Listen, it's not you. This happens all the time in America. You think you have something special. And then one day you hear it: "We're moving...
Listen, it’s not you. This happens all the time in America.
You think you have something special. And then one day you hear it: “We’re moving in different directions.”
But just remember, Renton: You’re “ahead of the curve,” and you always will be.
Let the people of the neighboring Fairwood community incorporate. Let them take their golf club and their $450,000 homes and try to make it on their own.
Ah, but who knows. The county’s studying the whole thing now, and it may work out for Fairwood. They may have the tax base to afford their own city services and won’t have to depend on the county.
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Fairwood Task Force member Ron Billock told me that calls from Fairwood to the King County Sheriff’s Office have shot up, while the number of deputies assigned there has stayed the same. It’s a little worrisome.
But still, Renton, I know it hurts when you’ve stood by them all these years, waiting for the day when they would make their tax base yours.
Doesn’t help, either, that Newcastle chose this time to ask for its own ZIP code.
But it was inevitable. It’s been 11 years since that community incorporated. The Renton ZIP codes were the last vestiges of that relationship.
Newcastle needed closure.
Still, I wonder if there isn’t more to this.
Just the other day, an accountant named Jeff Wilson told me that he was on a plane next to a guy from Laurelhurst. Things were great until Jeff said he lived in Renton. Mr. Laurelhurst shut him down like a pornographic pop-up in a Catholic-school computer lab. “Oh,” he said. Click.
Jeff has heard all the Fairwood folks’ arguments for incorporation, “but I think the subtle reason is that they don’t want to live in Renton.”
Of course, Renton may not have been able to keep Fairwood anyway. The Fairwood area has more than half the population of Renton.
“It’s too big a chunk for Renton to open its arms right now,” said Alex Pietsch, the city’s economic-development administrator.
Look at the bright side, Renton. You’re a 100-year-old lakefront city. You’re minutes from the airport. Your sales-tax collections have increased by 75 percent in the last decade. You have Ikea!
What does Fairwood have?
It has Fairwood Firs, Fairwood Crest, Fairwood West, Fairwood Hills and Fairwood Green. And it has a 2000 study in which its residents said they “did not identify with being a part of Renton.”
“It’s nothing against Renton,” Billock said. “Renton has been around a long time, and has, in the past, had a view of an industrial-type city. Fairwood is a very residential kind of area.”
Just say it, Ron.
“We’re taking matters in our own hands to direct our own destiny.”
No, really. Say it.
“Fairwood has a stronger Republican alignment, where Renton has a more Democratic alignment. So the politics of the two areas are different.”
Now you know, Renton. You’ll be fine. Just stay away from those golf communities. They’ll only break your heart.
Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
She prefers bocce ball.