Sullivan County Commissioner Moe Brotherton doesn’t want Johnson City to expand into his county. As the NET News Service reported in Tuesday’s paper, Brotherton believes Johnson City’s municipal boundaries should remain where they are in Washington County. We hate to break it to Brotherton, but Johnson City is already in Sullivan County.
And there’s a good possibility Johnson City will be annexing even more of Sullivan County in the future. Brotherton is being unreasonable with his request for Johnson City not to annex outside “Washington County at the Sullivan County-Washington County line on State Highway 75 and State Highway 36.” While the city has expressed no such plans to do that, it is nonetheless appropriate and permissible under state laws for Johnson City to control its urban growth boundaries.
As we stated in this space last month, planners are proposing the annexation of property along the Bobby Hicks Highway corridor all the way to the Sullivan County line. This is where Johnson City is growing. As such, the city has a duty to see that the development is orderly and sound.
Johnson City must be at the forefront of how this important gateway to the city is developed. It shouldn’t be left to chance.
We would also remind Brotherton there are property owners in Sullivan County who welcome being a part of Johnson City for one important reason: The city offers essential services that Sullivan County can’t or won’t provide to its citizens.