City of Pasco seeks to terminate Donut Hole lawsuit

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. -- There's a new push to end the Donut Hole fighting once and for all. KEPR learned the city of Pasco wants to move forward with the judgement in its favor, to end the annexation fight. It comes after some Franklin County residents sued the city of Pasco.

Roger Lenk knows what he wants.

He says, "Our intent is to not be a part of the city of Pasco and that's what we're gonna do."

He wants a chance to argue his side against the city of Pasco.
But it's taking awhile.

"Extremely frustrated with this process," Lenk explains.

The frustration continued Monday when the first hearing on fighting annexation was cancelled. Lenk and other residents filed the suit, claiming the city hadn't been forthcoming with its intentions on annexing their land. Pasco says the time before a judge was not scheduled properly.

"So the hearings have been stricken and cancelled," Deputy City Manager, Stan Strebel tells KEPR.

Strebel says Pasco is now pursuing a summary judgment to end the lawsuit. It's basically a one-time appearance in front of a judge -- and a decision is made. Pasco intends it to be in the city's favor.

He continues, "The case is improperly filed. And the city seeks to dispense with it so that we can move forward with the business of the city."

A summary judgment couldn't happen for at least 30 days. Roger Lenk and his neighbors plan to sue that time to develop a new strategy.

"See if we're going to start our process on reducing city borders and changing plan of government," Lenk says.

KEPR talked with Strebel and explained, "People that live in this area say you guys are just trying to drag this on..."
Strebel quickly responded, "I'm not going to comment on that."

The summary hearing is likely to be scheduled in mid-February.
In the meantime, Lenk and the others are pushing forward with their plan to establish their own city.

"We're in it for the long run. We've been at it for two years and we'll be at it for two more years if it takes it, " Lenks states.

Money doesn't seem to be an object for a fight by the neighbors. Many neighbors say they have contributed to the legal bills and will contribute again if necessary.