In his monthly Guest Column in the March 16 issue of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN), Yelm Mayor Ron Harding states:
“…Bottom line, this momentum [growth] contributes to our ability to improve the infrastructure and quality of life for our citizenry and the people that travel through and shop in Yelm. Without it, we would still see the demand for road and other improvements, but would not have the financial ability to construct them.
This year we are spending more money on road projects than ever before, our businesses have increased sales, community projects are on the rise, services that at one time were not available in our city are becoming more available, new homes are being built.”
So, according to this scenario, growth is required to fund projects?
The Mayor does not list the costs of this growth to the community:
* major traffic
* air quality compromised
* noise & water pollution
* increasing crime
* straining of our natural resources like the aquifer
* permanent loss of our small-town character.
The very reason we must tackle some of these projects like road expansion, water aquifer studies, larger police presence, surveillance cameras in our parks and waste disposal issues is that the Yelm City Council continues to approve any and all development with little attention to providing the infra-structure & properly administered impact fees to support such growth.
And, more developments are approved every month in Yelm, on top of the massive Tahoma Terra & Thurston Higlhands developments.
For example, the Mountain Shadow subdivision was approved on February 27, 2007.
That thinking is how Puyallup and other cities got into a pickle described in the March 19 blog entry below!
That thinking must change to one focused on how the decisions of today affect the future!
Growth alone does not fund these projects, rather wise fiscal management & decision-making does, coupled with how such growth will affect the future of our town and children.
If City Hall thinks more development = more tax revenue, what will they do when Thurston County leads the way in foreclosures and this buidling boom here leads to homes being foreclosed and shuttered, with no tax revenue coming from those properties?
Oh, that won’t happen they say?
Such is already fact, as reported in the March 18 Olympian (see March 18 entry below).
What do you think?
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding
Photo from City of Yelm website
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To be frank, I think Ron Harding is an idiot, as well as most of the City Council. And this is just another in a long line of ignorant thinking and policies based on that thinking being pursued by the Mayor and city government.
But I would have to quantify that by saying all the people who elected them are idiots too. And Harding was elected by a large majority!
So wouldn’t it be true that Harding and the City Council are administering to the people as they expect and deserve?
Also, how would a person who was the candidate who lost (such as yourself) be able to inform and educate people about the senselessness of the decisions being made by the city government without sounding like sour grapes?
To me this is the conundrum.
PS: Do you know where I can find out how much money all of these commercial and housing developments have or are going to contribute to roads, utilities, water, fire, schools, etc.?
Mr. Harding may have defeated ME by a majority, however there was no majority that elected him to office.
At the time of the election in 2005, there were about 4,456 official residents in the City of Yelm’s precinct, of which approximately 2,100 were registered voters.
848 voted for Mr. Harding, or slightly more than 40% of the registered voters.
THAT MEANS 18% OF THE YELM POPULACE VOTED FOR THE MAYOR. One would not call that being elected “by a large majority.”
While some may think I am
sounding like sour grapes,
as is said about many non-winning candidates, I have created a community blog & forum to educate the public on issues that will have far reaching affects for years to come. I know of no better way to serve my community than to bring knowledge to all and allow everyone an opportunity for their voice to be heard!
After all, we’re 15 months after the Mayor and City Council took elective office and there has been NO public forum or Open House with the Mayor or City Council, except for 5 persons limited to three miuntes per semi-monthly Council session, with little to no give-and-take.
Just because I did not win the election, does not mean I will stop being active in the city’s issues. I am a property owner and taxpayer in Yelm and have lived in the area 19 years.
Yelm City Development Director Grant Beck can answer your questions on developers impact fees.
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