Monday, June 11, 2007

Take Me, Please!

As Jeff Grubb has often reminded me in the past, all politics is local. So it was with some interest that I received a postcard in the mail this Saturday with a notice that the City of Kirkland is looking to annex my neighborhood and a couple of the surrounding areas.

My neighborhood exists in a really strange place. Right across the street - literally - is Kirkland, a really nice bedroom community synonymous with multi-million dollar waterfront condos, a picture-perfect downtown that has a reasonable (for the Eastside) amount of nightlife, coiffed lawns, coiffed dogs being walked by coiffed young women who are seeing very rich men who drive Lotus' and Porsches'.

And just up the street is Bothell, which is as if someone transplanted a small mountain town into the middle of the Eastside and slapped a bunch of industry in it.

My neighborhood sits in a kind of no-man's land between it all. We're technically "unincorporated King County," which means neither city claims us (although we're served by Bothell's post office, so technically we have a Bothell address.) It means we can't call the local smokies if there's trouble - we have to call the King County Sheriff. It also means that people in our neighborhood can turn our cul-de-sac into Little Beirut on the 4th of July with literally pickup-trucks full of fireworks. Not that I mind, but it makes it hard to sleep.

There's also a stigma against Bothell. "Bothell." It kind of rolls out of Seattlites' mouths like "Kent" and "Renton" and "Republicans." Kirkland, on the other hand, sounds like a fellow you'd want to invite over for dinner. I admit, there's a little bit of envy: a Kirkland address is desirable.

So that's my interest in annexation: I want a Kirkland address, because it ought to make the property value of my house go up. I also would sleep a little better knowing I could call the cops and they'd take less than an hour to show up. And frankly, the idea of putting the kibosh on Little Beirut kind of intrigues me to. Call me a killjoy if you want. I deserve it.

Kirkland did a fine job of putting all kinds of information about annexation online, including PDFs of economic forecasts and an FAQs. They're pretty upfront about the reasons behind the annexation - they're looking for more tax revenue - but the good news is that (according to their FAQ) we'd likely be paying less in property taxes and utilities.

I'm going to attend one of the meetings next week, but it certainly looks like a good deal on paper. Welcome to our new yuppie overlords!

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