Future of embattled city hangs in the balance

Future of embattled city hangs in the balance
PACIFIC, Wash. -- King County is ready to step in should the troubled city of Pacific go out of existence.

The county council is the latest government body to offer its help to the tiny city, and the offer came less than 24 hours after a raucous Pacific City Council meeting.

Pacific Mayor Cy Sun faced off against an angry crowd at Monday's council meeting, but he refused to back down.

"I was elected your mayor," he said at the meeting. "You told me to do a job, I did a job."

The council came together to consider whether to cease to exist as a city. The meeting was heated, and at one point the council president ruled Sun out of order and asked him to "refrain from talking."

King County Councilman Pete Von Reichbauer introduced legislation on Tuesday ensuring that if Pacific dissolves, King County will be there for its residents.

"It's time for the politicians to stop throwing bombs at one another and start working together," Von Reichbauer said.

The legislation included a promise that Pacific residents will be protected by county deputies should the police department fold.

"We're going to make sure that our constituents who are King county taxpayers are protected," Von Reichbauer said.

Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis worries that if Pacific goes under, Auburn police -- rather than county deputies -- will be stuck answering emergency calls in Pacific.

"I would like to see how the county financially would do that," Lewis said.

On Monday, the Auburn City Council voted to begin the process of annexing Pacific, but only if it becomes necessary.

"We want the city of Pacific to stay whole. We want them to be a successful city," Lewis said.

Geographically, Pacific is included in both King and Pierce counties, and the city of Sumner has offered to annex the part of Pacific that's in Pierce County.

The Pacific City Council delayed any decision on the future of the city while it awaits a critical decision by its insurance carrier, which has threatened to drop its coverage of the city.