Washington voters turned thumbs down Tuesday on the city’s proposal to annex property to the west, south and east.
All three separate areas were rejected by generally 52 percent of the city voters who cast ballots.
The election included separate votes by city residents and those living in the proposed annexation areas.
Only resident property owners in the areas proposed for annexation could vote in their areas. The voters with residences in those outside areas soundly rejected annexation.
If any of the ballot issues had received a simple majority from city voters, a second election would have been held in November. But since all of the issues were rejected by city voters there will be no second election.
Annexation opponents waged a long, fierce campaign which city officials said included misinformation and outright distortions about the city’s plan.
“I am disappointed with the outcome, but the sun came up on Wednesday,” Mayor Sandy Lucy remarked. “I’m disappointed but not bitter. The city will move forward and continue on.
“The whole process has been a learning experience. We’ve learned quite a bit about how we provide and charge for services. I think a lot of citizens were educated about city government,” Lucy said.
“I respect the voters’ decision. Now we’ll look for direction from the council on how we charge for services,” she added.
“The city will continue to function as always,” City Administrator Jim Briggs remarked.
“Now the staff will look to the council for direction on how to proceed,” Briggs said.
He said the city will want to take a look at “equitable” charges for services used by people outside the city.
The west area was broken into five distinct annexation areas and had separate ballots for each one. Only two of those areas have residents living there. One of those areas had four no votes, or 100 percent, against the proposal while the other had 13 total voters with nine casting no votes and four voting yes.
Roughly 52 percent of the voters inside the city limits cast no votes for each of those five west areas.
There was only one ballot issue on the south annexation area with most of the votes coming from residents of Meadowlake Farms subdivision. The vote within the area was 93 against and 18 for annexation.
The city vote on the south area was 1,932 no and 1,716 yes.
The east annexation area was divided into two ballot issues. A total of 12 votes were cast in those two areas, all of them against annexation.
The combined city vote on those two east areas was 3,765 no and 3,542 yes.
Under state law, the city cannot attempt to annex those areas for a period of two years.