The Tuesday, April 22nd City Council Agenda covered the following items:
1. Mayor Harding announced his proclamation April is Arbor Month, and this year marks the 135th anniversary of Arbor Day.
Yelm’s annual Arbor Day celebration will not be in April though, rather May 9th. CLICK HERE for more information on Yelm’s Adopt-A-Tree Program. The Mayor said Yelm will swap trees in a sister-city program with Lacey.
2. The Mayor acknowledged staff for the booth and participation at the Nisqually Valley Home & Garden Show and said over 300 people stopped by the city’s booth, the first year there has been one. He said meeting this many people covered many, many Town Hall meetings in the numbers of people visited. He said, “Few come [to Town Hall Meetings], yet we came to them with our booth.”
This writer thought about this and noted there has not been one Town Hall Meeting under Mayor Harding’s tenure. Then I realized Mayor Harding is absolutely right. Based on the under-a-dozen that attend Town Hall Meetings in Yelm by our Congressman & State Legislators, Mayor Harding is probably doing the right thing
by staffing a booth at the Home Show rather than holding any public Town Hall, as there is little participation by the locals in Yelm City government. Kudos to the Mayor for the city’s booth at the Home Show and taking the city staff TO the people.
3. Mayor Harding announced a meeting of the Yelm Transportation Committee (YTC) and said the committee will have to replenish the list and come up with new projects, as so many are completed, just as this writer mentioned earlier this month.
4. There was Resolution # 483 for $45,000 in improvements to the structure to house the Yelm Historical Museum that unanimously passed. This writer found that curious since the city/chamber mailed a slick new glossy brochure that says, “Volunteer labor and construction donations will help convert the historic structure to create more room for the debut showing of some of Yelm’s finest artifacts.” HMMM!
Council member John Thompson abstained in the vote because he works for the owner of the building previously housing the Museum and that owner, Prairie Park also owns the Prairie Hotel, which collected tax revenue for the city to operate the museum, until recently. Prairie Park in essence collected a hotel tax from their own hotel occupants that went to pay themselves rent (via the city’s books) for the city’s Historical Museum housed in another one of their own buildings. Of course, the State notified the City that collecting public taxes for use of a city museum in a private facility was improper and the city ceased collecting the tax, as reported here last Fall.
Mr. Thompson added this comment in his abstention,”I am pleased the hotel/motel tax can once gain be used since this [Yelm’s Historical Museum will be housed in the city-owned house adjacent the new Municipal Court Bldg.] is a public building.”