To the Editor:
The article about the upcoming decision regarding possible annexation of Lake Junaluska by Waynesville in the Feb. 6 issue of The Smoky Mountain News included a statement that “... Lake Junaluska property owners have had ample opportunity to voice their opinion at public meetings ....”
While there have been public meetings at the lake, it would not be accurate to conclude that many property owners have had a chance to voice opinions. Most, if not all, of the meetings have been after Labor Day when many property owners are no longer at the lake. My guess would be that no meeting had even 100 of the almost 800 property owners in attendance.
When the property owner survey comes out, we will be voting “no” on annexation for the following reasons:
Ï• Lack of complete information as to why this is a good move for Junaluska. The minutes of meetings do not provide enough information. In addition, I sent four questions to the executive director last November. One question called for numbers/dollars. To this date, my question has not been properly answered. The information sought is information that a property owner should be provided upon request.
• If we go with annexation now and it turns out to be a mistake, then we are more or less stuck with that choice. There is little if any chance of undoing annexation once it occurs.
• If we retain the status quo and it turns out to be a mistake, then we still have all of the options before us that exist now.
• The important thing is to make a good decision, not a fast decision. If the decision will truly affect the lake for the next 100 years, then waiting another two years should not be a problem.
• Finally, the overriding question remains: why? We have never heard a good reason for annexation. Just because a committee comes to that conclusion does not make it so.
Thanks for your coverage of the annexation question. We have heard very little information from the city side. It will be interesting to see the commissioned report once it becomes available. It may convince property owners that annexation is in the best interest of the lake if indeed that question is addressed. If the study is only on feasibility and not best interest, then the study might not be of much use to us property owners.
St. Petersburg, Fla.