Growing up, I had an ever-changing cast of neighbors.
There were the folks from Philadelphia whose kid refused to take off his bicycle helmet, even during dinner. There was the reclusive Chinese family who didn't mow their lawn until they got a letter from the city. There was the family whose house was raided for cocaine possession. And there was the evangelical Baptist family from Texas who liked to barbecue in December.
They were all nice folks, more or less. And despite their quirks — there were plenty — they were still our neighbors. They paid the same taxes to the same people, belonged to the same neighborhood association and considered themselves from the same area as we did.
Which is why I feel bad for some folks living on Stewart Drive. They don't have that luxury.
Not too long ago, the Lloyds, who live on Stewart Drive, just a hair outside of the city limits, had come to terms with their failing septic system on their house. They could replace the system, at high cost to them, or could petition the city to be annexed into the city limits. (That also has the added benefit of making their house more valuable.)
So the Lloyds chose the latter, and, last month, got the thumbs-up from the City of Boonville.
Now, since this was a voluntary annexation — meaning the landowner has to do the petitioning, not the city — the Ramers, who live next to the Lloyds, thought they might do the same. There really wasn't any reason for the Ramers to not be a part of Boonville.
City Council disagreed. The Ramers lost their bid in a 4-3 vote (Council member Pete Soener was absent). Members Noah Heaton, Morris Carter and Hayes Murray voted against.
Monday's council meeting was a last-ditch effort by the Ramers to get their property annexed. According to city statutes, the motion to reconsider must be brought up by Heaton, Carter or Murray. They didn't.
Now, I'm sure there's some nominal cost to the city to extend the existing wastewater line to the Ramers' property. But the city's not exactly strapped for cash. City Administrator Irl Tessendorf notes "sufficient flexibility" in the city's 2012-13 budget.
That's not to say that the city should spend money willy-nilly. Saving money is a fine idea, but, in the long run, wouldn't the annexation of a property bring in far more in property taxes?
I wag my finger at Heaton, Carter and Murray for failing to reconsider Mr. Ramer's proposal. With their pinch-penny mindset, they've subdivided a subdivision.