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The Agenda from the meeting regarding Yelm’s Thompson Creek
at the Washington State Dept. of Ecology in Lacey took place Monday morning January 19th at 9am.

All gathered introduced themselves including state, county & city officals, residents, and property owners
of the affected area…
The introduction to the Thompson Creek flooding area was with maps, site pictures, charts, and graphs
provided by Bill Hashim of the Dept. of Ecology and Ed Wiltsie, PE of the Olympia engineering firm Morrissette & Ass.
with an excellent, clear and concise presentation on the creek’s geology.

The public expressed their concerns followed by comments and presentations from:

Kevin Farrell. Dept. of Ecology about flooding, channel modification
Key McMurry of the WA. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife about undersized culverts & reeds canary grass blocking flow
Derek Rockett of the Dept. of Ecology on sedimentation & stormwater
Bill Hashim of the Dept. of Ecology on impervious surfaces and runoff
Grant Beck, City of Yelm Development Director, who declined to make a presentation

Others present in audience were:
Thurston Conversation District
Thurston County engineers
City of Yelm associate planner
Tahoma Terra engineer
Yelm Community Blog host
JZ Knight’s general manager
Nisqually Tribe representative

The fact that all of these people came together to discuss this issue created an atmosphere of understandings from all viewpoints on the problems for everyone…
The one glaring omission was the deferral of comments by the City of Yelm representatives. Only when pressed by several questions as to who was the governmental entity responsible for Thompson Creek issues upstream of 93rd in Yelm, did all of the officials in the room specify the City of Yelm. When asked, Yelm official Grant Beck deferred questions to the developer, who opened his remarks by saying he does not represent, nor was he answering for the City of Yelm.
[Ed. Note: Everyone was in wonder as to the attitude of City of Yelm officials present not engaging with State & County representatives or their own fellow neighbors, nor making a presentation of any kind. This was an embarrassment. Yelm property owners/taxpayers pay these peoples’ salary to serve the city, yet were on the receiving end of blatant silence.]
Also noticed was that no one from the Nisqually Valley News identified themselves. That’s interesting since they had a large story about this meeting on page A3 in their January 19th edition.

At the end of this meeting, there was an understanding of who is responsible for what in each governmental
entity and whom to call when the public needs assistance:

Key McMurray – Fish and Wildlife 360 249 4628 ext 231
Key is the habitat manager for this area

Joe Butler — Thurston County 754 3355 x6699
Joe is the flood control officer for Thurston County

Kevin Farell — Dept. of Ecology 407 7253
Kevin the flood control manager for this area

Derek Rockett — Dept. of Ecology 407 6697
Derek is a enforcement officer for Dept. of Ecology

Deb Cornett — Dept. of Ecology 407 7269
Deb is the unit supervisor for enforcement

Grant Beck — City of Yelm 458 3835
Grant is the development director for the city


Posted by Steve on January 30, 2007 at 6:13 am | Permalink

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  1. My daughter is a freshman at Western Washington University. This week she is studying for a test in environmental studies 101. One of the test questions is the definition of community. She asked me what I thought the definition was. The standard text book definition is “all inhabitants of a well defined area working together to create a healthy habitat.

    The Thompson Creek meeting was an opportunity for community members to work together to solve a problem. It is perfectly clear, and rather sad, that the City of Yelm refuses to participate, refuses to be part of a greater community. Using the textbook definiton of cummunity it is obvious Yelm is not a community!! Instead, it is an unhealthy habitat, and getting worse all the time.

    I often get called by my neighbors for help. What can we do about Wal-Mart, about Nascar, about Tahoma Terra, the traffic, and of course Thompson Creek flooding? The calls usually come after they have tried to get help, to communicate with, or to get any kind of response of any sort from the city of Yelm. It breaks my heart that little ladies who have lived their whole lives in Yelm cannot get the city to answer their calls for help.

    I’m not afraid to speak out on behalf of my neighbors. Doing so has often got me in hot water with the city council. I don’t really care. It is obvious the council could care less about the citizens of Yelm. I do so & I will continue to help.

    It was pathetic how Yelm’s representative at the Thompson Creek meeting sat there like a rotten log, refusing to discuss solutions of any sort. Instead, he deferred the city’s position to the Tahoma Terra developers.

    Now I know who owns this city, and unfortunately it is not us.

    Bill Hashim
    Yelm, WA

    Comment by Bill Hashim on January 31, 2007 at 4:11 pm

  2. Dear Bill — I don’t think “hot water” with the City Council is a full description of how the City reacts to you.

    You and Steve performed a major Mayoral campaign, which in simplistic terms you did a lot of exposing of the rather great shortcomings of the then and current City government. (In essence you did what the NVN should have done, and still has yet to do.)

    The fact that the election was a huge landslide in their favor has given them a huge amount of confidence — both deserved and undeserved.

    Their confidence is deserved only by the fact that it happened, but the reason why it happened is not because of anything special to them but because of ignorance on the part of the citizens of this community — and Steve’s affiliation with RSE cannot be eliminated from the equation either.

    The way I see it is the truth is surfacing in a big way right now with the traffic, badly planned development, flooding, and who knows what’s next. And I think that, probably more than anything else is what is going to change people’s mind about their town’s leadership.

    It might be good to sit back and not jump in so much on (the many) opportunities to point out the errors of the City government.

    I think what needs to happen is other people need to come in and do that — the long-timers especially. And we, as RSE students should know something about breaking old ways.

    Your educated insights are greatly appreciated, and they should come into play in much greater ways in the near future to be sure.

    Thank you for all that you do,

    Shelley Lucus

    Comment by Shelley Lucus on February 4, 2007 at 2:34 pm

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