North Creek Incorporation Bid Fails -- Supporters Vow To Go To Voters Again
MILL CREEK - There won't be a new city of North Creek this year.
Voters in the unincorporated area between Mill Creek and Bothell decisively said no, with 59 percent of those turning out yesterday voting against forming the city.
Undeterred by the results, the group that gave the incorporation movement life set the wheels in motion again.
In other votes:
-- With 85 percent opposition, a three-square-mile annexation that would have doubled the size of Lake Stevens was defeated.
-- Despite a 76 percent yes vote, a $4.9 million bond issue to expand Arlington High School failed because not enough voters cast ballots to validate the measure.
-- Voting by mail, all but 23 of the 232 voters in the Swan Trail Water District approved a merger into the Cross Valley Water District if the Legislature authorizes the merger.
Dave Schmidt, chairman of the North Creek Valley Action Committee, said the committee will meet again soon.
The group will have to go through the same procedure as before: a petition, review by the state Boundary Review Board for Snohomish County and back to the ballot. Schmidt hoped that could be done within a year.
Any new attempt to form a city will probably come after boundaries are redrawn.
The Hilltop area of Alderwood Manor, the center of the vocal opposition against incorporation, probably will be dropped from a new proposal.
Nancy Burn, a leader of the opposition, said this election proved a grass-roots campaign still works and there still is a community spirit.
"That's what we won; not that we defeated North Creek city," she said. "North Creek city will happen."
Burn said many voters believed they had not received enough information to vote for the city, and incorporation supporters agreed that they had to do a better information job.
Though disappointed, the incorporation supporters were ready to start again.
"It's not unusual to lose the first time," Schmidt said. "Woodinville took three times; Mill Creek won by only 11 votes."
The first time around, Schmidt said, the committee was able to raise the issues. Now people understand the differences between what the county and a city can offer them, he said.
"The issue of getting better representation from the county is the bottom line," he said. "Incorporation wouldn't be here if there was better representation."
Schmidt cited inadequate law enforcement, lack of parks and delays in getting improvements like stoplights.
Convinced that doing a better job in getting the information out will make a difference, John Cooke, a 37-year resident and supporter of the new city, said, "this base of people who understand the issue is not going away."
Even though Burn is certain her neighborhood will be left out of any new incorporation effort, she remains concerned.
The more incorporations there are, the fewer tax dollars are left to serve the unincorporated areas, she said.
She is aware that cities get some revenue from unincorporated areas but says that's all right because "we do reap benefits," such as the use of city recreation centers and libraries.
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