Bothell City Council unanimously votes to put annexation back on the ballot

James Olson of Citizens for a Better Bothell is excited that voters will get a second chance to help annex 22,000-plus unincorporated Snohomish County residents into the city.

In last November’s general election, the North, East and West of Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) failed to pass, garnering 3,767 “no” votes and 3,359 “yes” votes.

On Feb. 21, the Bothell City Council unanimously approved a resolution to place the NEWBA back on the ballot, this time in the April 17 special election. Citizens for a Better Bothell sent the city of Bothell a letter Feb. 15 requesting that the City Council take these steps.

The Citizens for a Better Bothell letter reads, in part: “We want to be part of Bothell for its lower taxes and better/higher quality of services. We want to keep our tax dollars local and not spread them throughout the county. We respectfully request that you provide the voters with another opportunity by placing the NEWBA on an upcoming ballot so that we may control our destiny and improve the livability of our neighborhoods.”

“I’ve been with a number of the community action groups in the Bothell area and I’ve been working on this for 10 years, so this is not new. I’m happy that the city’s listening to us,” said Olson, noting that his pro-annexation group put up 13 signs Feb. 22 and two of them were stolen in broad daylight.

“It is unfortunate that the city of Bothell has decided to try for annexation again. It has been five months and the ink hasn’t even dried yet. Bothell decided at the last minute on the day of the council meeting to add it to the agenda. One could construe that it was done that way so the opposition would not have a chance to voice their opinion. Seems under-handed to me,” said Bud NcCorchuk of the “no” group, Citizens for Responsible Annexations, which noted in November that they don’t support the closing of fire stations or delayed paramedic response times.

Olson added that in the next few months, his group will talk to voters about the key issues addressed in the new annexation proposal:

In addition to lower taxes, the city has committed to staff Fire Station 22 on Damson Road with firefighters/paramedics and keep it open for at least five years (Snohomish County Fire District 1 had previous plans to close the station). The King County Medic One system will continue to provide firefighter and paramedic services.

Added Mayor Mark Lamb: “We have heard from citizens who live in unincorporated Snohomish County that there is a continued desire to join Bothell and benefit from the lower taxes and better services the city has to offer. We also heard that there were some concerns with the original annexation proposal last fall, so we listened to the citizens and made improvements.”

If approved by voters, the annexation would take effect Dec. 31, 2012. The NEWBA consists of 5.6 square miles of unincorporated Snohomish County territory and has an estimated population of 22,283. Bothell’s current population is 33,505.



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