Area citizen suggests Green Meadows residents don’t want to be annexed

John Hallinen
Green Meadows resident

The Green Meadows residents are concerned about the Van Mall Annexation Plan. Several residents have complained about the overreach of the city of Vancouver. We do not want to be annexed. We do not understand how we were not allowed to vote or how that vote was overridden by a Utility Covenant.Letter to the editor clarkcountytoday.com

Title 35 of the RCWs, state law, appear to give Clark County residents the right to vote for or against annexation. The city of Vancouver then claims that the Utility Covenant overrides our ability and right to vote because the Covenant was an agreement to not protest annexation if we had city water or city sewer service. We saw nowhere in the RCWs that a Utility Covenant could make us give up our right to vote.

There are several ways to figure out annexation besides the vote, which is suggested by the state. These additional methods of annexation are then abrogated by RCW 35.13.120 and 35.13.170 by stating that “these additional means of annexation shall not supercede the first”, returning us to 35.13.015, the vote.

The MRSC has stated that most cities have used the additional annexation methods because the vote is too expensive and too cumbersome to administer. Residents can’t afford the cost of the election and shouldn’t have to pay for an election that is about annexation to a city they don’t want to be part of. Additionally, MRSC is a non-profit organization that is not part of a government entity so their guidance is non-binding. That leaves the residents with no way to turn but to not sign the utility covenant.

Several people from the Green Meadows development either did not sign or signed the Utility Covenant under protest. Several of our residents are retired military and fought in one of several combat zones. They fought, ostensibly, for the right to vote or speak freely guaranteed by the Constitution. How do we justify the vets service when we don’t give them the right to vote. The Declaration of Independence offers us “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness and Property endowed by our Creator.” The vets fought for your rights, how about the city fighting for the Green Meadows residents’ voting rights?

Lastly, but not least, there is an Inter-local agreement. This is a 10-year agreement signed Dec. 2007 by Commissioner (Marc) Boldt. The agreement was between Clark County and the city of Vancouver and still has a year to run. The agreement was to gain cooperation between the two entities so they would not get in each other’s way and promote good working relationships between the two. At this juncture, we haven’t heard much of this agreement but we are well aware of the fact that this agreement was signed at a completely different time and the economy was much better than now.

The Van-Mall North annexation will ravage the county budget and leave the Clark County Sheriff’s Office with a large shortfall. This does not say much for the Inter-local Agreement.

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