or the life of us, we can’t understand why some people are opposed to annexation by the city of Washington. What is being proposed now is a reasonable plan. It is heartening that the council has decided to move ahead on the south and east areas proposed for annexation. The west plan, which contains several proposals, is being given additional consideration.

The planning and zoning commission has spent more than a year or two in studying annexation. The plan at this point is justified — it’s no land grab. The city has the ability to provide all municipal services to the areas in the plan. In the long run, the people in the areas to be annexed will save money with city services than what they are paying now. Their property owners insurance should be less because of a better fire rating the city has.

ashington is a well-operated city with sound financial resources and enjoys a good bond rating. The city has been managed well with the welfare of the residents always in mind. People in other communities regularly comment on the quality of life in Washington and on what the city provides for citizens, from an excellent shopping experience, to the educational systems, the quality of health care, the parks system that offers varied recreational opportunities, the riverfront with its enjoyable amenities, and the services provided that add to the quality of life.

There is now and always will be some critics of the city. Sometimes it is justified. The city isn’t perfect. Often the criticism comes from people with a narrow, bitter outlook toward most things.

There are people who live in areas to be annexed who favor coming into the city, but won’t speak out because they don’t want to offend a neighbor with different views. That’s human nature. There are good people who live in areas just outside the city who have participated in city activities as volunteers, and who also praise the city and what it offers.

s always, there are critics who because of their selfish interests are blind to the overall picture of the environment in the city. They have no appreciation of what citizens of the city over the years have done to earn Washington the reputation that it has as a quality city.

Voluntary annexation works up to a point but it’s not the answer for a city to progress and expand its boundaries for orderly growth. Annexation has been stymied in the past because several council members have listened to a few property owners who objected to being in the city rather than listening to people who live in the city. They don’t represent the people outside the city.

What would Washington be if it hadn’t expanded in the past? A city that stands still is one that eventually will decline. The obvious answer to those people who question expanding the boundaries is that to continue to grow, to add new businesses that create jobs, to provide adequate housing, land is needed inside the city limits. It’s a fact that industries want to be in a city for the many services provided. The same is true for housing developers.

It also is a fact that being in a city of the quality of Washington, property values are higher because of the services provided by the city. Agriculture land annexed to a city increases in value.

When everything is considered, this annexation plan is reasonable, justified and, we believe, in the best interest of citizens in Washington and the people next door!