White City's bid for incorporation falls way short

Residents overwhelmingly voted against creating a new city, 76.6% to 23.4%

Voters in White City were overwhelmingly rejecting the creation of a new city in Jackson County's largest unincorporated urban area, according to Jackson County Elections Office results released Tuesday night.

With the first batch of ballots counted, the proposal to create the city was trailing 1,301 to 398, or 76.6 percent to 23.4 percent.

The measure called for property owners within the boundaries of the proposed city to pay a tax of $1.45 per $1,000 of property value. That's an annual cost of $145 for the owner of a home assessed at $100,000.

Curt Sather, an opponent of the measure who also ran for a council position that now won't be created, said people didn't see any advantage in forming a city, noting that most urban services are already available.

"Nobody has spare money to pay for something we are already getting," he said.

Proponents said residents of the area were not being provided the level of service that others in urbanized areas are receiving in Jackson County. But Sather said people are happy with improvements that have been made in recent years.

"I don't think it has to be an incorporated city to have good things happen here," he said.

Stan Alexander, a proponent of the measure and a council candidate, said he was surprised by the results.

"I heard such a positive attitude from people (before the election)," he said. "Tonight I kept thinking, where in the world are these numbers coming from?

"Ninety percent of it is just people saying, 'I don't want to pay anything,'" Alexander said.

The boundaries in the proposed city would have run from east of Highway 62, west of Bigham-Brown Road, north of Justice Road and south of Hoover Avenue.

With the incorporation effort apparently failing, there will be no City Council formed. But voters were asked to pick top five prospective council members out of 10 on the ballot. Here were the initial results:

Joy Reich, 510; Stan Alexander, 453; Cindy Mohar, 413; Daniel W. Phariss, 216; Roger O. Hansen, 462; Ron Wilson, 483; Constance Travesi, 368; Curt Sather, 285; Javier Zavala, 267; Lee DeBerry, 234.

Reach Mail Tribune Editor Bob Hunter at 541-776-4460 or at bhunter@mailtribune.com.

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