As the annexation vote gets closer, ‘yes’ and ‘no’ sides speak out | Editor's Notebook
By ANDY NYSTROM
Bothell Reporter Reporter
April 16, 2012 · Updated 3:34 PM
In last November’s election, Bothell annexation failed by the count of 3,767 “no” votes to 3,359 “yes” votes.
In the April 17 special election, citizens of the North, East and West of Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) area will vote again on whether they want to become Bothell residents or stay residents of unincorporated Snohomish County.
For the April 6 issue of the Reporter, we decided to let those in the trenches speak out about Bothell’s proposed annexation.
On one side you’ve got Patrick LeDoux of Bothell YES, and on the opposite end, there’s Bud NcCorchuk of Citizens for Responsible Annexations. (Their opinion-editorials are below.)
Both men are passionate about their stances on annexation and have been vocal over the last month in the media and in person to whoever wants to discuss the issues at hand.
You can read their columns below, and hopefully readers can gain some more insight into the annexation issue and tally their vote on April 17.
In recent annexation news — this is fact, not the Reporter taking sides as has been written on some chat boards — most of you know that the city has committed to keep Fire Station 22 open for at least five years and staffed with firefighters and paramedics. Bothell has also executed agreements with Snohomish County fire districts 7 and 10 for continued high-quality service in the annexation area.
Also, according to the city, since April 2010, it has broken ground on $89 million in fully-funded downtown projects; property taxes have not been raised in Bothell for more than six years; and annexation-area residents would not assume any of the city’s bonded indebtedness.
On the state of Washington’s side, Larry Springer, Deputy Majority Leader and State Representative, 45th Legislative District, notes that “Since the passage of the Growth Management Act 30 years ago, the state has encouraged annexations or incorporations of urban areas outside of city boundaries. These unincorporated urban areas deserve urban levels of service, which are best provided by cities rather than counties.”
Whether you vote “yes” or “no” on April 17, make your voice heard in this election.
By Bud NcCorchuk
Citizens for Responsible Annexations
This annexation is about more than just the fire service. It is all about the money — isn’t everything? Follow the money and it will all make sense.
Look at the tax situation: Bothell says that the difference is $288 dollars, but do they mention the 25 cents to a thousand fire tax? It is conveniently missing from their data. The numbers just don’t match up. Bothell will have private industry build and own the new $40 million city hall and then Bothell will lease it back for $2 million a year.
The first quarter is over, where is the city’s financial report for the fourth quarter of last year? Yes, again it is conveniently missing because the third quarter of last year showed that Bothell’s outflow of expenses outpaced the inflow or revenue by over a million dollars.
We do not think it is wise to increase the population by 45 percent overnight and have this kind of a financial picture. A $150 million downtown revitalization plan, new $5 million King County fire station, $10 million Bothell Landing project, $40 million city hall with 300 underground parking stalls, and purchase of the school property for $20 million and then basically gifting it to the McMenamin family. Can you see the picture? Who else in the state is this ambitious in this economy? Nobody!
As for fire stations closing? Fire District 1 has been committed to Station 22 for 42 years and has had paramedic services for over 30 years. Why change something that is state of the art? In fact, Fire District 1 just completed their Utstein cardiac survival rate study. It shows that a survival rate of 62.5 percent while other local studies show a 48.5 percent survival rate. The best place to have a heart attack is in Fire District 1.
In last November’s election, 3,767 citizens said NO and Bothell continues to disregard the very people they are trying to reach. Bothell’s mayor recently said, “They will not take Yes for an answer.” My very point — that’s good local representation for you. The only local control you Yes folks have will be from the mayor after you wake up and get out from under his thumb.
By Patrick LeDoux
I born and raised in the city of Bothell. When I moved to the North, East and West of Bothell Annexation (NEWBA) area 11 years ago and still had a Bothell address, I didn’t think there would be a difference in my new community.
Today, I can first hand tell the difference in the two communities and that is why I have joined over 1,000 of my neighbors in committing myself to the citizens of the NEWBA area to bring us into the greater Bothell community that I grew up in for all of the right reasons.
We want to be part of Bothell for its lower taxes and higher quality of services. We want to keep our tax dollars local and not spread them throughout the county. We understand that every dollar counts in this difficult economy, and lower taxes and better services are exactly what we need. We want to be part of something great and part of the Bothell community.
Our core benefits of annexation are the following:
• Local government — We can vote for all seven city councilmembers in Bothell. We can only vote for one county councilmember in Snohomish County.
• Lower property taxes — The Snohomish County Assessor confirmed that annexation to Bothell is a property tax cut for every homeowner in the NEWBA. More importantly, the money stays here instead of going to a much bigger area.
• Better services — There will be more police officers patrolling our neighborhood, and a local and more responsive public works and parks departments.
• Fire service — Bothell has reached agreements with fire districts 7 and 10 and will staff both fire stations 24/7 in the NEWBA area providing paramedics and additional services by the internationally acclaimed Medic One Services.
• Fiscally sound and responsive government — Bothell has lower property taxes and a better credit rating than the taxing districts that currently take our money.
I wanted this opportunity to set the record straight on the matters that are vitally important for the quality of life of our neighborhoods and families.
I understand more than ever the importance of lower taxes and services that are faster and of higher quality that will be provided by the city of Bothell.
Please help us achieve this vision for a greater and better Bothell community. Vote Yes!
Contact Bothell Reporter Reporter Andy Nystrom at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-483-3732 (ext 5050).