GOLDSBORO, N.C. – One Goldsboro community working to reverse annexation into the city limits had their fight cut short.
Homeowners living in the area around Buck Swamp and Salem Church roads thought they were close to breaking free from the city.
In the Fallingbrook subdivision of Goldsboro, people like their independence.
"We've always just kinda done our own thing out here,” said Eddie Radford, Fallingbrook resident.
But the area was forcibly annexed into the city limits four years ago. Since then, Radford has joined many in the community to fight against being a part of the city.
"The choice that all these people have made – the majority of them have made is no, we don't want to be in there,” he said.
Radford said believes his community was on its way to gathering the necessary petitions to break free. But since the judge has decided the petition process unconstitutional, those documents may never be counted.
"When we first go the news we were kinda like stunned. We thought there would be a little bit more time put into it."
Radford said as a city homeowner, he now pays $1,500 dollars more in taxes.
Goldsboro's leaders said that helps pay for things like garbage pick-up and police protection, but Radford's not seeing a benefit.
"It's not any better, it's not any worse,” said Radford.
Goldsboro's city manager said the judge's decision reflects what they have thought all along – that it's not all about money from taxes.
"The loss of 1,000 residents form our population would be a negative for Goldsboro -- so it's the population numbers as much as anything,” said Goldsboro City Manager Scott Stevens.
Residents here said they don't have a definite plan yet of what their next move will be, but moving forward, they hope they get a clear outline of where their money will be spent.
"I am a Goldsboro person. I believe in Goldsboro, so I'm not saying the money shouldn't go there to help,” said Radford. “I am certainly saying if they take taxes put it in the right places and let's see some things done with it."