Port Angeles: Most opponents haven’t changed minds about annexation

PORT ANGELES — City officials will be before the public again Thursday in the next-to-last forum about the proposed east side annexation.

But even after nearly three months of the informational meetings, it appears most annexation opponents haven’t changed their minds.

Port Angeles officials are studying annexation of unincorporated residential and commercial areas of Clallam County between the city’s eastern boundary to Morse Creek.

The area includes several car dealerships, Wal-Mart, Les Schwab and the new Safeway shopping complex. It also includes the Gales Addition, Bay Loop and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods.

The forums have covered a broad spectrum of subjects, from planning to city services, such as sewers.

City leaders have said they aren’t trying to “sell” the idea of annexation, but merely presenting information so people living in the area can make up their own minds.

But from the mood at last Thursday’s forum, most of the opponents of annexation haven’t changed their opinions from earlier this year.

One audience member asked the 60 or so participants in attendance for a show of hands of those favoring annexation into the city.

No one responded.

“These forums are largely a waste of time — the city just wants to force-feed us information,” said Bay Loop Neighborhood Association President Francis Cummings.

Cummings’ organization actively opposes annexation.

Residents like Cummings say they are worried about higher taxes, sewer assessments and commercial development in the area — and about how annexation will be decided.

That could be by popular vote, or by the petition method, which many residents feel would give unfair advantage to large property owners and commercial developments.

This Thursday’s forum — the seventh of eight public meetings — is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Roosevelt Middle School library, 106 Monroe Road.

The rest of this story appears in today’s Peninsula Daily News. Click on “Subscribe” to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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