EXCLUSIVE TO THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG.
Due to so many unanswered questions and conflicting information, I called Mr. Perez to get his take about not being reappointed to the Yelm Planning Commission. Here are the questions posed from the January 14th blog entry.
1. Mr. Perez sent in an application and the city did not receive it in time?
YES, THAT IS CORRECT. ALTHOUGH MR. PEREZ RECEIVED THE NOTICE THAT HIS APPLICATION WAS DUE NOVEMBER 26, 2008, HE REGISTERED IN HIS MIND A DECEMBER 26TH DEADLINE, SINCE HIS THEN-CURRENT COMMISSION POST WAS THROUGH THE END OF DECEMBER.
2. Did anyone from the City give Mr. Perez a courtesy call or send him an e-mail asking if he was going to re-apply? After all, this man has served with distinguished service on the Commission for 2 1/2 years and has been the Commission’s Chair the last year, nominated and voted the Chair by his Commission peers.
YES, MR. PEREZ SAYS HE RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE PLANNER TAMI MERRIMAN PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 26TH ASKING IF HE RECEIVED THE NOVEMBER 11TH COMMISSION APPLICATION NOTICE PLUS AN E-MAIL AFTER THE DEADLINE DATED DECEMBER 1ST.
3. Did Mr. Perez use snail-mail and have his envelope stuck in some mailbag, snowbound somewhere between Yelm & Olympia for days? Did he send via an e-mail that went awry?
NO, MR PEREZ HAND-DELIVERED HIS APPLICATION DECEMBER 16TH TO CITY HALL, WELL AFTER THE NOVEMBER 26TH DEADLINE AND 10 DAYS BEFORE THE DUE-DATE IN HIS MIND OF DECEMBER 26TH.
4. Was not one person from the Mayor to the Community Development Dept. to the Community and Government Relations Coordinator curious enough to contact Mr. Perez to find out why he had not re-applied, if they knew an application from him was not received in time?
NO, MR. PEREZ RECEIVED NO CONTACT OF ANY KIND FROM ANYONE IN CITY HALL AFTER THE DECEMBER 1ST E-MAIL REQUESTING HIS APPLICATION, UNTIL THIS WRITER CALLED HIM PRIOR TO THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING ON JANUARY 13TH. HE WAS NOT NOTIFIED HIS APPLICATION WAS DISQUALIFIED, NOR TOLD HE WAS OFF THE PLANNING COMMISSION UNTIL JANUARY 14TH, 2009, THE DAY AFTER THE CITY COUNCIL APPROVED THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENTS FOR NEW COMMISSIONERS.
5. Why was there not one question from any City Council member about who the un-appointed incumbent was when the Mayor opened questions to the Council last night on this issue?
6. Why did the Mayor not acknowledge Mr. Perez for his years of fine service to the public at the City Council Meeting last night after the Council voted to appoint someone in his place, especially the then-current, sitting Commission Chair?
7. Was Mr. Perez dumped by Mayor Harding and Community Development Director Grant Beck for speaking out in the NVN and the Yelm Community Blog on issues he felt passionate about? [Click the NVN & Yelm Community Blog hotlinks for those issues.]
MR. PEREZ ACKNOWLEDGED HE DID NOT GET HIS APPLICATION IN ON-TIME AND THE RESPONSIBILITY LIES WITH HIM. HIS DELAY IN TURNING IN HIS APPLICATION WAS BECAUSE HE WAS HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT SERVING ANOTHER TERM. MR. PEREZ DESCRIBED HIS ENTHUSIASM FOR THE PLANNING POST BECAME STILLED IN 2008 AS THE PLANNING COMMISSION WAS ESSENTIALLY SIDELINED BY THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT. MEETING ONLY 6 TIMES IN 2008 AND ONLY ONCE SINCE LAST SUMMER CERTAINLY ECHOES MR. PEREZ’S VIEW.
8. Are City officials squelching anyone speaking up that serves who does not tout the City’s “Party Line”, which previously earned this City Council the 2006 Jefferson Muzzle Award?
MR. PEREZ SPOKE OUT IN THE COMMISSION AND IN A LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT SEVERAL ISSUES AT ODDS WITH THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT DURING HIS POST AS CHAIR OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION. YELM’S CITY HALL HAS A HISTORY OF MUTING THOSE IN DISAGREEMENT WITH THEIR DECISIONS, WHETHER OR NOT THOSE DECISIONS FOLLOW THE WASHINGTON ADMINISTRATIVE CODE, SEPA, DEPT. OF ECOLOGY DETERMINATIONS OR EVEN A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE.
CITY OFFICIALS CERTAINLY DID NOTHING MORE THAN THE ABSOLUTE MINIMUM REQUIRED IN CONTACTING MR. PEREZ AND DID NOT EXTEND THEMSELVES BEYOND THAT REGARDING MR. PEREZ’S INTENT TO RE-APPLY; FOR THEIR OWN COMMISSION’S CHAIRMAN. YOU WILL HAVE TO DECIDE THIS FOR YOURSELF.
THIS WRITER WROTE CITY HALL TO ASK WHY SO MANY PLANNING COMMISSION MEETINGS WERE CANCELED. THERE WERE ONLY 6 OF THE MONTHLY MEETINGS IN 2008 UNDER MR. PEREZ’S CHAIRMANSHIP. SOME WERE CANCELED DUE TO LACK OF A QUORUM. HOWEVER, THIS WRITER WAS TOLD CITY STAFF WERE UNAVAILABLE AFTER SUMMER DUE TO PENDING LITIGATION AGAINST THE CITY, REQUIRING THEIR TIME AND ATTENTION.
9. Was Mr. Perez ever told by the City or the Mayor he did not make the cut by Mayor Harding?
THE NISQUALLY VALLEY NEWS STORY WAS AT ODDS WITH WHAT MR. PEREZ TOLD ME WHEN THEY REPORTED IN THEIR JANUARY 16TH EDITION, “Perez was contacted by mail and phone about reapplying. He was also given an additional week to submit an application.”
MR. PEREZ SAYS HE KNOWS NOTHING NOR WAS INFORMED ABOUT BEING GIVEN AN EXTRA WEEK. IF HE HAD BEEN CONTACTED ABOUT BEING GIVEN AN EXTRA WEEK, HE WOULD HAVE ASKED WHY, SINCE HE STILL THOUGHT DECEMBER 26TH WAS THE DEADLINE.
SO, THIS WRITER ASKED FROM CITY HALL FOR ALL OF THE E-MAILS AND APPLICATIONS INVOLVED IN THIS CASE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT (FOIA). IN RECEIVING THE DOCUMENTS, I RECEIVED A NOTE FROM CITY HALL THAT SAYS NO E-MAILS WERE SENT TO MR. PEREZ. “CONTACT WAS MADE BY TELEPHONE.”
THAT IS NOT TRUE!
MR. PEREZ HAS FORWARDED AN E-MAIL TO ME DATED DECEMBER 1ST, 2008 FROM MS. MERRIMAN TO THEN-INCUMBENT COMMISSIONERS PEREZ & THOMSON SAYING THE CITY HAD NOT RECEIVED THEIR APPLICATIONS.
THAT IS VERY INTERESTING, AS THE DOCUMENTS I RECEIVED SHOW MR. THOMSON’S APPLICATION WAS RECEIVED IN CITY HALL ON NOVEMBER 18TH, TWO WEEKS PRIOR TO MS. MERRIMAN’S E-MAIL.
HMMM! WHAT GOES ON IN THIS CITY HALL?
– THE CITY SAYS THERE WAS NO E-MAIL CONTACT TO MR. PEREZ WHEN THERE WAS.
– THE CITY SENT AN E-MAIL TO MR. THOMSON REQUESTING HIS APPLICATION TWO WEEKS AFTER RECEIVING IT.
SINCE THE CITY THOUGHT THEY HAD ONLY ONE APPLICATION (THIS FROM THE NVN ABOUT NEW COMMISSIONER ANNE WAHRMUND) FOR THE TWO POSITIONS ON DECEMBER 1ST, THEY SOLICITED THE TWO INCUMBENTS VIA E-MAIL TO RE-APPLY AFTER THE NOVEMBER 26TH DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING APPLICATIONS.
I KNOW THESE ARE GOOD PEOPLE THAT ARE DOING THE BEST JOB THEY KNOW HOW TO DO. I KNOW ALL OF THEM REALLY DO CARE FOR THEIR COMMUNITY, EVEN THOUGH WE MAY HAVE OUR DIFFERENCES.
HOWEVER, WHAT GOES ON IN THIS CITY HALL?
MOST MANAGERS WOULD BE REPRIMANDED OR FIRED IF THEY RAN THEIR CORPORATE DIVISIONS LIKE YELM’S COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT…
Copyright 2009 Stephen R. Klein. All Rights Reserved
On Thursday, January 22, this writer received an unsolicited e-mail from Cindy Teixeira, Community and Government Relations Coordinator for the City of Yelm saying about my records request of Jan. 15, 2009, “We regret the oversight and subsequent delay in providing this information to you” regarding an attachment from Community Development Dept. Associate Planner Tami Merriman who said she found the e-mail she sent to Mr. Perez on December 1st — and does not know how it was overlooked.
On Saturday, January 24, this writer received a call from Mr. Perez saying he received a letter today from Mayor Harding thanking him for his service to the City. The letter was dated January 15th. HMMM!
Mr. Harding has been away and will be gone until tomorrow (Jan. 26), as his daughter represents Miss Washington in the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas tonight (Jan. 24).