Our Voice : If Pasco annexation foes prevail, let them suffer the consequences

Getting something for nothing generally is a pretty rare occurrence and not a recommended way to live.

Many of the folks living in the doughnut hole area of Pasco, however, don't seem to grasp that concept.

They see nothing wrong with getting city services without paying city taxes. It's been that way for so long, they can't see how inequitable it is to the rest of the citizens living in Pasco.

The status quo isn't fair and was never intended to last forever.

They may pay a fee for certain utilities, but it's not the same as contributing to the community as a whole.

Plans to annex the unincorporated areas in Pasco have been in the works for years, and property owners long ago agreed to eventually allow their land to fall within city limits in return for city water.

But now those residents are balking at the idea of allowing their land to be annexed by Pasco.

The land in question, a huge parcel that stretches from Road 40 to Road 100, was designated as an urban growth area under the state's Growth Management Act in 1992, and the city extended water and sewer services to the area with eventual annexation in mind.

Pasco city officials have patiently tried to ensure that those who live in the area can retain their rural lifestyle even though annexation would put them within the city limits.

The city administration has made a commitment to keep the zoning as it is now and taxes will be comparable to what residents currently pay.

Residents living in the doughnut hole also will benefit from lower homeowner insurance if they live in the city, and they can pay less for city recreation programs such as swimming lessons.

Many of the residents, however, don't trust Pasco city officials and are doing their best to resist annexation.

One petition drive sponsored by the grassroots group Citizens for Lifestyle Preservation calls for eliminating the 2009 annexation at Court Street and Road 76, as well as the recent annexation in the doughnut hole neighborhood.

The group organizing the opposition needs to realize the consequences of their actions.

Pasco city officials have tried to outline the benefits of living within the city limits, and they have tried reasoning with those property owners involved.

But, perhaps they now need a tougher approach.

It's time to find out what kind of consequences could be in store for those residents who refuse annexation but still want water or other city services.

What would happen if these residents were given notice that Pasco no longer will provide city water to people living outside city limits?

It sounds harsh, but why should residents of unincorporated Franklin County continue to reap the benefits a city provides without paying city taxes?

Maybe a brutal dose of reality is needed to make people realize they should contribute to their community's well being.