West Rich land Mayor Considering City Name Change - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Richland Mayor Considering City Name Change

Posted: Updated:

WEST RICHLAND, Wash. - West Richland is a growing community and they are looking to boost economic opportunity here. The mayor says changing the city's name is one way they think they can do that.

With a name, comes an identity, and changing the city's name would cut ties with their neighboring city's title. West Richland is one of the fastest growing cities in the state and has aspirations to promote business, but their name often confuses prospective businesses.

"In terms of issues we have around economic growth, it help us to attract people directly to West Richland as opposed to them thinking they're in some other city," said West Richland Mayor, Donna Noski.

Mayor Noski does not want people to think of the city as a suburb of  Richland or a bedroom community next door.

"A sense of community builds around a name. I think that really helps it feel more like a home and a town that's yours and not just a bedroom community," she said.

The city has formed a committee to explore the name change option. If the idea develops further, Noski says it could end up on the ballot in 2014.

The change would cost tax payers. City signs, supplies, and other items would all have to changed. But Noski says it would be a gradual phasing out.

People NBC Right Now spoke with disagree with the name change.

"I don't think changing the name of West Richland to anything else will make a big difference. It might give it a better self identity but I really don't think so," said West Richland resident, Tim Wheat.

"I guess I just get familiarized with everything. It's what you're familiar with. Change is good sometimes but sometimes it's good to leave things the way they are," said another West Richland resident, Kai Nielsen.

This is not the first time a name change has come up in West Richland. In 2006 Red Mountain was suggested but the Red Mountain Winery Association says they did not want that interfering with their name.

Right now, they don't have any front runners but they welcome any citizen suggestions.

You can contact Mayor Noski at
dnoski@westrichland.org or 509-967-3431