For those of you who love your quiet, safe, inexpensive little enclave of Spanaway, or Frederickson, or Parkland, guess what? Godzilla has reared her head again. $200,000 of state money has once again been placed in the Washington State budget by Rep. Melanie Morgan of the 29th District, for the purpose of an incorporation study for the entire City of Pierce. That is one giant proposed city with Frederickson, South Hill, part of Elk Plain, Spanaway, Parkland, North Clover Creek Collins, Midland, Waller and Summit. All together that is a “Baby Huey” that is possibly the second or third largest city in the state!
The last time, the Governor removed it in a line item veto. This time, remains to be seen. You can still contact the Governor if he has not signed the new budget yet.
Marianne Lincoln was asked by the News Tribune to comment:
Hope all is well. I wanted to check-in with you as I write a story about incorporation of mid county communities. Rep. Morgan has proposed the same study as in 2020 to consider creating a city of the unincorporated communities of Fredrickson, Midland, North Clover Creek, Collins, Parkland, Spanaway, Summit-Waller, and Summit View.
I was wondering how your efforts to incorporate Spanaway have been. Were you able to collect enough signatures in 2019? Will you continue to try?
I understand that you were previously against the idea of a mega city. Rep. Morgan said she understands that there may be some concern from the individual communities, but it’s important to consider the need for a large tax base.
Thank you for your time,
The News Tribune
Here is Marianne and Boojee’s (of the City of Spanaway PAC) reply:
Hi Ms. Peterson,
I am aware of Rep. Morgan’s $200k insertion in the buget. It is sad to me that it is so easy to provide her personal wishes with money, yet she is not compelled to help one of the communities she serves with the money to fulfill the desires they have shown. She is aware I disagree and has not attempted to return phone calls, where I have requested to converse with her.
Spanaway alone was going to cost over $100k for a feasibility study, so it is doubtful $200k is enough.
Larger is not better, in fact, for a new city, it is more complicated. We are talking about the second or third largest city in the State of Washington. There are 26,000 more people out here than in Tacoma. (2020 census) There is so much to get set up in a new city, buildings, departments and record keeping that have never been done before. A larger city is at a higher risk of making more mistakes, on a larger scale.
• Pierce County currently has no spare Deputies to contract out.
• Crime is at crazy levels right now.
• School levies are failing.
• The public can’t have open meetings. (Many do not zoom)
This is a really bad time to move forward.
10% of a bigger population is a lot more work for volunteers to collect in signatures than 10% of a smaller community. Since Spanaway’s history is older than Tacoma or Puyallup, we on the committee felt a need to keep that local history intact.
No one Boojee or I have talked to has been in favor of making a mega city. Frederickson doesn’t want to be Parkland, Spanaway doesn’t want to be South Hill, etc.
We combined forces with our community groups to fight the county centers and corridors plan, but none of us wanted a “City of Pierce” except the county planning people. In fact, our furor forced them to drop the name. (Frankly, President Pierce was/is not worth naming more things after.)
Spanaway filed for cityhood in 2019, but did not yet have enough boots on the ground. Since there had been no vote, we refiled in early 2020, just before the pandemic broke out. With only six months to gather signatures and an unknown, dangerous pathogen on the loose (that certainly was not under control in 6 months), the committee decided not to go door to door and risk our health or the health of others. Since Pierce County is still listed at high risk on CDC maps, we have not decided to go forward yet.
Currently, this area has no infrastructure. It is absent much community gathering space or potential office space that a city larger than Tacoma would require. It has a population eager to vote no on anything that might add to their tax bill, because all the new housing over 50 years has made them ante up over and over for more schools and firehouses.
There are no potential people in a pipeline that can run for council or mayor with any experience or visability.
With a pandemic going on still and we don’t know it there’s another pandemic, another varient on the way, it is not safe to risk our population with this proposal until this is under control. We need to be able to hold public meetings, not Zoom meetings. We need to go door to door safely and not transmit a virus from house to house.
Spanaway is still eager for their own chance at cityhood, but in a safe and public process.
Thank you for asking our opinion. Boojie and I would be more than happy to answer questions.
City of Spanaway PAC (Political Action Committee)
[Editor Note: after this article was written, we learned Rep. Morgan’s Feb. 28th Town Hall was cancelled.]