In reading the agenda for the City Council Meeting of Tuesday, January 13th, this writer noticed New Business appointing John H. Thomson & Anne Wahrmund to the Planning Commission.
[“Appointment to the Planning Commission, John H. Thomson
Appointment to the Planning Commission, Ann Wahrmund
Presenter; Mayor Harding”]
The Staff Report from Mayor Harding to the Council says, “In December 2008, the Planning Commission had two term expirations… The Department [Community Development] received three applications, including applications from the two incumbents. It is my recommendation to reappoint incumbent Jon Thomson and appoint Ann Wahrmund to fill the vacant position.”
Who was the other incumbent?
And, why were they not selected?
I wrote to Cindy Teixeira, Community and Government Relations Coordinator for the City of Yelm and received this response:
“My understanding is that Carlos Perez is the incumbent not reappointed.
His application was received too far past the deadline.”
Now this does beg many questions, does it not?
1. Mr. Perez sent in an application and the city did not receive it in time?
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.
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?
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?
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.]
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?
9. Was Mr. Perez ever told by the City or the Mayor he did not make the cut by Mayor Harding?
The best government is one where there are divergent views and those that serve can raise their voices in an honest discourse, not just “rubber-stampers.” While I commend Mr. Thomson and Mrs. Wahrmund for stepping up to the plate, what seems to be the apparent dumping of Yelm Planning Commission Chair Perez would be another “black-eye” on how City Hall handles its affairs!
Though Mr. Perez & I have not seen eye to eye on several issues, I have found him to be fair, honest, honorable, and always available to listen. I applaud him for daring to speak his truth in public forums. Yelm Blog readers wish you well in your future endeavors, Carlos!
IS THIS “BUSINESS AS USUAL” AS THE MAYOR CALLS IT;
YELM’S CITY HALL MUZZLING ANY DISSENTERS TO THEIR POLICIES?
YELM BLOG READERS WANT TO KNOW!
THIS WRITER INVITES MR. PEREZ, MRS. TEIXEIRA, MR. BECK & MAYOR HARDING TO SHARE THEIR VIEWS WITH YELM COMMUNITY BLOG READERS ON THIS MATTER!
UPDATE JANUARY 14, 2009, 6PM:
Carlos Perez wrote this to the Yelm Community Blog in answer to the questions above:
“I must tell you that for the most part I am the one at fault.
Since my term expired at the end of December, I had it in my mind that December 26th was the cut off date.
I did receive a courtesy call from Tami Merriman advising me that I had not yet submitted my application.
I advised her that I was having second thoughts but that I would make my decision by the following week. She
I personally delivered my application to the Community Development Group the week before Christmas. November 26th was the official cut off date.
I was notified of the change today [Jan. 14] by Tami. Notification came after the Council made their decision official.”
This writer stands by what I wrote — all-in-all, very poorly handled by the City.
Mr. Perez told me he did not hear from the City at any time AFTER they received his application.
Nor was there one Thank You for the record from the Mayor for his service on the Commission and as the Commission Chair for 2008.
Further, there was not one call saying he was disqualified due to the tardiness of his application prior to the Council’s appointments of others last night.
As Mr. Perez stated, he did receive a courtesy email from Tami Merriman [Community Development Dept.] advising he had not yet submitted an application.
If his application was tardy, then the Mayor’s Staff Report should have stated that three applications were received, and one was disqualified.