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Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington Voices

For true local control, support municipality’s disincorporation

Sally Jackson

Valley friends, the sky is not going to fall when we disincorporate. The state of Washington will not swoop down and take us over. Nor will the city of Spokane march in and annex us. These are simply the desperate scare tactics used by the defenders of this city of Spokane Valley. The role of the state is simply to make sure we follow the disincorporation laws. Also, the the annexation laws state that annexation only occurs by an election or petition from the citizens affected by the annexation. Please check our Web site at www.disincorporatenow.com. There you can view the findings of Paul Sullivan, legal council for the Municipal Research and Service Center in Seattle regarding disincorporation. Also check Revised Code of Washington laws 35.13; 35.13.015-120; and 35.13.020-120 regarding annexation. All of our facts and figures are based on research, not fiction or half-truths, and they’re on the Web site.

This incorporation passed because voters were sold a bill of goods by some well-heeled individuals who wanted to develop our Valley for their profit. They spent $200,000 for a campaign that promised no utility taxes, lower taxes and local control. Well, as of Jan. 1, we got our first utility tax on our phone service. Our taxes sure haven’t gone down. Not when this city’s budget has grown from $33 million in 2004 to $111 million in 2009. (Now it costs $304,000 a day to run this city.) And as for local control, our city manager’s home is in Battle Ground, Wash. His local residence is in Liberty Lake. The only thing local is his fat paycheck. If you look real hard maybe you can find a department head who’s a local. This city was built on hot air. That’s why its foundation is so shaky.

Did you also notice that the state auditor had questions? Many credit card receipts were missing. Why?

And what’s this about “Now we have a park department”? We’ve always had a county parks department. In fact, we would now be enjoying a “state-of-the-art” big new pool at Mission Park if we still belonged to the county. The funding was there, and the work was ready to start.

Also, under the county the couplet would be moving east to completion. The county still owns the right-of-way property. This city has lost two court actions to gain ownership.

Going back to the county means no utility taxes ever. The county cannot levy a utility tax. It also means the continuation of the county services we have, without being stuck with the contractual fees we now pay. Actually, services were better under total county management.

Many, many Valley citizens are involved in a petition drive to get 24,000 signatures to put the issue of disincorporating this city of Spokane Valley on the ballot. It’s the fair way for Valley citizens to say if they want to remain a city or if they want to return to the county. This is the perfect way to validate this city’s existence or dissolve it. Let the citizens decide. Now that’s local control.

It’s interesting to note that an average of 80 percent of the voters approached have eagerly signed the petition for a revote.

Sally Jackson is a resident of Spokane Valley.

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