writing about Indiana politics a long time, and this is the first case I've seen of a city going back and undoing an annexation. Guess we're still stuck with death and taxes being the only permanent things in life.

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