Urban Planning Expert Witness Hired to Support City Annexation

Tupelo City Council members have hired an expert witness to support their efforts in annexing 16 square miles Lee County, Mississippi. Michael Slaughter of Slaughter & Associates in Oxford will testify supporting the city’s annexation plan. Urban planning expert witness Slaughter has worked on prior annexations with Tupelo. Slaughter told the Daily Journal on Wednesday that based on a preliminary review, the areas Tupelo wants to annex appear to be reasonable and meet the state criteria for annexation. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal writes that:
….the county might oppose the city’s current annexation attempt as it did the previous one. It recently made a similar attempt in which it tried to annex 10.2 square miles of county territory and 2,500 of its residents. That attempt was opposed by county officials, black community leaders in Tupelo and residents living in the proposed annexation area. The case lingered two years and cost taxpayers more than $600,000 in city and county legal fees before retired Chancellor Charles Thomas dismissed it in October, citing concerns about the city’s evidence.