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MAYOR HAS EGG ON FACE – NOW SAYS HE TAKES ISSUE WITH JUDGE’S RULING!

Dear Readers;

I know that some of you may have issue with my “prattle” [to quote Dave’s column in the NVN] yet no one else around here has even dared to stand-up and speak to the truth about the several issues here, especially the water case covered on this Blog several times.

Mayor Ron Harding was quoted on the front page of the Nisqually Valley News on October 10th saying that Thurston County Superior Court Judge Wickham’s Letter Opinion about the case of JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm et al amounts to “Business as usual.” And the City of Yelm Press Release of October 10th says “The City of Yelm is pleased with Judge Wickham’s decision…”
Read the Press Release for yourself. CLICK HERE!

In the same story, City Administrator Shelly Badger said,
‘In light of the vast time and money dedicated to this case,’ said City Administrator Shelly Badger in a press release, ‘it is ironic that the decision equates to Yelm doing business as usual.’

‘The permitting process isnt changed.’

The permitting process has now changed and changed big time, Mrs. Badger!

To quote the NVN in their November 14th edition, “In the judge’s findings, the city is required to prove potable water at final plat approval and notify Knight of water issued of these developments.”

Yes, that is the key determination affecting the City of Yelm, a city that says they should not have to prove water availability until the building permit phase and that was in the Letter Opinion issued in October.
Where was the Mayor on this very issue then? That changes the permitting process for the city in a major way!

And, the NVN out on the newsstands today has quite a different headline from Mayor Harding now that Judge Wickham issued his final decision in this case on November 7th. Mayor Harding takes issue with the Judge’s decision and says he “disregarded everything the city suggested.”

What happened between the Judge’s Letter Opinion and the Final Decision, which was virtually unchanged?

Readers of the NVN were not afforded that information until today, yet Yelm Community Blog readers not only had ALL of the details, they had access to the Court documents to read for themselves since this began in July, 2007!

Pastor Jeff Adams says in his NVN column today:
“In recent years, the losers of elections have acted so disrespectful and dishonoring of our elected officials. If our candidate loses, we act as obstructionists – like spoiled children who throw tantrums when they don’t get their way.
May I encourage you to show character whether your candidate or his/her opponent is in office.
It’s okay to disagree on issues and even let your disagreements be known.
However, if we cannot show proper respect when doing so, we taint our cause.
We mix foolishness in and undermine the very things for which we stand.”

Pastor Adams, I could not agree with you more; have respect for our officials, yet speak up when one sees things differently!
Our government requires, indeed demands participation from the public. Dissent is the hallmark of a Constitutional Republic like ours.
Subjugation and subversion of the truth by officials we voted into office is not to be tolerated by anyone, period.
I find speaking up and calling our leaders on issues affecting our area to NOT be “disrespectful and dishonoring of our elected officials.” Indeed, for city officials and the newspaper to keep facts from their constituents IS “disrespectful and dishonoring” of the public!

And last month, the city’s “Business as usual” press release and NVN story kept the facts from the public, as I told the City Council on October 28th.
If the public does not want the truth here; if the public is not interested in what city officials are keeping from them, please let me know.

I will be interested to see if the City of Yelm honors and respects the Court’s final decision, which means that the city may NOT proceed with these five subdivisions [Tahoma Terra Phase II, Divisions 5 & 6; Windshadow I; Windshadow II; Wyndstone; and Berry Valley I] until the City of Yelm proves water availability, that the State Dept. of Ecology says the city does not have.
Of course, the City has until early December to appeal.

The NVN reported in today’s edition the “City tightening its belt for 2009-10”. That would be wise, for now on top of the economic downturn, the city can expect no further tax revenue from building permit fees, home sales tax and future property tax revenue from these 5 subdivisions, until it gets it’s water issues straightened out, which could be a long time.

And, the City still has alot of explaining to do. The City Council has always said they will not use public monies to fund private developments, yet that is exactly what they did in funding the Thurston Highlands water study to the tune of over 2/3 of a million dollars. City Administrator Badger said the Thurston Highlands Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will address how the Yelm taxpayers get repaid. One certainly will be interested in that because with the State Dept. of Ecology saying the City does not have sufficient water now to support all of the building permits already issued, how is a 5,000 home development going to get approval to build?

WHAT SAY YOU?

UPDATE [Friday, November 14th, 4:40pm]: The NVN published only on their website JZ Knight’s Press Release in response to last week’s NVN story about developers’ Bloom/Chamberlain complaints on RSE campus sewage.

The Mayor said in the NVN story the city “will look this week to decide if we want to appeal.

Who will take the appeals case when the Judge said the City of Yelm was not following:
– the RCW
– the Washington Water Code
– Yelm’s own Municipal Code
– An Amicus Curiae (friend of the court) Brief filed by the Washington State Dept. of Ecology & the State Assistant Attorney General stating Yelm did not have enough water rights to support existing building permits, much less any new ones?

Mayor Harding said, Im confident in the end, the city will prevail.
Prevail against the laws of the State of Washington meant to protect the public?

WHO WILL TAKE A CASE THEY ARE SURE TO LOSE AGAINST THESE CODES?

Posted by Steve on November 14, 2008 at 5:18 am | Permalink

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2 comments

  1. The NVN posted them this afternoon & they are linked now.

    Comment by Steve on November 15, 2008 at 2:56 am

  2. In 2009, Mayor Harding and several City Council members will be up for re-election, if they choose to run again.

    They have until July, 2009 to announce their intentions. After that date is the time to bring all of this into greater light for the public to be reminded and discern for themselves.

    So many people are newly registered voters here since the 2005 election, so will add to the mix of voters wanting to know about these issues, as well.

    Comment by Steve on November 15, 2008 at 10:22 pm

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