|Rep Sali presented this legislation which he stated was different from the
legislation presented in 2003. He also presented proposed amendments to
the legislation. The amendments would change the following: Page 2 of the
printed bill, line 25, delete “two-thirds (2/3)”; line 28, delete “two-thirds”; and
line 29, delete “(2/3)”. Further amendments would include Page 1, line 31,
delete “for at least”, line 32 delete “fourteen (14) days” and insert “on three
(3) separate days over 2 weeks in the city’s official newspaper as defined in
Section 50-213, Idaho Code, with the last publication being made at least
seven (7) days prior to the hearing”; Page 1, line 40 delete “In addition to
the”, delete lines 41 and 42 and on line 43 delete “Code, for seven (7) days
prior to the hearing”. On Page 4, line 8 delete “Any annexation pending a
legal decision by a court cur-“, and delete lines 9 and 10.
The intent is to require three publications within a two week period. On page
2, line 16, the twenty-five percent (25%) requirement of registered voters did
not get changed to twenty (20%) as requested in a motion made on sending
RS 14036 to be introduced to print at the meeting held February 12, 2004.
However, Rep Sali stated he would have recommended it stay at twenty-five
Rep Clark stated he would prefer seeing all of the proposed amendments
in proper legislative form.
Rep Bayer, a co-sponsor of this legislation stated he felt this legislation
would reach a balance of city needs, growth and private property rights.
Many entities will admit there have been some wrongful moves in annexation
made over the past. He stated the tax difference in some areas might be
five (5%), but probably less in most areas. He feels we need some common
sense representation and this legislation will accomplish that.
Garret Nancolas, Mayor of Caldwell, spoke against this legislation on
behalf of the Association of Idaho Cities. He respects a due process in
annexation, however he felt the fiscal impact statement was incorrect in that
this legislation would require additional publications, which are costly, and
would require an election, which also is costly. He stated most areas do not
use a forced annexation process, but many times are annexed at the request
of the residents of an area. In Caldwell, they were able to help a subdivision
through annexation who had their wells contaminated by nitrate from their
own septic tanks.
There is value in cities being able to plan. The legislation passed two years
ago allows for planning and is good legislation. Part of the need to annex
arises from the fact that it is very costly to run infrastructure around
subdivisions that do not want to be part of the city.
Marlena Belnap of Rexburg, testified in favor of this legislation. She stated
70 families were force-annexed by a City Council and Mayor that didn’t
represent them as county citizens. Her testimony is attached to these
minutes at “Attachment A”. This group has become part of a lawsuit filed
against the State of Idaho on the annexation law.
Nyle Fulmer, City Councilman, Rexburg, spoke in opposition to this
legislation. He stated that in response to the testimony of Marlena Belnap,
the City Council met with individuals and held public meetings. None of the
property owners were required to connect to city services, but they were
given significantly discounted connection fees and an 18-month window of
opportunity. His testimony is attached to these minutes as Attachment “B”.
Robert Kunesh, SW Ada Neighborhood Association, is in favor of this
legislation. He feels there is a need to be given the right to vote. This is
likened to taxation without representation. If other states have a voting
process, why not Idaho. This process violates the one man, one vote right
of all citizens.
Ray Stark, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, is opposed to this
legislation. Under the opportunity for economic development, annexation is
a good tool. They want to know why the Senate bill passed two years ago
is not working. He is not aware of too many examples.
Joe Tawney, spoke in favor of this legislation. He feels it is best for the
citizens, even though cities do not think the citizens know what is best for
themselves. He sees developers as being part of the problem.
Cindy Ries, spoke in favor of this legislation. She listed several locations
where annexation were put in place since 2000, all forced annexations. On
March 22, there will be hearing on the lawsuit that has been filed against the
State of Idaho Annexation law. She states it is the job of the legislature to
pass laws, not the courts. She stated voluntary annexation happens about
90% of the time and this legislation only affects the other 10%.
Vern Alleman, spoke in favor of this legislation. He wanted to thank Rep
Sali and Rep Bayer for sponsoring it. He feels ordinary citizens are no
match for those paid to represent large groups. H 685 addresses the
problem of no vote for annexation.
Bill Nichols, Attorney for City of Meridian, spoke against this legislation.
He stated his comments were prepared before he heard the proposed
amendments. He further stated Idaho is not the only state that implements
annexation without a vote. His testimony is attached to these minutes at
Wendell Bartlow, spoke in favor of this legislation. He feels it is
reprehensible we are fighting a war in Iraq to give them the vote and withhold
it here in America. His testimony is attached to these minutes as Attachment
Mark Butler, Planner, spoke against this legislation. He thinks the key for
annexation is concentration. If this bill passes it makes it difficult to annex
and there would be a need accompanying legislation. Cities need to be able
to plan and comprehensive plans are essential in that process.
Alex LaBeau, Idaho Association of Realtors, spoke against this
legislation. Every community may not have an open, willing-to-listen Mayor
such as Mayor Nancolas in Caldwell, but ultimately these public servants are
accountable for their actions. He feels the law in place should be allowed an
opportunity to work.
Nancy Merrill, Mayor of Eagle and Legislative Chair of the AIC, spoke
against this legislation. She feels they worked hard on S1391aa and
listened to the people. Feels there are many other things that can be done
in lieu of voting on everything. Her testimony is attached to these minutes
as Attachment “E”.
Tom Dale, Mayor of Nampa, spoke against this legislation. He stated there
is great ability in Idaho to plan and prevent unplanned development. He
sees enclaves as the problem. He believes the effects of growth is what
drives annexation of enclave subdivisions. One of the questions he is having
a hard time trying to answer is what are these enclaves gaining from
Rep Collins questioned Mayor Dale about the arrogant attitude and
rudeness the Council had in regards to the residents of a subdivision to be
annexed. The Mayor responded he was unaware of this, however, Rep
Collins pointed out a newspaper article he had in his possession that
supported his comments.
Rep Clark stated Rep Collins might have a conflict of interest in this issue.
Rep Collins asked that he be recused from the committee because he has
a personal interest in this legislation which provides a conflict of interest.
Mitch Whited, spoke for this legislation. He does not feel the city has a right
to enforce annexation without any right to vote. He does not like the way the
city and developers work together.
Stan Davis, Mayor of Salmon, asked the committee to hold H 685 in
committee and allow the existing annexation process time to see how it
works. Cities work very well with counties on many issues but there are
times tools are needed. Comprehensive planning is required of cities as it
is a state mandate.
Steve Ahrens, IACI, spoke against this legislation. He states the law on the
books now made several improvements on notification and input. Economic
development is necessary in his business and orderly planning is required
for orderly development.
John Eaton, Building Contractors Association, spoke against this
legislation. He stated they worked hard on the legislation that is now on the
books. His organization supports the Land Use Planning Act.
Ron Bean, spoke in favor of this legislation. He does not see H 685 being
any kind of impediment to cities.
Rep Sali, winding up debate on the bill stated forced annexation is painful.
Most states allow a vote, not all. Forced annexations happen rarely so this
bill would not effect too many people. He thinks the fiscal statement is
correct. Advertising and elections are expensive, but would happen rarely.
The lawsuit that has been filed is dealing with several constitutional issues.
If the lawsuit is successful, there will be no annexation law on the books. He
feels passing this legislation, allowing citizens to vote on annexation,
provides the ability to eliminate arrogance in government.
Rep Bayer, feels that the incivility that occurs during the process may still
occur, but it would be less. He states there is not a direct correlation
between the services and utilities cities and counties provide. He would like
to see this legislation pass.
Rep Clark questioned Rep Sali as to what would constitute an oral protest.
The response would be voicing a protest at the public hearing.
Rep Collins pointed out that under Rule 38 he could possibly have a
financial interest in this issue that might provide a conflict of interest. He is
involved in the enclave area in Nampa that is going through a forced
annexation, however, he feels he can vote objectively on this issue.