Saturday, May 30, 2009

Politics 101: "Free Ballard?"

We drive around a lot. Not sure why. It is just what we do.

So not a day goes by of us driving around that I don't see a bumper sticker that says 'Free Ballard.' Never did know what the heck it meant.  I kept meaning to do a web search on it to find out what those silly bumper stickers meant.

I knew what Ballard was. It is a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington. Been there many times. Nice area. But what do these people want Ballard free of?

So today I finally remembered to check it out and here is the scoop.

Apparently Ballard used to be its own city.

But on May 29, 1907, the city was officially annexed and became a community of Seattle.  It was no longer its own city.  On that day, the fire bell at city hall rang 22 times and the flags at city hall were lowered, becoming another part of greater Seattle.

On May 29, 2007, citizens of Ballard gathered at the site of city hall and rang that original bell another 22 times to remember their independence and protest its annexation. The people that gathered at the site wore black armbands and had a moment of silence.

Many have called for Ballard to un-annex itself from Seattle.

Seems a little silly but I guess I can understand the pride of the residents of Ballard and their wanting it to again be its own city.

I don't really have an opinion on this either way. But at least I know what those stickers mean now.


  1. I like the idea of the smaller independent towns but in order to provide services like police, fire, water and sewer, roads, trash and such... it takes enough rooftops and biz to support it without making taxes too high to live there.

    The residents may get better service now from Seattle than they would from a smaller tax based Ballard.

    Does Ballard have some large retail or commercial businesses?

    Cute bumper sticker idea though.

  2. Good question. I don't know. I don't really think so. I can't think of any "large" retail businesses in Ballard. Nothing like a Wal Mart or Target or anything like that. Most of the businesses that I have seen in Ballard are smaller, locally-owned businesses.

    I don't really live near the neighborhood because I don't go there that often. I have been going there more lately though because my friend Scott (the other half of Otisburg) just moved there with his new bride.

  3. We have this "community" called Reunion here... wanted Commerce City to change it's name to Reunion... shed the Commerce City bad image from having a oil refinery here at one time... Voters said no thanks.

    Now Reunion is like a neighborhood at best.

    Parker Colorado on the other hand was a small community 20 miles south of Denver (former stage rest stop) didn't incorporate and become a town until the 1980's, during the 90's was the fastest growing town in the United States pop about 6,000 and now is fully developed with 2 sushi bars... 2 walmarts, a safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons along with hundreds of other businesses... and a population of about 10,000+.

    I was a Parker town councilman during that period in early 1990's and saw much of that growth.

    So... there is hope to "free ballard".

  4. I'm just glad that Moore hasn't been annexed by OKC. We actually have good public schools.

  5. I have a lotta' friends in Moore America... lived there myself in the early 70's.

    They do have good schools, very true.

    For a City to annex (without consent) it must surround the area on at least 3 sides in Colorado... and OK too I think...

  6. Interesting. I always thought that Moore was part of the Greater Oklahoma City area.

  7. There is a difference between being a part of the OKC Metro area and being a part of OKC proper. The OKC Metro includes a multitude of smaller towns like Moore, Midwest City, Yukon, Del City, The Village (even though that thing is completely surrounded by OKC on all sides and is really just a big and very wealthy neighborhood), Mustang, Norman, and Edmund. Yet all of the aforementioned are separate, independent communities with their own mayors, city councils, police & fire departments, and school districts (with the possible exception on The Village, it might be a part of the Putman City schools, but I don’t know for sure).

  8. oh ok. so if a towns has it's own police department that is a good indication that it is its own town.

    i know that Warr Acres and Bethany have their own police departments but I don't think they have their own school districts (i think they are part of Putnam City as well).

    what about Nichols Hills?

  9.'s not The Village but Nichols Hills that I was thinking about. And yes Warr Acres and Bethany are their own towns, but I think you might be right on the school district thing.

  10. yeah sounds right... school districts are their own deal. More of a county thing in some cases. With 77 counties in Oklahoma plus every little city and mudhole town the government is so top-heavy that it's no wonder the guv'mint is the #1 employer in the state. Sad but true.

    That's no way to run a state.