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West Hill Annexation Into Renton Unlikely

Day two of election results maintains 10 percent lead on failure proposition No. 1.

Day two of King County Election results are nearly unchanged for initial numbers, keeping West Hill in unincorporated King County.

King County confirmed receipt of Patch’s request for comment on the issue, but have not yet provided a statement from King County Executive Dow Constantine. Patch will update this article when the County sends a statement.

Renton Mayor Denis Law had his to say about the annexation failure:

A majority of West Hill residents that voted on the annexation issue have expressed their desire to remain part of unincorporated King County. This decision allows us to end discussions regarding governance for this area and focus our attention on serving Renton citizens.

We worked unsuccessfully with King County staff for the past several years in an effort to bridge the funding gaps that we would face by providing city-levels of services to the area with an inadequate tax base from the area.

The county recently stated that they plan to continue to reduce services to unincorporated areas, especially in road maintenance and repairs, which will have long-term impacts to this community. In terms of public safety, we hope that West Hill residents will demand that the King County Sheriff’s Department meet the staffing commitments they have made in order to meet the high-levels of crime in the area.

There are a lot of dedicated residents in the West Hill area committed to making their community a safe and vibrant place to live and conduct business. We feel this area has been neglected for many years and that it’s important that the county work with community leaders in finding ways to address their goals and reasonable expectations of county services.

Longtime West Hill resident Paul Berry. who voted against the annexation, said there was no organized opposition group, but instead a majority of residents who voted against the proposition.

He’s lived on the hill for 43 years and been involved with the West Hill Community Association for a decade.

“We were just a disparate group of folks who have gotten together and have coordinated activities,” he said of some West Hill residents who have loosely banded together to oppose annexation into Renton.

When asked about the current results, Berry said the numbers are “what I expected, and what I wanted.”

Community involvement is difficult, but it is key to the success of the neighborhood, he said, adding that a community must advocate for the change it desires.

Check back for more updates from Patch.

Click here for previous coverage of the West Hill annexation campaigns.

More Elections Coverage:

Washington Election Results 2012

 

Results, Nov. 7, 2012:

For annexation

  • Votes: 1,681
  • Percent: 45.23

Against annexation

  • Votes: 2,035
  • Percent: 54.76
Robert Nelson November 08, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Paul Berry's statement about no organized opposition to Annexation is untrue. The following is copied and pasted from a email post to WH Connects by Donna Mikula There WAS an organized opposition group with a Facebook page, meetings, coordinated financing & printing, signs, and distributed materials.
Beth Hughes November 09, 2012 at 12:20 AM
There were Facebook pages for both sides of the issue. In the final weeks they both spent a lot of time accusing each other of stealing or destroying signs. I had pretty much made up my mind which way I was going to vote before I checked out both pages, and I was disgusted with what I found on both pages. The crazy thing is, the No people apparently did it so that they can work to have us annexed into Seattle, and Seattle isn't interested. So now, we who live in the Westhill area will continue to live as we have for years, being treated like po' folk who have no relevance whatsoever, whether that be police, zoning, or - and don't even get me started on this one - BUS SERVICE improvements. The empty lot across the street from where I live is a constant reminder that I live in as some refer to it, the ghetto, or the hood. I hope the Vote No people choke on their freaking yard signs they CLAIMED were destroyed by the Yes people!!!
Robert Nelson November 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I agree that entirely too much time and effort was spent on trivia. While the business sector continues to decline and king county continues to do it's best to ignore the area. I am amazed that this whole process goes clear back to 2005 and in any case all scenarios show a deficit(income in taxes vs expenditures). So since both Seattle and Renton have been voted down and Tukwila isn't interested why not incorporate as a city?
Question Mark November 13, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Robert, incorporating as a city probably requires that an area have more resources than it would take to annex to another city. This is because the startup costs for creating a sustainable city and its services are substantial, as is the liability for ongoing costs of governance. With annexation, the annexing city already has ongoing operations and also has liability coverage, which allows the city to plan to take over responsibility for the new area as an incremental increase in its operations rather than a wholesale startup.

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