Thursday, September 24, 2009


Apparently, we in the Panther Lake area (which includes Grubb Street) will be voting this fall on whether to abandon our status as part of unincorporated King County and join the city of Kent.

This has been a long time coming, but color me surprised. I didn't find this out from a mailing from Kent, or an announcement by King County, or an invitation to a discussion, or a visit from a representative of the new government. I didn't find it out by reading the Seattle Times (no real surprise there) or from the local news channels. In fact, googling through back files of media, all I can find is mush-mouthed references that such a proposal "might be on the ballot soon", such stories dating back from a few months ago to a few years.

But no. I had to find out that this measure was on the ballot through the Stranger blog, which provided a reference (but no direct link) to the Municipal League and its endorsement that Panther Lake should join up with Kent and make it the region's 5th Biggest City.

Now, I'm generally in favor of this turn of events both in terms of representation and as a matter of tidying up the community borders. There are a lot of islands unclaimed by any local authority all through King County, and in the absence of some local community, the County is responsible for them. This is all well and good with mostly rural regions, but as exurbification intensifies and the populations swell, the county is responsible for an archipelago of varied territories. Folding us into Kent makes a modicum of sense, and while I'm willing to entertain other arguments, I am for it.

But gee, a lot of Panther Lake residents are going to find out about it for the first time when they get their ballots (or worse yet, when they read it on this blog). Right across the Soos Creek, there is a flurry of yard signs arguing about incorporating Fairwood as new city. But Panther Lake joining Kent? Very, very low key.

Its almost a pity date of a political merger. You know, Kent is all "I hear that King County wants to dump you and if you're free, maybe we can go out sometime" and Panther Lake is "Yeah, you know, maybe there's a dance in a couple weeks and we can go with a group" and Kent is "Yeah, whatever." It is so, you know, high school.

Mind you, I think its a good idea. But flowers would have been, you know, nice.

More later,