Recently in Yelm Issues Category

April 27, 2009

$400,000 FOR PARK TOILETS? IS THIS NECESSARY IN TODAY'S TIMES?

In Rep. Tom Campbell's Press Release over the weekend about the close of the State Legislative Session, there was a list of the accomplishments.
One of the lines said,

"Support job growth at Yelm Longmire Park ($400,000)"

I wrote and asked Rep. Campbell what the job growth at Longmire Park is all about:
"The Longmire Park project are for restrooms at the Ballpark [located at 16820 Canal Road SE, Yelm].

Right now, the Longmire Parks restroom facilities are portable toilets. Potable water is no (sic) available on site, nor are there sewer system connections. This project is the final phase of the sports complex Yelm is building for the community," quoting Liz Merrick, Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Campbell.

Previously, the Yelm City Council authorized $408,800 to install a water line to Longmire Park, as reported here July 23, 2008. While maybe a good idea a year ago, is this wise today?

Since then, we have been aware of a State Budget deficit of $9 billion, a major deficit in Thurston County that includes a massive hit to the Sheriff's Staff and Yelm's Mayor Harding telling the Yelm Chamber of Commerce recently, "We can no longer operate the [water] system allowing new growth" and that the city has taken on debt.


Now, with the $400,000 authorized by the State Legislature for new Longmire Park toilets added to the $408,800 previously appropriated by the city, do you think this is a good time to be spending almost $1,000,000 in taxpayer money for water and toilets at a ballpark that might get used 3 months out of a year?

While I applaud the efforts of Rep. Campbell and our State Legislature, is this REALLY a wise appropriation when we're laying off state workers and cutting essential medical and elderly care programs, as an example?


How do you feel about all of the State, County & City budgets being trimmed, yet $808,800 is being authorized for ballpark toilets and water irrigation just to keep the dust down and grasses green in Summer?
And, can the city afford to irrigate the ball fields, what with their huge water rate increases and calls for businesses to conserve water?
I say that eliminating ball field irrigation should be the City of Yelm's first step to conserve water here and show the town they will "bite the bullet" and lead the way to conserve, too!

Almost a million bucks for water to irrigate the ball fields in Summer and to have flush toilets instead of portable toilets in this economy? These are dollars that could go for jobs, a new Library or the Mayor's dream of a Recreation Center, don't you think? I know the city needs a place to recharge the aquifer with their reclaimed water and Longmire Park would be a good place to do that, however officials have not been up-front about their intentions in this regard. The public still has no access to the October, 2008 Water Mitigation Plan via the city's website.


A sweet and caring official mentioned to me at the Nisqually Valley Home Show yesterday and said, "You don't always have to sleuth looking for the bad things here."
What does that mean? Just shove all of that I learn and observe under the carpet and turn the other way?
Why are there so many things that just look bad here; appearance of conflict of interests, keeping City Hall news from the public and all? That has gone on here long enough and now the city is in a "pretty pickle."
One does not have to sleuth, as all of this is right before our eyes, for those that want to see!

If no one speaks up for change, then all of Yelm's dirty little secrets will stay buried under a bulging carpet.
Is that what this community wants?
Perhaps the silence from the public is indicative of that.


While maybe not occurring in Yelm as of yet, how would you like to be employed by the city and told that your job is to be cut, yet we're going to spend a million bucks to have flush toilets at the Ball Park? That is where this is heading, and sooner rather than later!


WHAT DO YOU SAY?


UPDATE: 3PM April 27
We're going to spend almost $1 million dollars to have flush toilets and ball park lawns watered, when KING-5 reports,
"The spending cuts [from the State Budget] could lead to 8,000 government worker layoffs, strip 40,000 people from the state-subsidized Basic Health Plan, and leave 9,000 college enrollment slots without state financing. Community and technical college students will pay up to 7 percent more in tuition; four-year students face a 14 percent hike.

Teachers won't get their voter-approved cost-of-living raises, K-12 schools will get less money to hire staff, and hospitals and nursing homes will be paid less to care for the poor."

EXPLAIN THAT!

AREA PROJECTS MAKE BUDGET

"Lawmakers sent Gov. Chris Gregoire a $7.5 billion transportation budget Sunday that contains money for several South Sound projects...

And the first phase of the Yelm bypass highway gets $11.05 million in 2009-11, which lets contracts go to bid later this year.

At the request of Rep. Brendan Williams, D-Olympia, there also is a provision to keep Washington State Patrol troopers investigating vehicle crashes on Thurston County roads through June 2011, making Thurston the lone Washington county that still has that service. Sheriff Dan Kimball says it could save," quoting The Olympian.

CLICK HERE for information on the Yelm Bypass from Protect Yelm.org that brings up several good points this writer has previously stated; in particular a 1 mile Bypass funded to nowhere that will get no further funding consideration to complete the Loop until 2021-2023.

How would you like to live on Cullen (where the Bypass will end) and have the Bypass traffic coming down your neighborhood residential street, for 15 years +, where your children play? And this is a road not engineered nor designed to handle truck, heavy vehicular and Bypass traffic. Why there is not even a traffic light at Cullen & Yelm Ave. West!

THINK ABOUT THAT!

April 21, 2009

MAYOR PRO-TEM ISOM ACCUSES, THEN REFUSES!


MAYOR PRO-TEM BOB ISOM

Protect Yelm.org sums up this story simply:

"Steve Klein’s 3/25/09, CITY CONTINUES TO APPROVE DEVELOPMENTS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT WATER RIGHTS has been updated with an audio file from the April 13, 2005 City Council audio record [where Mr. Isom put forth a no moratorium resolution in response to 2 citizens' requests for a growth moratorium] and video of Klein addressing the Council [March 24, 2009]. Mayor Pro-tem Isom’s rebuttal and Mrs. Fetterly’s comments can also be heard in-context from the City Council’s video.

The audio file is in response to Isom’s comment that Klein had mis-characterization the “moratorium on moratoriums” that is clearly stated and passed in the audio from the April 2005 City Council meeting.

The definition of moratorium is “a suspension of activity” (source) and Isom’s proposal and the City Council’s subsequent unanimous vote was to halt any further talk of a growth moratorium is pretty much a 'moratorium on moratoriums'."


I wrote to Mr. Isom on April 3, 2009 and asked him to identify what he viewed as the "mis-characterization," so I could publish his views as a correction on the Yelm Community Blog.
Mr. Isom accuses, then refuses - to respond! Doesn't that speak volumes? HMMM!
Do you want 2,4,6 more years of this type of Council member?

HASN'T THE TIME COME FOR OTHER YELM RESIDENTS TO STEP UP AND SERVE THEIR CITY AND GET ON THE BALLOT FOR THIS FALL'S ELECTION - USHERING A CHOICE WITH NEW PEOPLE TO BRING A NEW DIRECTION & ACTION TO THIS COMMUNITY, JUST LIKE THIS COUNTRY DID IN THE OTHER WASHINGTON, WASHINGTON, D. C.?

April 20, 2009

MAYOR HARDING: "WE CAN NO LONGER OPERATE...ALLOWING NEW GROWTH"


MAYOR RON HARDING

Harding: "We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth."

Mayor Harding and the Yelm City Council have been put on-notice for over 5 years that the city's "grow at all costs" policy was headed to be a train-wreck. This blog has an archive of three years of news stories giving the facts and highlighting the strains this area has endured with growth, water and lack thereof, along with a whole host of other issues, as well as a defiant Mayor and City Council calling anyone with a comment on these issues "anti-growth."

In what certainly must be an embarrassing turn of events, Mayor Harding now has to whip city property owners with large water rate increases to pay for the city's folly. In addition, he told local businesses at the Yelm Chamber Forum last week they must look for ways to conserve water. The city is at their maximum allowable water allocation as set by the State Dept. of Ecology.

From the local newspaper's print edition of April 17th:
"Mayor Ron Harding addressed the local business community Tuesday [April 14] about the affects of proposed water rate increases during the monthly Chamber forum at the Nisqually Valley Moose Lodge.

The rates are part of a six-year comprehensive water system plan.

'It’s not something we want to do,' Harding said. 'It’s something we have to do.'...

Rates are going to go up somewhat significantly, especially for large businesses, Harding said...

The average water bill for a single family home is $23 a month.

With the new projected rates, that bill will increase to $37 a month.

By 2015 the average residential customer is anticipated to pay $68 a month under the new plan. Rates are determined by meter and facility size....

Harding said he is encouraging businesses to start looking at ways to conserve water.

The city has taken the stance in recent years for growth to pay for growth, Harding said.
The city has taken on debt and allowed new growth to pay that debt.

That has changed with the economy, growth slowing and an “anti-growth environment.”

'We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth,' Harding said."

Ed. Note:
HMMM! Now isn't that singing a different tune to the Yelm Chamber members and community?

All of those commenting to the Mayor & City Council are NOT anti-growth, rather wanted the city to allow growth to be balanced with environmental preservation. They also wanted the city to follow the law. A lawsuit was required to get the city and state to wake-up to Yelm's behavior.
The city has a lawsuit judgment against the way they have been approving preliminary plats without first proving water; a case they say they won, yet appealed. If the city won, then why did they appeal the decision? HMMM!
And, why has the city not followed their own Vision Plan, created from a task force of people like Glen Cunningham, Shelly Badger, John Thompson & Margaret Clapp?
[CLICK HERE to see an excerpt of my letter to Dept. of Ecology Director Jay Manning about Yelm's water allocation issue.]

The city can no longer sustain the way they have been spending money the last several years with growth now stopped in its tracks. And unfortunately, they have not been up-front with the local businesses and property owners about the lack of water, debt and lack of future revenues from projected property taxes, until now, when they have their backs against a wall!
And, the local newspaper has given the city a "by" on this and other issues. Let's see when the Fall election is near and more details emerge about the city's malfeasance if the local newspaper editor/publisher still endorses the Mayor and Council to run again!

The city's Water Mitigation Plan has yet to be approved, and citizens are taking action in their own right to demand action from Ecology about Yelm's aim to severely increase pumping water here.
CLICK HERE for the citizens' action letter.

Harding: "We can no longer operate the system allowing new growth."
When he says this is about "the system", he is referring to the water system.

The Mayor, City Council, Community Development Dept. and City Administrator have all been warned many times by a qualified professional engineer, a 25 year Dept. of Ecology water specialist, this former mayoral candidate and many other citizens that the direction of their leadership via growth could not be maintained and lacked a vision for a sustainable future. All have said the city would be left out of a "chair when the music stopped."

That has now proven true and there will be a full-court press by city officials to lay on City of Yelm residents and businesses the costs of their hubris. The water rate hike and plea to the Yelm Chamber members for businesses to conserve water are just the beginning. Stay tuned!
Burying this decisive change in the city's direction on the "Business" page instead of front page headlines indicates the local newspaper's complicity in this, as well. The newspaper editor/publisher announced he moved out of the city, so will not be affected by what is coming down the pike. The city's tax & water bill payers are about to pay for their past silence by soon getting a one-two punch in their wallets & gut.

April 17, 2009

UPDATE: YELM BYPASS FUNDING ISSUE

With the local newspaper touting the last two weeks Yelm's Bypass being funded by the State Legislature and Mayor Harding saying this is "tangible", one would come to believe we would have a partial Bypass soon. However, the newspaper omitted so many hurdles that still have to be overcome before this area sees construction on a Bypass in their stories:

April 10: "Campbell: Funds for bypass are ‘good to go’
Things are looking good for the Yelm Bypass

April 3: Fingers crossed on bypass dollars
Becker: ‘It’s looking good, but who knows’

I wrote to Rep. Campbell and asked him how the current funding for right-of-way (r-o-w) acquisition and engineering will be converted to construction funding. (The current funding has no construction monies, as covered here two weeks ago.).
He wrote back and said, "I have double checked with staff here, and we (the Legislature) don't tie the purse strings by phases."

OK, well someone does, so I asked WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel for an explanation.
Why the local newspaper just did not contact the WSDOT Project Manager for details to give the public the facts, one just does not know! I did.

Mr. Engel replied, "Rep. Campbell is correct, the legislature designates the money and then WSDOT divides it up in the needed phases. This can be changed to construction dollars when the legislative intent is known in the budget and we work with our stakeholders, such as the City of Yelm to move towards construction."


The key issue here is "when the legislative intent is known" and so far, that has not been determined.
The Legislature just has a few days left in this session. According to my sources, WSDOT interprets "legislative intent" and they currently interpret the Bypass in r-o-w and design phases right now.

There has to be a scope change request for a phased project that would include construction and that has not happened, yet. With the way the budget is currently written, phased construction is possible, yet would require WSDOT Headquarters to reinterpret legislative intent.

Bottom Line: The best way for Phase 1 construction funding for the Yelm Bypass to be approved is for the Yelm Bypass to be divided officially into two Phases
(Phase 1 & 2 as previously discussed here) and allocate the funds for construction for Phase 1 while the Legislature is still in session. Otherwise, there is potential for the funding to be stalled in the political process.

WILL YOU READ ABOUT THIS IN THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER?

April 15, 2009

WAZZUP WITH THE LOCAL NEWSPAPER EDITOR/PUBLISHER ON THE DEFENSIVE?

Wazzup with local newspaper editor/publisher Keven Graves recently?
These are just of a few examples that make me go HMMM!

1. Graves prints a cryptic comment in his April 3rd op-ed titled "Actions speak louder than words" in which he was obviously criticized by someone for an error his newspaper printed, though one could not ascertain who made the criticism or why; there were no Letters to the Editor published explaining what prompted his defensive stand.

2. A week later on April 10th, Graves finally identifies the person that has drawn his ire and rath as Lynn Brewer, owner of Yelm's The Office and he has several choice words for her in his op-ed titled "Attack on my integrity is only part of the story."
He also decides to print her Letter to the Editor submitted a week earlier, though abridged because he says "her letter was edited for length and to omit inflammatory comments that I wouldn’t publish about any business, under any circumstances." HMMM!
Ms. Brewer published her letter in full in the comment section of the Yelm Community Blog on March 31st. CLICK HERE to read and then decide for yourself if her letter reaches the threshold of "inflammatory comments that I [Graves] wouldn’t publish about any business, under any circumstances."

3. Graves refuses to publish a story on Yelm's new Nisqually Radio internet radio station saying they are a competitor and his newspaper will not cover their story. CLICK HERE for the [Pierce County] Dispatch's nice coverage & the Yelm Community Blog's story about Nisqually Radio.

4. Graves' NVN launched a new website with an RSS feed (RSS is a format for sharing content on the Web. Four of the newspaper's sections are now on an RSS feed.). Two days later, he writes me a letter saying he requires written permission directly from him for the Yelm Community Blog to "reprint or redistribute articles, photos and all other content from www.yelmonline.com," which this blog has never done; only quoting, critiquing and listing links. When a website has an RSS feed, they want their links widely distributed. His newspaper's RSS feed is actually linked on another Yelm-based blog, ProtectYelm.org. So, go figure with this guy? His RSS feed is on one local blog, he will not report about a new local blog and then sends me a letter about enforcing his newspaper's copyright for dissemination of material on this blog! That sure is some mixed message!

I chose to have my Seattle attorney write Mr. Graves to remind him about the U. S. Constitution's First Amendment Right of Free Speech and the fair use doctrine of copyrighted work.
CLICK HERE to read that letter.

BOTTOM LINE:
Mr. Graves has already virtually endorsed Ron Harding for Mayor in 2009, not only encouraging him to run in an op-ed earlier this year, yet putting his newspaper's weight behind such a candidacy, all without knowing who else might be interested in seeking this elective office, an office whose filing deadline is not until July.

This is on top of Mr. Graves' defensive posturing in recent weeks.

Election year politics aside, heating-up at the forefront of local issues are the economy, severe water rate hikes, mounting traffic, looming service cutbacks, & the future of the Yelm Library among just a few items on the minds of our area residents. A free exchange of ideas, comments and understandings are vital to an informed public getting involved and educated on major issues of the day AND from various sources, not just the local, weekly newspaper, who has previously demonstrated will omit or attempt to limit full access about important local stories their readers will see.

We all know newspapers are in trouble. Graves reported to one reader his newspaper continues to see subscriptions and hits on their website increase, bucking grim industry trends. That is good news; for the public to have as many sources for local news and information is important in these challenging times.
If the NVN IS having difficulties, perhaps Mr. Graves should read this story "Yes, A Newspaper Can Survive If It Focuses On The Community" in TechDirt, which offers some great counsel to local newspaper publishers/editors. Selectively omitting stories & information does not bode well for local newspapers in the long term.

April 13, 2009

RECORD RETAIL SALES DROP - YELM'S DROP SMALL



"Taxable retail sales nosedive in county"
"Year-over-year taxable retail sales in Thurston County fell more than 10 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, shattering the record for the largest-ever drop, new state Department of Revenue data show.

The previous record was set in 1982, when year-over-year taxable sales fell 5.8 percent in the first quarter, Revenue spokesman Mike Gowrylow said.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, year-over-year taxable retail sales:

Thurston County: Fell 10.63 percent to $984.1 million from $1.10 billion

Olympia: Fell 12.96 percent to $423.6 million from $486.7 million

Lacey: Fell 13.53 percent to $261.1 million from $301.9 million

Tumwater: Fell 12.61 percent to $101.7 million from $116.4 million

Yelm: Fell 0.28 percent to $41.7 million from $41.8 million

The state Department of Revenue also releases a separate category of taxable retail sales known as retail trade, which is considered a better measure of consumer purchases. That shows:

Thurston County: Fell 10.06 percent to $493.9 million from $549.1 million

Olympia: Fell 15.57 percent to $225.7 million from $267.3 million

Lacey: Fell 7.11 percent to $153.1 million from $164.8 million

Tumwater: Fell 6.43 percent to $51.1 million from $54.6 million

Yelm: Fell 1.80 percent to $22.79 million from $23.21 million," quoting The Olympian on April 11th.


Ed. Note: The fourth quarter of 2008 was the first time ever that comparable year over year quarterly data could be accurately compared with Yelm's new Super Wal-Mart in the picture, as the 4th quarter of 2007 was the first full quarter Wal-mart operated here [opened July 17, 2007, in the 3rd quarter.].

KING-5 TV did a report touting Yelm's sales growth with the year over year third quarter results. Yelm Community Blog readers know that their report was skewed and not a true comparison, since wal-Mart was only open a portion of 3rd quarter 2007, as covered here on January 23, 2009.

Even with a Wal-Mart operational in Yelm's year over year comparisons, Yelm did not show retail sales increases. However, Yelm's retail sales fell at a measurably smaller rate than Thurston County, Olympia, Lacey & Tumwater.

Don't you wonder what contributed to such small retail sales decreases here?
Olympian, Tumwater & Lacey all have mega discount stores like Cabella's, Home Depots, Lowe's, a Super Wal-Mart & Costcos and all had major retail sales drops compared to Yelm.

WHAT CONTRIBUTED TO YELM'S SMALL RETAIL SALES DECLINES?



One thing the local newspaper continually omits nor will you read there is the impact of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment students coming to their classes here from all over the world and spending their dollars locally, as shared with the community in this recent full-page, newspaper ad in The Olympian & the local weekly.

Ramtha School of Enlightenment officials reported in their November, 2008 ad about the first three quarters,
"A large number of RSE students from the United States and all over the world traveled to the City of Yelm and surrounding community...to participate in their classes at Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment. RSE students from thirty-nine foreign countries — from South Africa, Romania, Thailand, and Brazil, to name a few — made their way to our community, many for the first time.

RSE conducts a demographic survey regularly to measure the economic impact RSE students make in our local community during school events."

2,092 students attended RSE events on the Yelm Campus in the 4th quarter of 2008.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 14
"Wall Street disappointed by retail sales data"
"A setback to hopes that the economy may be bottoming out"
From the AP

April 3, 2009

YELM BYPASS UPDATE: CORRECTIONS TO LOCAL NEWSPAPER'S STORY

The local newspaper reported on the Yelm Bypass in their Friday, April 3 print edition.
Several distinctions need to be made about inaccuracies in their story:

1. The newspaper said, "the...bypass could see state funding this year to complete Phase One of the project, according to City of Yelm officials.... The Senate Transportation Committee's proposed 2009-11 budget includes $11.47 million for the bypass...
The state House of Representatives still needs to approve the budget."

While both the Senate & House proposals show $11 million for the Yelm Loop in '09-'11, the money is divided into $2.3 million for engineering and $8.7 million for right-of-way, not construction, which the newspaper failed to mention. This from the Washington State Transportation Executive Information System (TEIS). "TEIS is a set of applications designed to facilitate transportation budget planning and oversight," quoting the website.

How can there be construction IF there are no construction moneys allocated?
Either the Legislature or WSDOT will have to designate these monies as construction funding.
And, funding still must be approved by the House; then the budgets are reviewed by the Governor. House Legislative District 2 Rep. Tom Campbell is a strong advocate of Bypass funding.


2. The newspaper said, "Phase One of the bypass will consist of 4.2 miles of two-lane corridor with 9 intersections."
Incorrect. The WSDOT website says the entire Loop is 4.2 miles with 9 intersections, not Phase One.

As WSDOT Bypass Project Manager Dennis Engel told the Yelm Community Blog last January,
"Our current design work is focused in the area of what could be stage 1, this work is also needed for the entire project. The City of Yelm is working with the legislature about the possibility of splitting the project into stage 1 and 2, and changing some of the funding to construction so stage 1 could be built.
...one possible solution is to move some of the PE [engineering] and Right of Way for the stage 2 area money to construction of the stage 1 work."

Stage 1 - is a "Yelm High School Bypass" from Mud Run Rd. to Cullen Rd. (approx 1.1 miles)

Stage 2, the eastern, longer end of the Bypass is from Cullen Rd. to SR 507 & Wal-Mart, which now has no allocated funding until at least the 2021-2023 biennium.


3. The newspaper said, "Right-of-way (r-o-w) acquisition continues on Phase Two."
While true, the newspaper omitted that the City of Yelm is pushing to transfer r-o-w and engineering funding from Phase 2 and designate that for Phase One construction, boosting the potential construction could start on Phase One, yet leaving Phase 2 with little to no funding. Phase 2 was to mitigate the Super Wal-Mart traffic and now looks like almost 15 years before any further funding would be considered by the legislature for that section. Wal-Mart got approval to be built by the city with their traffic mitigated by an unfunded road, the Bypass. So, Wal-Mart may be in operation 20 years before a Bypass is at their doorstep to handle their traffic. The city pushed a Wal-Mart through by saying a Bypass would be built within 7 years of Wal-Mart's July, 2007 opening.

WHY THESE BYPASS ISSUES NEVER GET REPORTED IN OUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER CALLS FOR A BIG HMMMM!

March 29, 2009

AREA STILL SHOWS GENEROSITY TO AREA SCHOOLS, DESPITE DOWNTURN!

Even in these challenging economic conditions, our community opened their wallets and hearts for Schools Scholarships this month:

YELM
The Yelm Dollars for Scholars annual auction raised more than $140,000 for scholarships a few weeks ago. That compares to $175,000 last year or a 20% drop in donations.

RAINIER
"The Rainier Education Foundation Auction Saturday [March 21] raised nearly $43,000 for scholarships and teacher grants, just shy of last year’s total.

Last year’s auction raised about $46,000.

The money raised provides scholarships to seniors and former graduates, as well as providing grants to the Rainier School District staff," quoting the local newspaper.
[Ed. Note: That is only down 6% compared with last year and is quite remarkable in these economic times!]

UPDATE:
Paula Meyer, Secretary for the Rainier Education Foundation tells the Yelm Community Blog, "The Rainier Education Foundation is extremely grateful for the generous outpouring of support by our community, in order to benefit our students and staff. We feel truly blessed. THANK YOU!"
CONGRATULATIONS to Rainier!


On another note, the local newspaper reports Yelm Schools Admin Cutting Back.

Yelm Community School's Superintendent Andy Wolf reports in his March, 2009 column, "How the increased state deficit will impact Yelm Community Schools specifically is still an unknown. Until state lawmakers are able to develop their own budget we will not have a clear picture of just how deep program reductions will need to be made locally in order to preserve the financial and academic integrity of the district."

March 25, 2009

CITY CONTINUES TO APPROVE DEVELOPMENTS WITHOUT SUFFICIENT WATER RIGHTS

The Yelm City Council heard from this writer last night about the fact that they continue to issue Plat Developments without sufficient water rights. I proposed rescinding the Council resolution imposed against moratoriums and that this City Council start to take a look at a growth moratorium until the city has sufficient water rights to support hooking-up all of the previously approved homes to the city's water supply.

Mayor Pro-tem Isom recoiled at my mention of the moratorium issue [The City Council has had a resolution in-place since April 13, 2005 that a "moratorium" may not be imposed or be on the Council's Agenda again.]. Isom said my statement about a moratorium was a mis-characterization and misinformation and he could see through me [and my motives]. I told him I merely quoted the Council's Minutes of April 13, 2005:
"MOTION BY BOB ISOM, SECONDED BY JOE BAKER THAT NO MORATORIAMS (sic) BE IMPOSED AND THAT THE ISSUE NOT BE BROUGHT BEFORE COUNCIL AGAIN. CARRIED."
Listen to Mr. Isom in his own words from the April 13, 2005 City Council audio record:
Bob Isom

When the issue of approving the John's Meadow Final Plat was brought up for questions last night, there was only one from Council Member Pat Fetterly who asked Staff if the city had enough water to support 40+ homes in this development. Assistant Planner Nisha Box never directly answered the question, rather stated all of the information is in the Staff report. Ms. Fetterly said "Thank you," and the vote on this Plat passed unanimously.
If Council would have read the Staff Report on John's Meadow, they would have noted this:
"The City currently does not hold sufficient water rights to serve all undeveloped lots within its water service area, but has determined that the proposed means of water supply for this final subdivision is adequate..."
"If the City is unable to provide potable water at the time a building permit application is submitted for any structure within this subdivision, the permit will not be issued until such time as evidence of an adequate water supply can be made..."
You can read the Staff report for yourself:
John's Meadows Final Plat Staff Report, scroll to the top of page 3.

My letter read on-the-record to the Council (which you can also read on ProtectYelm.org), Mayor Pro-tem Isom's rebuttal and Mrs. Fetterly's comments can all be heard in-context from the City Council's video file:

Or access via YouTube.

Note:
Mayor Harding said I went over several minutes and to limit comment to three minutes in the future. The Council allows 15 minutes for public comment. Interesting that there was no one in the audience other than those on the agenda, a local newspaper reporter, plus Mr. Hashim to whom I pointed; not one other member of the public was present. Given the empty hall, if I thought necessary, Mr. Hashim would have filled out a public comment card and provided me his time. My comment lasted 4 minutes, 50 seconds.


WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Write to:
Vicki Cline, Compliance & Enforcement
Water Resources Program
Southwest Regional Office
Dept. of Ecology (Ms. Cline's office oversees Yelm)
VWIN461@ECY.WA.GOV

Tell Ms. Cline that you are writing as a citizen and that you are requesting enforcement of Yelm's continual
plat approvals going beyond the city's current water allocation and you want your letter to be included in the official public record of the City of Yelm's Water Mitigation Plan.


My letter on the record along with the recording of the March 24th public Council exchange will be added to Yelm's Water Mitigation Plan at the State Dept. of Ecology & Dept. of Health requesting enforcement to show how the Yelm City Council continues to defy state water regulations:


Click Here
for the City's Water Plan.
If you are a property owner in the City of Yelm like this writer, get ready for a major water rate hike!

THINGS WILL ONLY CHANGE WHEN THE CITIZENS SAY "ENOUGH'!

UPDATE: April 14, 2009
I wrote to Mr. Isom on April 3rd to ask him to:
"identify what you view as the mischaracterization,
and I will gladly publish your views as a correction on the Yelm Community Blog,
since your motion & the Council resolution were not just limited to "we would not entertain the the idea of a moratorium."
I want to insure that I provide the public with accurate information from your viewpoint."

No response has been received to date, which speaks volumes!