Annexation Opposed by Marion

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Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith confirmed the proposed area the city seeks to annex includes Briarwood Country Club, Briarwood Road, Van Zyverden Road, and all three Northeast county schools, elementary, middle and high schools. But the schools' operation will be unaffected.

"The Supreme Court has said once and for all that changing the boundaries of a city does not change the boundary of a school system," said Smith. "Each one of the three county schools will still be county schools after the annexation."

Smith argued the city is the heart of this area and the engine that drives its commerce.

"I want you for one week pretend Meridian does no exist," Smith said. "Don't go to work in Meridian. Don't buy anything in Meridian. Don't go to the movie in Meridian. Don't go to the church in Meridian. Don't, let your children play on any ball teams in Meridian. For one week Meridian does not exist. If you get sick go to the medical services outside the city of Meridian. For one week don't dare set foot in the city of Meridian. Just do that for a week, if you're a strong objector there. See what quality of life you have at the end of that week."

Marion Mayor Malcolm Threatt does not share Smith's opinion.

"I thought it was a little premature on the city of Meridian," said Threatt. "They're coming into an area that we already have in the works to be annexed and I don't know what will be the outcome of this. I can't say what the reaction would be for our board but as far as I'm concerned, yes."