Residents once again rejected a proposal to change their city’s name to Blaine Harbor.
The measure was failing nearly 66 percent to 34 percent, according to early election results released Tuesday night, Nov. 4. It needed a simple majority to pass.
Its appearance on the ballot marked the second time since 2000 that Blaine residents were asked to vote on the issue. Voters defeated the proposal 57 percent to 43 percent in 2000.
A divided City Council decided in June to put the measure on the ballot.
Opponents of the proposal to change Blaine’s name weren’t surprised that it failed.
“This is kind of what we were expecting from the beginning. We would have loved to save taxpayers money from the beginning,” said Blaine resident Angie Dixon, who was part of We Are Blaine WA., the committee opposed to the name change.
“It’s now clear the people of Blaine do not want to change the name of their town. We are Blaine. We’re happy with that. We’re proud of that,” she said. “We’d like to see it dropped and move on to something new now.”
One good thing to come out of the issue, Dixon said, was that it brought a new sense of community and pride for Blaine.
Supporters said that adding the word “harbor” would attract visitors from Canada who now bypass the border town, highlight Blaine’s seaside beauty, and help boost much-needed economic development by attracting businesses, including to a downtown that has long struggled with empty storefronts.
Opponents said that changing Blaine’s name wouldn’t spur economic revitalization or draw visitors because the city needs to offer more things to do, citing as an example events like the annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July Celebration that attracts many people. They also feared that changing the city’s name would change their small town’s history and heritage.