Voters to decide whether city of Pacific will be no more

PACIFIC, Wash. -- The small town saga in Pacific may actually be coming to an end, but only because the city itself may die.

One council member said he's been outright laughed at while trying to make deals with insurance companies. Now the only safe bet may be to stop being a city.

The council voted 5-1 to let citizens answer an historic question: does Pacific live or die?

Council member Josh Putnam called it "a very permanent answer to what we hope would be a temporary problem."

Council members expressed frustration, but they have few options. This summer's arrest of Pacific Mayor Cy Sun wasn't the only worry for the city's insurance company. A round of firings and squabbles with the council led the company to revoke insurance, effective at the end of this year.

"The city is unpredictable in its reaction and as long as that unpredictability stays there, they will not renew our insurance coverage and the citizens are going to be deprived of a city," said city attorney Kenyon Luce.

Putnam has tried to reach out to other insurance companies as the town gets its act together.

"We've gotten very polite laughter from some very professional people," Putnam said.

With no takers and without insurance, come January, the $11.2 million in legal claims against the city become personal liabilities.

"If something goes wrong, they come after the employee, they come after the council, they come after the mayor," Putnam said.

This February, voters will get the chance to kill their own town. The council will continue to plead for insurance help between now and then could even call off the vote.

"Our number one goal is to protect the citizens of the city of Pacific and more than anything, we want to remain a city. We want to stay intact," said Pacific City Council President Leanne Guier.

The mayor was not present at the meeting and a woman who answered the door at his home said he was asleep after returning from traveling.