Gordon’s Garden Center President Kellie Petersen was the only person to make a public comment to the Yelm City Council on July 12. She spoke in response to Council member Bob Isom’s June 28th Council meeting remarks about Yelm Council members receiving an invitation to be guests for a three-day workshop at JZ Knight’s Fabulous Wealth Retreat at the Ramtha School, inspiring front page newspaper headlines. This writer asked Ms. Petersen if she would permit her letter to be shared with the community on this blog. Her comments are printed, unabridged and in their entirety as follows:
Kellie Petersen, Gordon’s Garden Center President
photo by Mark Vicente
July 8, 2006
To the Council:
Two weeks ago JZ Knight extended an invitation to members of the Yelm City Council, local media, and business owners to a three-day Fabulous Wealth retreat.
It seems that for every industry there are more than just a few experts ready to share the secrets to their success and they rightfully get paid for those secrets. Is it really so unusual for our city council to receive invitations to attend workshops or seminars on how to communicate with its constituency or to stay abreast of new trends in successful city government or other related topics? Yet I wonder how many of these brochures are read out loud at city council meetings.
Although I did not attend the city council meeting of June 28th, from what I read in the Nisqually Valley News on July 7th and the minutes of the meeting on the citys website, the decorum of the council chambers more closely resembled a hen house. The paper stated that Councilman Bob Isom questioned the motivation behind the channelers invitation. It was further reported that he suspected the invitation was an attempt to manipulate the council and noted that such an invitation was never sent to a sitting city council before. I have never sent the council personal invitations to a workshop at Gordon’s Garden Center either, but I surely wont do it now that I know I may be suspected of ulterior motives and subsequently railed in public at a city council meeting!
Further, how is it that the facilitator of that meeting, or the entire council for that matter, could not redirect Councilman Isom back to pertinent comments or the agenda at hand? Is our council so eager to divert our attention from really important issues? And why allow the discussion to go to such a low denominator as to include the denigration of Steve Klein for daring to disagree with the council? Are we now to understand that anyone who raises concerns for our city or is in disagreement with our council is assumed to do so just to undercut the council? How can we invite public comment and participation and then castigate those who dare to disagree? That seems to send the wrong message to the community.
I am concerned that Councilman Isom may be more interested in perpetuating an immature and very tiresome drama surrounding our city governments irrational paranoia over JZ Knight trying to take over the town than in helping to create an atmosphere of inclusion in our community. Our city government has much more important things to do than gossip about other community members. We look to our leaders to find ways to keep our community whole, not to jump on any chance to cause rift. We look to our leaders to take the high road always. We look to our leaders to set the example thats why they are leaders
Councilman Isoms behavior was unbecoming of an elected public servant. I have never been a Ramtha Student, but I am still offended by the unprofessional behavior displayed. It appears to me that Councilman Isom executed the social faux pas, not JZ Knight or Steve Klein.
Kellie M. Petersen
President, Gordon’s Garden Center