City may become first in Washington to reduce city status

PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) — Voters in the northwestern Washington city of Port Angeles could make the municipality the first in the state to reduce its city status under a proposition on the ballot next month.

The Peninsula Daily News reports Proposition 1 would make Port Angeles a so-called second-class city, removing initiative and referendum powers and limiting the city council to enacting only laws that can be made under authority specifically granted by the state legislature.

Five of Washington state’s 285 cities are second-class cities. It’s more common for second-class cities to step up the chain of power, with more than 100 since the 1960s gaining code status according to the nonpartisan Municipal Research and Services Center.

Proponent Edna Willadsen says she thinks the state Legislature should provide a check on the city council.

City Attorney Bill Bloor says that if the measure is approved, it would be more difficult to keep the local government running efficiently.