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3 members of Mobile City Council address annexation ‘transparency’ with proposed ordinance

By Stephen Moody

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    MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — Several members of the Mobile city council want to make the annexation process more transparent. They introduced a new ordinance Friday; they believe can do that.

Councilmembers William Carroll, Cory Penn and C.J. Small are trying a new approach: They want voters to be able to see more information about the proposed annexation, by adding more transparency. That’s why they came up with this ordinance.

“Once we’re all unified on a single cause, we can begin to move the city forward. But until then, it’s hard for any one group to trust the other. With an open and clear transparent ordinance that shows all the numbers, all of the information, where it’s accessible to everybody in the city just like we did with redistricting, it makes it easier for everyone to have input. It makes it easier for the council to be able to make a decision,” Councilman Carroll said.

So, what could potentially be revealed? According to the ordinance, it includes a map of the boundaries as of now. A map of the area being considered for annexation A list of services provided in that area including utilities and emergency, and the revenue that’s currently being generated. All of this would be revealed through a feasibility study.

“Everybody has a level of comfort they gain with the process by seeing the procedure and knowing what’s happening in the procedure. It makes it clear to everybody who has any questions about anything or any discussions that have been going on,” Councilman Carroll said.

And for Councilman Carroll, this could set a pattern for how the city handles annexation in the future.

“Annexation doesn’t happen every day. But when it does, there needs to be a clear and proper procedure and process that we follow over and over again. So, the community is unified with the same process and we’re all looking at the same information and material, and we all understand where we’re going as a city,” Councilman Carroll said.

The earliest that this could be discussed is next Tuesday during Mobile’s weekly council meeting. We reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment, but they declined until they have more information.

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