Fairwood voters are rejecting the annexation of their community to the City of Renton.
The initial results in the Tuesday’s general election released at 8:15 p.m. showed annexation failing 55.22 percent to 44.78 percent, a difference of about 10 percent. In votes counted, that’s 2,723 to 2,208.
The county issued 14,086 mail ballots to registered voters in the annexation area of about 27,000 people. As of Tuesday night, 7,258 ballots had been returned, with about three-quarters of those counted.
Fairwood residents twice have rejected creating their own city. If annexation ultimately fails, Fairwood will remain an unincorporated urban island in the county. It’s Renton’s policy to only act on annexations initiated by residents in the affected area, rather than initiate such a move on its own.
The City of Renton has already prepared a financial plan to transition services from the county to the city, with the intent of hiring about 80 new employees to provide services to Fairwood.
Because of its own budget shortfalls, the county is reducing its services to urban areas, including in the Sheriff’s Office. Proposition 1, which would provide support for criminal justice agencies, also was going down to defeat in the early returns.
The county will release updated results at 4:30 p.m. weekdays, with the results certified on Nov. 23.