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Yelm Mayor Ron Harding
Photo from City of Yelm website

Yelm City Administrator Badger responded on September 11th to my request for information about the Yelm Economic Development Committee (EDC) as follows :

Yelm EDC Committee members:

Mayor Ron Harding
Councilmember Bob Isom
Shelly Badger, City Administrator
Grant Beck, Community Development Director
Steve Ruff, Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce President
Cecelia Jenkins, Yelm Chamber Executive Director
Michael Cade, Thurston County Economic Development Council Executive
Glen Cunningham, Yelm Chamber representative
Margaret Clapp, Yelm Chamber representative

2007 meeting schedule: Bi-monthly April 13, June 8, August 10, October
12, December 14. Meetings from 8-10 in the Yelm City Hall conference

Meetings are staff level meetings and are not open to the public.

Ed Note: I know Mayor Harding feels he has done his best in these appointments and I applaud the service to the city by these fine people, however where is infusion of fresh new concepts and skills by others willing to serve?

My observations & comments on September 8th still stand and even more so with Ms. Badger’s response, since Mr. Cunningham works for Ms. Clapp, as does Yelm Council member John Thompson.

City Staff, Yelm Chamber Board members & the Thurston County EDC Executive all “play in the same sand box” and there is no one to ask questions, challenge, initiate ideas and expand beyond this group’s cabal [click here for Webster’s definition of cabal.].
‘Where are citizen appointments and participation from a broad cross-section of this community?




Posted by Steve on September 12, 2007 at 5:46 am | Permalink

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  1. Steve, thank your for your revelations! I have long been aware of this situation and there really does need to be new people placed in significant positions in the Yelm government. It would appear that the ones who are really in charge of the Yelm government do not live within the city limits. I think Harding is doing the best he can at this time,however I would hope he would be infused with more backbone and really represent the people and not the ‘cabal.’

    Comment by Bettye Johnson on September 13, 2007 at 10:46 am

  2. As you know, I have applied 3 or 4 times for an appointment to the
    planning commission and have not been selected.

    I certainly agree with you re the lack of influx of new ideas and
    concepts, especially when committee members work as subordinates to
    other committee members who hold the strings to their purse. How can
    they not support what the boss wants?

    Patricia Noffsinger Everheart

    Comment by Patricia Noffsinger Everheart on September 13, 2007 at 2:49 pm

  3. I appreciate the involvement and the updating on your site but do you actually agree with this Patricia Noffsinger Everheart that she has been shut out by the people that work for the man? You have been to enough meetings to know that the planning board does a great job with in the scope of our ability to act.
    Do you really believe that I answer to anyone else!
    I have been giving my time to this city since the 80s and not once have I made a decision that I believed contrary to Yelm’s best interest (without influence). I enjoy the different points of view and I do believe in out side the box.
    You have some very good influence with people, couldn’t the same aim’s be done with a positive supporting attitude?
    Thank You
    John Graver

    Comment by John Graver on September 13, 2007 at 4:38 pm

  4. Hi John,

    Thank you so much for writing your views.
    I post all entries unabridged – whether I agree with them or not, unless they have some unpublishable content.
    The whole purpose of the blog is to get conversation going on a whole host of local issues.
    As I said, while I applaud the service to the community of fine individuals who serve, such as yourself, I know that speaking up and sharing views that may be divergent from the City Council, Planning Commission and Community Development Department is
    part of the process in a Constitutional Republic & I have no issue speaking up.

    I am thrilled to share all of the wonderful things that go on with a positive supporting attitude, however I do find some actions of the Council, Planning Commission & Community Development Dept. to be at odds with the community, although the community is to blame as much as the members of these committees, since the public does not show an interest here to get involved in city affairs.

    I acknowledge your frustrations, John and ask if you would be willing to pen a Blog Guest Entry to share your views and years of experience with fellow Yelm Community Blog readers ?

    Comment by Steve Klein on September 13, 2007 at 5:17 pm

  5. As they say, if they’ve moved the goal posts, we’re left reading tea leaves with this crowd in charge.

    Comment by Gail Cane on September 13, 2007 at 9:11 pm

  6. The Yelm Community Blog extends an invitation for a Guest Entry to share with Blog readers the comments of Planning Commission Chair Glen Cunningham & Mayor Harding any time.

    Comment by Steve Klein on September 13, 2007 at 9:33 pm

  7. Steve — I am really glad to see your blog is being taken seriously by some members of our city government and administration. I hope to read much more dialog from them (instead of thinking they probably wish you would go away 😉

    And I want to be as supportive as possible of this (truly), but I do have to say this about Mr. Graver’s comments.

    While I understand Mr. Graver may take offense at Mrs. Everheart’s comments (I assume he is on the Planning Commission), the fact still remains that Patricia has applied several times and has not been selected — as well as what she addressed about the power structure of the Yelm EDC (or any committee for that matter).

    I think Mr. Graver would do better by addressing these points rather than JUMPING to the offense and taking it as a personal attack (and as an opportunity to slam your blog).

    Yours, and Mrs. Everheart’s comments about the power structure of committee members is absolutely valid, and ought to be addressed. Isn’t it considered one of the defining characteristics of a conflict of interest?

    As well, I think Mr. Graver’s attitude reveals a very pervasive one in this town. How can he (or anyone) expect people to be supportive when the very real and valid issues they bring up are not addressed?

    This shows a lack of respect for all viewpoints — an attitude which has been shown time and time again in this City’s government. And I think it is shameful.

    To me, this is really the heart of the matter, and it should start to be addressed seriously.

    Shelley Lucus

    Comment by Shelley Lucus on September 16, 2007 at 1:32 pm

  8. Yes, Mr. Graver is on the Yelm Planning Commission.

    Quoting the city’s website:
    “The Planning Commission consists of seven members, appointed by the Mayor of the City, subject to confirmation by the City Council. The Planning Commission prepares the comprehensive plan for the advantageous development of the City, divides the City into zoning districts and regulates and restricts the erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair or use of buildings, structures or land in those districts.

    The Yelm Planning Commission meets the third Monday of each month, at 4:00 p.m., at Yelm City Hall.

    Current Planning Commission members are:
    Glen Cunningham, Chair
    John Thomson, Vice Chair
    John “JW” Foster
    John Graver
    Peggy Wolf Kennedy
    Carlos Perez
    Terry Kaminski”

    Comment by Steve Klein on September 16, 2007 at 3:46 pm

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