Home > elections, Eureka California, Frank Jager, Peter LaVallee > Should Eureka annex Cutten, Myrtletown?

Should Eureka annex Cutten, Myrtletown?

During the forum between Eureka mayoral candidates Wednesday night, Frank Jager and Peter LaVallee answered a question about whether to annex areas outside the city limits, including Cutten and Myrtletown.

Both candidates agreed annexation would help the city.

What do you think? Should the outlying areas get brought into the fold?  What are the downsides?

  1. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 12:05 am

    Heraldo, I’m usually opposed to most of your posts (even though I do go to you first for breaking news vs. the TS!), but this is a really great question you have posed. I live in Cutten, work in Eureka. Really interested in seeing the outcome of this poll. Thank you.

  2. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 5:57 am

    We’d witness the world’s fastest political flip-flop if Cutten was annexed. The city would return to fully supporting Ridgewood Village overnight because they’d get those yummy tax dollars. Back when the city supported the development there had been discussion of annexation.

  3. Obvious
    October 7, 2010 at 6:20 am

    The developer tried to talk the city into annexation. The project was designed with the Eureka Community Plan in mind.

  4. October 7, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Residents in the outlying areas lose if they get annexed. As it is they have a pretty easy going place to live with few city rules, taxes and other hassles.

    They get annexed they acquire any existing or new taxes specific to Eureka. They acquire all the bad things the city council does like outdoor smoking bans, getting to pay for Jefferson Elementary School and what not.

    And what about law enforcement? Do you think for a minute the Sheriff’s Office is going to lay off a deputy or two to make up for their smaller service area? Nope. They don’t have enough deputies as it is, or so they claim.

    So, that means Eureka P.D. is going to have to expand to cover the larger service area. Will they get enough revenue from the annexation to allow for Eureka P.D. to cover all the way out to Ridgewood Heights? I doubt it.

  5. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 7:02 am

    It would be hard to sell this to voters in outlying areas. Would you voluntarily sign on to a mess like the city?

    October 7, 2010 at 7:49 am

    What do residential property owners think separate from businesses, services and tax collectors?

    Will taxation bases and service fees go up or down?

    Is annexation really only about the ability to squeeze and convert more people for taxes to cover partially current unfunded expendiatures and costs that others created from within current city limits?

    So much detail to be had.

    Jeffrey Lytle
    McKinleyville – 5th District

  7. mresquan
    October 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

    It doesn’t matter what the city wants,as anon 7:02am is right,there’s no chance at all at this point that those areas would vote to annex themselves,why would they?

  8. zeke
    October 7, 2010 at 8:42 am

    Obvious, the developer wanted the City to pay for their infrastructer stupid. When they were told they had to pay their own way, just as everone else, Forster-Gill backed out and became advisarial. Get your facts straight before spouting-off!

  9. High Finance
    October 7, 2010 at 8:49 am

    5.57am is wrong about the Redwood Village subdivision. While some in Eureka government would now be happy to support it because of the sales tax dollars, the council members would have to take into account the wishes of a thousand new Cutten voters.

    As to law enforcement, Eureka PD would have to add a couple of officers but how many times have the Cutten or Pine Hill residents ever seen a sheriffs deputy? The answer is never. They would now have law enforcement patrolling as the Eureka PD would be around.

    Outdoor smoking ban? Hello, its coming everywhere in Big Nanny California.

    As to the mess in Eureka? I know many Cutten & Pine Hill residents, they consider themselves Eurekans but they are frustrated that they can’t vote.

    Taxation (because of prop 13) would remain the same. Police services would go way up while school districts, the fire district & water district would remain the same. No reason to be opposed, several reasons to be in favor.

  10. October 7, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Oh, remember they’d also get mandatory garbage service forced upon them.

    I would think the increase in fuel costs in having to patrol all the outlying areas would cause Eureka P.D.’s expenses to skyrocket.

    Surprised HF is so supportive of this. This, to me, is akin to invading another country just so you could get control of its resources.

  11. October 7, 2010 at 9:50 am

    I see Fred’s points on this one. What is the benefit to those in the annexation areas? New taxes? I’m curious to hear what EPD and HCSD think.

  12. 69er
    October 7, 2010 at 9:52 am

    H F, you’re talking out your ass, there is nothing to gain by becoming a citizen of Eureka except to take on all of their obligations as well as our own. while the citizens o Eureka absorb none of ours. We have nothing to gain except more obligations and debt. I see deputies all the time and I do not live on a well traveled street.

  13. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I live in an area outside Arcata City limits. I would carefully weigh such a vote. I don’t know if it would be worth it or not. I don’t get to vote, have no sewer service, have no recycling pickup, and we get the sheriff (hope they are nearby) instead of Arcata PD. We are on a grid that is serviced later than in people in the city limits in a power outage. Our roads have potholes. On the other hand, I like it out here and wonder if I want to be part of Arcata. Is it worth the ngatives? What are they?

  14. High Finance
    October 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

    69er, what are these “obligations” you refer to? There are none. Fred brought up the minor point of mandatory garbage collection which the county will force on them soon anyway.

    I cannot think of any other temporary downside but am waiting on pins & needles for your answer.

  15. October 7, 2010 at 11:11 am

    So happy living in Eureka waiting for the water and sewage rate increase. Incorporation has so many benefits. I specially like how the elected representative represent the best interests of the tax-payer’s deep pockets.

  16. 69er
    October 7, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Just as a starter, bringing back the public safety depts that are being downsized. Paying for all the lawsuits awaiting due to the botched administration within the city.Forced garbage collection and upgrading of the water and sewer systems that have been neglected while the money was squandered elsewhere. The city has nothing to offer that we outside do not already have except more grief and debt.

  17. Reinventing The Wheel
    October 7, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Disregard of infrastructure limitations is a common legacy of cities and counties politically dominated by the development community. Annexation will do nothing until this changes.

    It took an environmental advocate to force Fortuna to deal with its waste water problems.

  18. High Finance
    October 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    69er, please pay attention. Even a downsized EPD would still offer far better protection than the non existant sheriffs dept out there. The Fire Dist #1 would still provide services to the same area unless they decide, independently, to merge departments (which would only make good financial senses).

    Forced garbage collection will be coming soon to those areas anyway.

  19. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Geez you guys make picking up garbage sound like a bad thing. Mandatory pickup should have been countywide to start…its a small price to pay, I’m tired of seeing lazy people’s trash on the side of the road and on the beaches! I’m with High Fi….

  20. Scott
    October 7, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I doubt the City would want Cutten without Forster-Gill. Currently, it’s mostly residential which doesn’t pay for itself. They’ll need some F-G commercial to even consider. Myrtletown may work. Regardless, annexations are few and far between.

  21. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    It’s a bit surprising to see all these right wingers advocating mandatory garbage pickups and dragging people inside the city limits to increase the city’s funds. If they wanted to live inside the city limits, they would. There are people who don’t have much garbage because they avoid purchases with excessive packaging, compost, re-use and recycle. Why should the nanny city force people to pay for weekly garbage pickup who don’t need it and are perfectly happy saving money by taking their own garbage and recyclables to the transfer station?

  22. Not A Native
    October 7, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Looks like the posts here are largely ideologically or based on prejudices about cities and the necessity of government. Sounds like few really understand what annexation might mean and merely equate it to their personal experience of paying utility bills. I guess they’re in the “Government is scary” crowd.

    But it seems to me, that at least initially, annexation would financially benefit the new Eureka residents as they would have access to more services that they haven’t yet contributed to create. And they’ll have greater input when land use changes are planned and proposed in their vicinity. Whether thats desirable is a personal choice.

  23. 69er
    October 7, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Tell me what services would be gained by annexation that I don’t have now.??

  24. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    Which services would those be, Nan?

  25. October 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I hate to bring logic and public finance reality into this, but the sad bottom line is that cities lose when they annex residential areas because tax users outnumber tax contributors. This is largely due to the property tax shift to the state that tipped the revenue balance to sales tax as the prime driver of city finances. The cities win if there is sufficient business development, especially retail.

    Since this is not the case in Cutten/Myrtletown (except for limited areas of Myrtletown), the reasons would have to be control, political pressures, etc.

  26. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Chris, that makes perfect sense. I can see why they hate you here on the Herald.

  27. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    What do you mean by “tax users,” Chris?

  28. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    he probably means you PJ.

  29. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    That would certainly be an idiotic assumption for such as “sensible” guy, 2:26.

  30. Not A Native
    October 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Gee, for start how about city police, community development, appliance rebate program, all the recreation programs and classes, street sweeping, enhanced road maintenance and nusiance abatement.

  31. Bolithio
    October 7, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    The best way for Eureka to benefit, is to have a back door deal with one of the neighboring large timber companies for a large tract of timberland. Then, make sure that the annex includes said tract. Then, design and implement a long term sustained yield logging plan and watch the money roll in. This would then be a true annex, that is for control of a tangible resource (other than peoples tax money).

  32. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    You just about had me but for the city cops, Nan. Seriously though, city streets don’t seem any cleaner than Cutten streets or in any better repair. So you don’t get a rebate when you replace your toilet or washing machine and have to pay a small fee to use city recreational facilities if you live in Cutten, you don’t have to pay for it if you don’t use it either.

  33. glenn ziemer
    October 7, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    The fiscal realities refered to earlier are huge wake up calls for a residential anexation. The AB8 tax distribution process and the ERAF transfers of local property tax to the state make a residentail anexation a HUGE looser in financial terms. There is also a substantial problem with the tax transfer agreements that would have to be negotiated with the Fire District and HCSD. With the current problems with their enterprise funds, and the staggering unfunded actuarial liability the city has with PERS the last thing they need is another money sink hole – which is exactly what a residential annexation would become.

  34. 69er
    October 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    NaN, you named nothing I do not have.

  35. Not A Native
    October 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    PJ you asked what you get and I gave some examples off the top of my head. If annexed, financially, the city will likely expend more in services to that area than it receives in direct revenues. Thats what the studies say about this kind of annexation.

    But you know, its like people might say I don’t need education(school) services(or whatever) because I’ve got no children(or will use whatever) who will use them. Fred’s upset for having recycles picked up but wants the abandoned vehicles on his street towed away and the neighbors trash piles abated.

  36. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I understand that, Nan. But the issue was what benefit annexation would there be to those being annexed. But – I would hardly equate taxpayers paying to subsidize sports and recreation with educating children.

  37. Plain Jane
    October 7, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    And furthermore, since the people who live outside the city limits probably do most of their shopping inside the city limits, they are already paying taxes for these services they don’t qualify for – you know those sales taxes that are funding most of the City of Eureka?

  38. High Finance
    October 7, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    About ten years ago or so, a city manager told the T/S that the city would be eligible for more state funds if it was a city of 50,000 instead of 26,000. That Eureka really was a city of 50,000 because of the immediate neighborhoods surrounding Eureka.

    Also, the city had requirements to set aside land for low to moderate housing. That because the city only had infil sites available that it would benefit by having some of the land in the outlying areas available to it to meet the state requirements.

    Again, this was ten years ago, I don’t know if that is still the case.

  39. tenth street dreamer
    October 7, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    The biggest infill area in the city is the balloon tract. What is going in if all the hurdles are overcome? Retail and office space, and a few high income housing units. Bad idea. Industrial park and a business incubator is the answer for the last large piece of undeveloped land in the city.

  40. Pine Hill Resident
    October 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    As to law enforcement, Eureka PD would have to add a couple of officers but how many times have the Cutten or Pine Hill residents ever seen a sheriffs deputy? The answer is never.

    Not true, High Finance. I agree with you on almost every post. But, I see a Sheriff’s deputy patrol Pine Hill constantly. I have even been pulled over twice for minor infractions. The deputies are out there doing their job. And, I’m glad they are there.

  41. Mr. Nice
    October 7, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Anyone know the Sphere of Influence range in Humboldt County? Google is fail for me.

    If Eureka expands its population then it can start messing with other CDPs further out and eventually gobble up Humboldt Hill.

    Grant money was a good reason for annexation back when our state had grant money. Could be a plan for future grant money.

    People who get annexed generally don’t want to be. They’ll make up any type of bullshit for why not. Cities mostly want it since it gives them status if nothing else.

  42. what ever
    October 7, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    LOL Glenn Ziemer Knows what is up; but his comments are not unlike a stranger in China Town. (Not seen at all) Very few people understand the voting required and the LAFCO process but it is quite easy to spew all your supposed knowledge about on this blog

  43. just sayin'
    October 7, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    If Fred and Chris Crawford are against it, then I’m all for it.

  44. Anonymous
    October 7, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I’d believe the it-costs-too-much rhetoric if not for one thing — the city’s opposition is based upon losing the tax revenue of a juicy commercial district being created in Cutten. Eureka would be annexing the future commercial district that, aside from a grocery store, stands to introduce a slew of new professional offices and indie stores that don’t currently exist in Eureka.

    October 7, 2010 at 11:11 pm


    Fred, Hi Fi, 69er and Chris are pretty accurate.

    Basically, it is about class warfare and rural/urban shifts when looking at annexation.


  46. Voter
    October 7, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    The question in my mind is, would annexation help the neighborhood. The City of Eureka needs a lot of help, sure, but it should be a reciprocal relationship. That’s why I would need more information.

  47. Anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 7:58 am

    What IF the city’s opposition had more to do with shoving the population of Blue Lake into 1/4 the space with a bunch of that un-Usable (gulch, side of hill).

    October 8, 2010 at 8:32 am

    Infillests endear annexation as well.


  49. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 8, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Annexation may or may not be a good idea but Forster/Gill is not. A big retail center out there will add even more traffic as shoppers go back and forth. If you think you’re running into traffic now, just wait. The marina Center, SuperSafeway, and Forster/Gill combined spell traffic disaster. Even now, trying to cross town on 14th Street the other day, I had to wait through THREE light changes. Same thing happened on Broadway at 2:30 on a weekday afternoon. We ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    We can shout all we want about our ‘rural’ lifestyle and small town advantages but we seem hell-bent on burying them as fast as we can.

  50. Plain Jane
    October 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I don’t think there are any plans for a “big retail center,” A-Nony. Just a grocery store and a few shops and offices for the convenience of the locals.

  51. StraightUp
    October 8, 2010 at 9:41 am

    Tell the truth, Jane. What they plan is half the size of Bayshore Mall.

  52. Fence
    October 8, 2010 at 9:43 am

    The ECP buildout for that region is about 4000 total homes in the ridgewood area (frostier-gill, eggert north, eggert south, south Mckay). If those build out with no commercial you want traffic you got it. The ECP should have had some commercial in the ridgwood area. That is 2/3 the size of mckinleyville without any services. Or approximate 96 million a year in retail sales that Eureka was hoping to get. Wonder why The City wants that area underserved, THE MONEY!!!!!!!

  53. Plain Jane
    October 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

    “Our neighborhood commercial development will be oriented toward bookstores, entertainment, professional offices, coffeehouses, restaurants, neighborhood markets, small shops and other places for people to mix and mingle in their neighborhood.”

    Today the ONLY business in that neighborhood is a nursery which stocks a small supply of soda, candy and ice cream bars since the tiny market closed a number of years ago.

  54. the reasonable anonymous
    October 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    Cherie Arkley said there would be no Big ox at the Marina Center, and Forster-Gill says their retail will only be oriented toward their immediate neighbors. In reality, they’ll take any business who will pay the rent.

    Yes, the neighborhood services may cut down somewhat on car trips to Eureka (at least compared to the Forster-Gill development if it was done without the retail), but this same retail will also draw some additional traffic into the neighborhood. So, will there be a net increase in traffic or a net decrease in traffic due to Forster-Gill. I’m betting it will still be a substantial net increase.

  55. High Finance
    October 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    “Stop the world, I want to get off” seems to be what the left is saying on this project & all the other developments.

    Unfortunately time keeps marching on whether you want it to do so or not. May as well plan on it. The 1800’s are not coming back.

  56. October 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    what the left is saying on this project & all the other developments.

    HiFi’s “no growth/anti everything” rhetoric, with its Arkley/HELP buzz words, is as shallow and inaccurate as it gets.

    Out of one side of your mouth you complain that Bonnie is bought off by developers, then say the left blocks “all other developments.”

    HiFi is highly full of shit.

  57. Eric Kirk
    October 8, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Tell the truth, Jane. What they plan is half the size of Bayshore Mall.

    Which is actually on the small side for malls these days.

  58. Anonymous
    October 9, 2010 at 12:57 am

    StraightUp is struggling with the truth. By saying it’s half the size of the Bayshore Mall he implies they are putting up a mall. No. It’s a commercial district with a grocery store and mix of retail and professional offices with residential units above it all. In other words, nothing remotely like a mall at all, unless you want to call the Arcata Plaza and Old Town malls, too.

  59. High Finance
    October 9, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Sloppy Heraldo, you should try to do better if you can. I used to expect better from you.

    I have never said that Bonnie is bought off by developers, I have said the exact opposite.

    So prove me wrong, name one development that you have supported around here.

  60. 2 more cents worth
    October 11, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I’m wondering if the Cutten-Ridgewood School District would become a part of Eureka City Schools. If I lived in the Cutten-Ridgewood School District, I would think of that as a bad thing. But if that school board and administration (Cutten-Ridgewood) took over for the present administration of Eureka City Schools, Eureka residents would have something to look forward to.

  61. November 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    This definitely makes perfect sense to me.

  62. anonymous
    November 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    The City of Eureka spent 7 million on the Martin Slough interceptor project. This specifically upgrades the wastewater infrastructure to support development of the McKay Track and the Lundbar to Ridgewood infill project. I support the Lundbar Infill project because it is infill, I do not support McKay development, that is sprawl, regardless neither is within the City limits yet the citizens of EKA paid for the expansion. Oh yeah, they pumped it up, reduces lift stations etc etc but the truth is it was about preparing to be able to build (poorly). The old boys at work.

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