We about choked on our Wheaties the other day when we read that some residents in an island of Franklin County land surrounded by Pasco are accusing the city of bullying tactics.
We agree that one side of this debate is reminiscent of the habituates of a grade-school playground, but it's not the city.
How exactly is it bullying to expect property-holding grownups to abide by the agreements they've signed?
The argument that homeowners in the so-called doughnut hole only signed up for annexation under duress is unconvincing.
Sure, the only way they could get city services such as water and sewer was to agree to be annexed into Pasco. But in the same vein, the only way to obtain a mortgage is to agree to monthly payments.
In each case, property owners are responsible to comply with the conditions outlined in the agreements they've signed.
There is no high ground for those claiming otherwise.
Far from playing the bully, the city of Pasco has been above board about its plans for the massive parcel that stretches from Road 40 to Road 100, openly signaling its intent and taking steps to ensure that existing homeowners can keep the rural lifestyle they've come to treasure.
The land in question has been designated as an urban growth area under the state's Growth Management Act since 1992, and the city extended water and sewer services to the area with eventual annexation in mind.
If the planning document wasn't enough of a tip-off, the more than 20 annexations of nearby sections of west Pasco since 1996 should have been a clue.
Any of the doughnut hole's 4,000 residents who arrived in the past 20 years should have known that annexation was on the agenda.
Continued opposition at this stage of the game looks like petulance. Sympathy for homeowners worried about protecting their rural environment are no longer warranted.
The facts about what annexation would mean for the area have been known for too long and are too readily available for anyone to continue to claim fears about what the change will mean.
The county's and city's restrictions on livestock inside the doughnut hole are identical. Taxes are a wash. They are sometimes slightly higher in the city, and sometimes slightly lower, but the difference is insignificant in either case.
Franklin County has completed a detailed comparison, clearly outlined in a series of tables available on the county's website.
Any honest assessment of the facts shows that unless your American dream includes allowing an unlimited number of dogs to run wild through your neighborhood, there is nothing to fear from annexation.
The call by some in the neighborhood to form a separate city sounds a lot like the kid who threatens to take his ball and go home if he doesn't get his way.
Even if there were some advantage to the property owners -- there isn't -- it would be bad for the community that they're a part of, adding another political division when it's in everyone's interest to find new ways to work together.
Besides, the only way such a scheme could possibly work would be for residents of the doughnut hole to enter contracts with the city to provide needed services.
In other words, we don't want to be part of your town, we just want the amenities.
It's time for the complainers to put on their big boy pants and live up to the bargains they've already struck.