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Annexation effort dropped
By unanimous vote, aldermen abandon proposal to take 1,500 acres

by Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

Without detailed explanation as to why, the Platte City Board of Aldermen Tuesday night unanimously voted to abandon its controversial proposal to involuntarily annex 1,500 acres south of the city.

A crowd of around 70 residents in the proposed annexation area had packed into city hall for the meeting. They left happy with the action, giving the board a round of applause after it killed the proposal.

Only two months ago residents had poured into city hall on the night the board voted to begin steps to proceed with the involuntary annexation. At that time, residents were turned away from asking questions about the annexation, as city officials told them to submit questions in writing. Those questions, city officials said, would be answered at a public hearing set for July 22.

Later, aldermen voted to postpone that July 22 hearing to give the issue more study. That quietly-called closed session came on a Friday night and the decision to postpone wasn't publicly announced until 36 hours before the hearing would begin.

On Tuesday night, tension broke in the room when residents applauded the board's decision to drop the involuntary annexation of the 1,500 acres that would include Broken Bridge, Oak Creek No. 1, Summit Way and Misty Springs subdivisions.

"It's done," Platte City Mayor Dave Brooks said following the board's vote.

Tuesday's vote came during the public portion of the meeting. The mayor and aldermen had held a one-hour closed session with City Attorney Keith Hicklin prior to the open meeting.

Prior to the vote to abandon the issue, Brooks told the standing room only crowd that they would be given the opportunity to have a spokesperson from each subdivision come to the front and ask questions.

"We are here to be friends with you all. We are not here to not be friends with you," Brooks said.

Brooks also told the group that the questions they submitted to the city were answered and written copies of the questions and answers would be handed out when they left.

Bob Shaw, attorney, was the only resident who spoke to the board.

"This is an involuntary annexation. Involuntary means we don't want it," Shaw said. "Because of that, we have chosen to oppose the process. I don't think that feeling is going to change any time in the future."

Shaw also told the board that if the involuntary annexation proceeded by the city, legal action would be taken, causing the city to incur more expense.

"I know the city is operating on a tight budget. There are other areas that money could be useful to the city." Shaw said.

"You can choose to terminate the issue and peace and harmony can be restored in our community. I think it is a simple choice."

If the city chose to continue the process, Shaw said legal action would be "extensive and expensive."
Shaw added that the involuntary annexation proposal has caused turmoil during the past few months.
"That is turmoil we don't need. It has been a very difficult couple of months," Shaw added.

Following Shaw's comments, Brooks asked the crowd if there was anyone else who wanted to come forward and speak. When no one came forward, Brooks asked the crowd if Shaw represented the feelings of everybody. The crowd replied unanimously that he did.

"After all the consideration, my recommendation to the board is that we abandon the issue," Brooks said at that time.

Alderman George McClintock admitted that the board could have handled the annexation better.

"I admit we did not do it (the annexation) very well," McClintock said. "But we needed to know where you were coming from," he told the crowd.

McClintock moved to abandon the effort. Multiple aldermen spoke up simultaneously to second the motion.

Several residents shook aldermen's hands, offered thanks and applauded the decision.