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The Nisqually Valley News reports in their September 5th edition that they asked Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck about Yelm Planning Commission Chair Carlos Perez’s letter to Mr. Beck
about the Thurston Highlands Draft EIS not being in compliance with the WAC. Mr. Perez’s letter was printed in the Yelm Community Blog September 2nd.


Quoting the NVN:
Perez said, “‘By those rules [State of Washington’s Administrative Code, WAC] the Thurston Highlands DEIS is not in compliance.”
Beck said he would not go into details now why the draft is in compliance, but it will be addressed in the final EIS.
Currently, Beck and city employees are working to answer and address all of the questions and concerns raised during the 45-day comment period.
Many of those comments were related to the size of the document.
Some comments called for the document to be thrown out and redone.
Those responses will be included in the final EIS.
Beck estimates the final EIS for Thurston Highlands will be completed in two weeks.
While he would not comment on Perez’s letter, Beck said that it will be filed with the final EIS.
Perez’s comments, however, will not be addressed in the final document.
An EIS is a decision-making document, which will be used by council to help them decide if the Thurston Highlands is a project they would like to appeal.”

[Ed. Note: Mr. Beck essentially blew off and relegated aside the city’s own Planning Commission Chair. And, for the final EIS for a project of this size to be completed in two weeks means that Mr. Beck will do little or nothing from the Draft EIS to change the final version. So, the public will be “blown off” just like Mr. Perez, and the City Council will rubber-stamp this just like they do everything else, with little or no debate. Most of the City Council members probably did not even read the Draft EIS or the comments due to its size & complexity and won’t read the final version, either. If they did read the DEIS, did they understand what they read and if not, get information to make an informed decision? Their questions to staff indicate they do little reading to gain an understanding of Staff documents.
Hence, this is a Slam-dunk!

The Yelm Community Blog applauds Mr. Perez for standing up and bringing this issue forth…
If the public cares, the Final EIS must be appealed!

However, when I ran for Mayor three years ago, a very prominent & well-respected leader in the city asked me why I thought I would be able to change this town and get people interested in local issues. This person said the citizens do not participate or are interested in their city’s government and I was not going to change that. He wished me well.
That has turned out to be true, as very few people do participate or are interested to get involved. Most of the commenters and participants in City of Yelm issues live out side the city limits in the county, the greater Yelm community.
Someone recently told me City of Yelm residents must like the way things are because they never speak up to the contrary and if they did, they could vote the City Council out of office.
He is right, as most elected City of Yelm posts have had no opposition in recent years and the same people get re-elected unopposed. They think they have a mandate to do whatever they want and in a sense, they do, since no one from within the city limits speaks up.
However, I would not consider the four Yelm City Council members that all ran again for their posts unopposed in 2007 with about 574 votes each a mandate, in a city with a population of over 5,000.

The fact that Mr. Beck chooses to ignore the public, the WAC about EIS rules, SEPA, the city’s own Comprehensive Plan & Vision Statement, and now Planning Commission Chair Perez, is very sad.

I only hope Mr. Perez finally sees what so many have been telling him about this city official’s disregard for the public.]

Posted by Steve on September 5, 2008 at 5:38 am | Permalink

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