Forward four All, the nonprofit that’s looking to orchestrate an unholy land grasp among Anniston and Oxford, has a spokesperson. It’s Charles Turner. He wrote a legislative bill that seeks to de-annex nearly 10,000 Anniston citizens — all of Ward 4 and slivers of other neighborhoods — and slide them into Oxford. He is the face of the nonprofit whose members, as he informed The Star, are involved that “so long as we’re in Anniston, we received’t get the overall rate when we promote our homes” due to lengthy-festering problems with the town’s majority-black public faculties and poverty prices. Anniston’s Ward four is floor zero of this land snatch. It wishes a spokesperson — both to protect it towards deannexation or shepherd it into Oxford.
It ought to be Millie Harris.
She is Ward 4’s City Council member. She needs to dominate those discussions — not Mayor Jack Draper, and without a doubt no longer Ward three Councilman Ben Little, who commonly dominates the whole thing. Yet, when Draper remaining week mentioned a probable City Council resolution in opposition to forwarding four All’s the notion — a decision Draper assumed would receive unanimous council help — this is what Harris told her council colleagues: “I represent all of Ward 4. This isn’t always approximately me, in my opinion; I listen to each facet of it. I understand your frustration, and I have individually said I’m towards this. But I’m going to abstain from balloting on any of this because I represent all the human beings” in Ward 4.
Granted, Harris is in a horrible bind. However, that’s politics; it’s equally cutthroat and profitable; she signed up for this. She’s a Ward four resident with deep ties to Anniston’s over-the-mountain neighborhoods. And it’s clear she’s getting hammered by using Ward four citizens who both agree with Turner’s idea or those like me who accept as true with it would be a loss of life sentence for Anniston’s fragile fireplace-and-police pension fund, its future monetary development efforts, and its recognition. Anniston cannot withstand the visibility of middle- and excessive-income white residents fleeing to a majority-white neighboring metropolis and far away from its majority-black schools and lower-earnings neighborhoods. Those optics could be debilitating.
Harris wasn’t elected to be Ward 4’s stenographer and assist measures totally based on citizens’ needs. Politics isn’t polling. She was elected to represent Ward four’s nice pursuits, something they will be, even supposing it earns her biting criticism. She turned into elected to guide. And said in a council work consultation that she could abstain from vote casting on a de-annexation resolution centering on her ward because she hears “each aspect of it” turned into unlucky optics and unwise politics.