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Bereft of power to take at will, TN cities will have to sell themselves to grow

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Illustration by Laura McNutt Illustration by Laura McNutt
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

The last man to be forcibly annexed by Chattanooga is philosophical about his fate.

Ken Carey and his neighbors in Laurel Cove and other north Hixson neighborhoods fought the city's grip for three years, but the end was inevitable. They became Chattanooga citizens Jan. 1.

Now, though, even though it's too late for him, Carey is elated that nobody else can become unwilling prey for Tennessee cities' growth.

He believes a grass-roots struggle by homeowners against a massive annexation push begun in 2009 by then-Mayor Ron Littlefield resonated with state lawmakers, and last week they gave final passage to a bill ending cities' power to annex by ordinance.

Read more from our partners at the Times Free Press.

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