Coalition readies for annexation battle

Retired Marine Rufus Washington is more than willing to fight.

"I just assume to get in my tank and do battle with them, let them get in their tank and let's do battle," says Washington.

He heads up the Southeast Shelby County Coalition. It's a group formed five years ago to combat annexation in the area near Hacks Cross Road and Bill Morris Parkway.

"First of all, I don't want to pay an additional 170 dollars for a trash can and a light, and I think that's all we'll actually get," says Washington.

Nearly 30,000 people live in the area. It's the largest of two proposed annexations on the table Tuesday night.

Both would generate an estimated $100 million in new revenue for the city.

"I think it's a bad idea and it's something we should probably do next year or perhaps the year after, but not today," says Memphis council member Jack Sammons.

Sammons says this is the first annexation he does not support.

Meantime, Myron Lowery is among those who have yet to pick sides.

"It doesn't make any sense to make up your mind how you're going to vote before you hear all sides of the argument," says Lowery.

Either way, residents will likely not be happy in the long run.

"Annexation is inevitable. The only question is when?" says Lowery.

It's something Rufus Washington is beginning to realize.

"If we win tomorrow and it's voted down, we haven't won." says Washington.

He believes a trip to court may be the only way for him and his neighbors to win.

If the annexation does go through Tuesday night, residents have 30 days to file a lawsuit to block it.

Washington and his neighbors have already hired an attorney.

To contact Jason Miles by email click here.