Arrow-right Camera

Washington Voices

Poll Indicates Valley Folks Want A Change

A proposal to consolidate city and county government isn’t very popular among Spokane Valley residents, according to a recent poll, and the thought of annexing to the city of Spokane is even less attractive.

The poll of 400 residents of the proposed new city in the Spokane Valley who are likely to vote on May 16 was conducted for The Spokesman-Review by Robinson Research earlier this month.

One of the questions in the poll asked what voters think would be the best government option for the Valley.

Incorporation led the way with 45 percent support. No change was in second with 24 percent.

The two other options, consolidation and annexation, trailed way behind.

According to the poll:

Support for the freeholders’ proposal to consolidate city and county government made a slight gain over results of a similar poll taken last year, but overall support remained low.

Nineteen percent said they thought consolidation was the best option. Last year, that number was 16 percent.

Consolidation made its biggest gains among the incorporation opponents, with an 18 percent jump in approval, from 22 percent last year to 40 percent this year.

Support for consolidation among incorporation backers remained at 4 percent.

Annexation to the city of Spokane is becoming more and more unpopular among Valley residents.

Only 4 percent of those surveyed this time said they thought annexation to Spokane was the best choice for the Valley.

In a similar poll conducted last year, 8 percent favored annexation.

Distrust of the city of Spokane exploded this year among incorporation supporters, 19 percent of whom said they feared annexation by Spokane.

In last year’s survey, only 5 percent of the supporters said they were afraid of being annexed by the city.

Yardley may be the reason for the increase. Spokane city officials created an uproar earlier this year when they asked the state Boundary Review Board to exclude the Yardley industrial area and some surrounding neighborhoods from the proposed city’s boundaries.

Citizens for Valley Incorporation said the move was a prelude to the city annexing the tax-rich area, a move that would take substantial revenue away from Valley Fire and other special service districts in the area. The Boundary Review Board decided to leave Yardley in the proposed city.