Annexation roundtable to serve up public discussion

t Meeting open to all from 6:30-8:30 p.m. May 12 in council chambers.

POULSBO — Poulsbo’s Annexation Task Force is one month in to tackling growth issues, and now it’s inviting the public to join.

The task force meets Mondays to discuss various facets of annexation and its effects. It is comprised of city council members, a planning commissioner and Urban Growth Area residents. This Monday, the group will have a public roundtable at city hall, allowing interested residents to join the conversation, express concerns and ask questions.

“We’re trying to get people to tell us what’s on their mind,” Council Member Dale Rudolph said. He explained the meeting will most likely see the task force broken up into various topical groups, each of which will listen to citizens’ interests. It’ll be a casual atmosphere — versus the normal three-minute public testimony standard — and will allow the groups to identify concerns and produce ideas, he said.

The task force will then take those comments and inject them into the fold. The group plans to have a final set of annexation approach recommendations for the city by mid-June.

Rudolph said for those frustrated that previous annexation-related public hearings have been canceled, this opportunity will afford them the chance to be heard.

Task force member Lynn Hopkins, an annexation opponent, said the meeting will help to address various specific issues significant to different areas of the UGA.

“We all have fairly different concerns about the annexation based on where we live as individuals within this area,” he said. He added residents of certain areas may place more of an emphasis on the widening of roads, utility connections, environmental protection or water and storm runoff. “We’re hoping to get people in and we can inform them as to how far along we’ve come in our discussion on some of these issues.”

Rudolph said so far, the task force

has come to a couple of consensus more extensive public notification process during the first stages of an annexation request is one issue the group agreed on, he said. They also nodded to recommending a policy to make annexations contiguous, instead of piecemeal. The group has yet to hold any official votes.

Member Marilyn Miller, an annexation proponent, said when it comes to increasing knowledge on annexation, she thinks the task force will serve its purpose.

“I certainly think that everyone is going to be more knowledgeable than when they started,” she said. She also encouraged people to attend the roundtable and offer constructive suggestions.

The roundtable will be held in the council chambers at Poulsbo’s city hall. For more information, call (360) 799-3901.

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