The fight to stop annexations in Gilbert is not over yet. A fourth referendum application was filed Friday at Gilbert’s Civic Center — just a week after three others were rejected by Town Clerk Cathy Templeton.

The latest referendum, filed by Citizens for Responsible Government, seeks to ask Gilbert voters whether to allow the annexation of a county island roughly inside Ray Road and Galveston Street and Gilbert Road and 142nd Street.

This time, language is more specific about the annexation in question. The lack of that information on the previous three petitions was the reason Templeton gave for throwing them out.

Committee treasurer Bette Jarvis declined to comment on the petition. But the description on the application stated that “a public vote is necessary to insure that Gilbert taxpayers aren’t subsidizing non-residents and are assured that their property rights are protected.”

Like the others, it also states that “Gilbert is attempting to force annexations by threatening to leave thousands of families without fire coverage.”

While some islanders want to annex, others want to create a fire district as a way to ensure fire service. Rural/ Metro Fire Department will stop serving the county islands Sept. 30.

Mayor Steve Berman criticized the latest attempt, which if approved for the ballot could stall the annexation and cause a lapse in fire service.

“They’re still trying to prevent people who want to be part of Gilbert from being part of Gilbert,” he said. “I think what these people want to do is hold these people hostage.”

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