A new township is forming. The Committee for Peasley Canyon Township (in what is now unincorporated portions of King County east of Federal Way) filed with the County Council on Monday July 11 to be put on the ballot in this November’s general election where Peasley Canyon residents can vote on whether to form themselves into a self-governing Township.
The Committee for Peasley Canyon Township will schedule public meetings pending the outcome of our petition filed with the County Council. Please visit our website, www.peasleycanyontownship.org to stay in touch.
If approved by voters, Peasley Canyon will consist of what are now the West Hill, Star Lake & Lake Geneva/Five Mile Lake areas east of I-5, connected by Peasley Canyon. It will have a population of about 20,000 people.
Dr. Jonathan Wright, of Auburn, a physician and co-founder of the Peasley Canyon
Township idea (along with Jerry Galland and Charles Brezina), says “Peasley Canyon will be a small government Township, of which George Washington & Thomas Jefferson would be very proud.”
Peasley Canyon’s Constitution, or “Charter,” begins with its preamble:
“We the People of Peasley Canyon, do voluntarily come together to form this
Township to further protect individual, privacy and property rights, and to limit the power of this Township. Another specific purpose of this Charter is to avoid forced annexation by the City of Federal Way, or any other City or Fire District.”
The Township’s attorney, Jeff E. Jared of Kirkland says, “Peasley Canyon will be founded on the goals of small government, local control, protecting private property and privacy rights, and avoiding unwanted annexations by another City. That’s our purpose. Pretty simple, really.”
Jared went on to say that “Townships are authorized in Washington’s Constitution of 1889, in Artcle XI, Section 4. A Township is a subdivision of a County. It differs from a City which is a subdivision of the State.”
“Townships in America started in New England with ‘town hall meetings’ and are common in the Midwest today.” Jared continued, “ Washington recently abolished its Township code altogether without the Constitutional Amendment required to do so. Hence, we’re organizing Peasley Canyon Township as authorized by Article XI, Section 4 of the Washington Constitution, which, by the way, has never been repealed,” said Jared.
Peasley Canyon will have a Charter allowing that only certain things can be done by the Township, and specifically barring things like regulating home schools, taking private property, or infringing on your right to bear arms or dietary rights.
“If you like freedom, you’ll like living in Peasley Canyon,” says Dr. Wright, owner of Tahoma Clinic in Auburn.
Co-founder Charles Brezina says “Thomas Jefferson High School sits in Peasley Canyon, and there probably couldn’t be a better symbol of what our Township will be about. If you enjoy liberty and freedom at a local level, you’ll enjoy living in Peasley Canyon.”
The Charter, 35 pages, must be approved by the registered voters in the proposed Township area in the November 2011 general election.
According to the founders, the benefits of a Township–as opposed to regular city annexation–are a lower budget and thus, lower taxes, plus tax monies stay locally (whereas now populated areas like ours subsidize rural parts of the county). And basics like fire, schools, water, sewer, garbage and animal control don’t change. Other basics remain similar to what we have now like police & roads. What will be different is more privacy and property rights for residents and businesses.
“We either form our own Township now or fall submissively while the City of Federal Way forcibly annexes us. I believe strongly that we have no choice but to Establish Peasley Canyon now,” said Jerry Galland, co-founder and public relations contact for Peasley Canyon.