Avondale leaves annexation map off agendaAvondale City Commissioners during the commission's June 23 meeting. File Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
This story has been updated.
Avondale’s leadership apparently changed their minds prior to an Oct. 27 special called meeting.
At their Oct. 15 work session, commissioners said they would postpone voting on a resolution asking state Rep. Karla Drenner to file an annexation bill for the city. It had been on the Oct. 20 agenda, but commissioners announced they would delay the vote until Oct. 27 after residents asked for more time to provide their input.
Avondale Estates released the Oct. 27 agenda on Oct. 24, but it does not include the resolution about the annexation bill.
Mayor Terry Giager told Decaturish, “We extended the date to allow our residents more time to assimilate the data and for the (Board of Mayor and Commissioners) to collect more feedback.”
The agenda for Monday does include a resolution to hold a public hearing on a petition from the residents of Stratford Green. Annexing Stratford Green would bring that would bring 154 town homes into the city limits. The resolution sets a Nov. 17 public hearing date for the Stratford annexation petition. The petition will also be discussed at the Nov. 10 planning and zoning board meeting and during a special called meeting on Nov. 12 before the commission’s regular work session.
The annexation bill has been a touchy subject in Avondale.
Drenner filed a bill on behalf of the city back in March, but pulled it before the end of the session after the bill to create a city of Lakeside died. That bill had a map attached to it that included several neighborhoods and commercial properties around Rio Circle. Drenner filed the legislation believing it had the support of commissioners and the residents, but many residents didn’t know anything about it. Commissioners had never passed a resolution in favor of Drenner filing it.
Commercial property owners and some of the residents affected by the original annexation bill have asked to be removed from the map.
The controversy came to a head during an Oct. 1 work session about annexation in the city. Ed Rieker resigned as mayor the following day, saying he would be taking a university teaching job that would leave him little time for his official duties.
Drenner was noncommittal when Decaturish asked her about it on Oct. 15, saying, “There are four annexation methods that can be used, with going to the Legislature as only one of the four. It is possible to pursue other methods prior to utilizing the state.”
In other business at the Oct. 27 meeting, commissioners will consider approving a resolution calling for a special election to replace Rieker. Terry Giager is serving as the city’s interim mayor. If commissioners approve the resolution on Oct. 27, qualifying for the election will begin Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 and ends Friday, Jan. 16, 2015. Candidates can qualify at City Hall, located at 21 North Avondale Plaza. Qualifying hours will be 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Commissioners will also consider approving a resolution setting the qualifying fee at $3.