Cordova Residents Unleash Annexation Anger on Mayor Wharton

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Updated: 7/12/2012 9:59 am
CORDOVA, TN (abc24.com) - Anger and frustration resonated at a public meeting about the recent Cordova annexation. Hundreds of south Cordova homeowners, now Memphis residents, packed the Bert Ferguson Community Center Wednesday night.

Residents say they've received zero services from the city and this is taxation without representation. Recently annexed Cordova residents demanded answers from city leaders about taxation and why they got little notice about being annexed, but it seems many left the meeting even angrier.

Residents say the first problem was a serious lack of communication about the annexation.

"The communication was horrible. We woke up on June 29th and we saw the headlines: congratulations, you’ve been annexed,” said State Representative Steve McManus as he addressed the crowd.

Next issue: taxes. People worry about being back taxed. The mayor said that will not happen.

"Nobody will receive any kind of bill for any service prior to July 1, 2012, point blank that's it," Mayor A C Wharton reassured the angry crowd.

Many shouted they want no part of the city. They say taxes are going up and they have never received any city services, ever. It was a back and fourth shouting match.

"I'm going to respect you and I'm not going to denigrate you,” Wade stated to a man in the audience standing and shouting at him. “You may not agree with me but just listen to me.” The crowd begins to get louder and starts screaming. Wade responded, “If you want to use that language and yell and scream that's not going to resolve anything."

Something else on the table, there's another appeal in the works.

"There is an appeal in the courts, that's the good news; the bad news, it's not worth the paper it's written on,” said the City Council Attorney Allan Wade as people starting booing at him.

"He said it wasn't worth the paper it was written on, well I mean he's a lawyer he's not a judge, so let's take a look and see what happens, shall we,” McManus responded to Wade’s statement.

Mayor Wharton told abc24 news it doesn’t matter if there’s an appeal, the city will still provide its services. “We do not have a court order saying do not deliver these services. So I will be dog gone if I didn't and dog gone if I do. I would much prefer to deliver the services and maybe not get paid for them than to not deliver the services."

South Cordova residents should expect a tax bill at the end this month or early August to pay for city services for the fiscal year 2013.

"This is like a genuine tea party. People really feel that they are being taxed on services that were never rendered to begin with,” McManus told abc24 news.

After the meeting, the mayor told us how he felt about the rowdy crowd: “It's meetings like this I think really strengthen democracy and this is why again I remain respectful of everybody asking any question whatsoever. That's all you can do,” Mayor A C Wharton stated.

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