The Nisqually Valley News (NVN) finally is going to report on the Thurston Highlands default and city’s debt, thanks to my Press Release last week on the story to all Puget Sound broadcast & print media.
The NVN had the story on their First Report May 8th, the day after my Press Release.
Will the NVN give credit to the source of their story?
And that is fine with me, as my blog investigation drove this story to finally get out to their readers.
In his op-ed Friday, March 20, 2009, Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Publisher/Editor Keven Graves commented about the the termination of the Seattle P-I print edition, an icon in Puget Sound for over 150 years saying,
“Whether people realize it or not, just about every daily newspaper in the country is the source of most information now read for free on many popular Internet sites…
From where will these Web sites be hijacking their news after more daily newspapers either fold, or wise up and begin locking down their Web sites?”
Mr. Graves was continuing his criticism of blogs.
Well, now the shoe is on the other foot and Mr. Graves newspaper’s front-page coverage this coming week will be driven by this blogger’s investigative report, from a story published on this free internet site!
Where was our local newspaper’s award-winning investigative journalism on this major issue?
As one blog commenter wrote last week, “All this should be front page news at the NVN. We’ll see.”
“President Obama also turned serious and talked of the financially struggling media industry, praising journalists for holding government officials accountable [at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, May 9th]. ‘A government without newspapers, a government without a tough and vibrant media of all sorts is not an option for the United States of American,’ he said,” quoting MSNBC.
So Mr. Graves, your disdain for blogs is not shared by this President!
Now, Mr. Graves newspaper’s coverage of City Hall’s apparent malfeasance is in his First Report on the newspaper’s website from where I quote:
“The city will have to sit and look at options and decide how to go about getting the money, Badger said.”
EXCUSE ME, MRS. BADGER!
You have the gall to say that to City Hall’s official newspaper?
And to your constituents!
One could only hope the NVN will question her more thoroughly with the following:
Only NOW “the city will have to sit and look at options and decide how to go about getting the money?”
What about 8 months ago when the Highlands went into default.
What about 9 months ago when the Highlands did not pay their bills to the city?
What about 3 years ago when I raised this issue and 2 1/2 years ago when Mrs. Badger was questioned by me about not having a contract with the Highlands for the water study?
Mrs. Badger even sidetracked then NVN award-winning investigative reporter Cindy Teixeira in an NVN story in January, 2007 to make me the issue. Mrs. Teixeira took the bait, giving the city a “bye” and did not ask Mrs. Badger key questions, which I wrote then. Mrs. Texieira later became the City of Yelm’s Community and Government Relations Coordinator. HMMM!
Where has the city been in all of that time & why have they NOT said anything to the public before my investigation?
To Mrs. Badger,
YOU PAINTED YOURSELF AND THE CITY’S TAXPAYER IN A CORNER 2 1/2 YEARS AGO WHEN YOU IGNORED MY QUESTION ABOUT NOT HAVING A CONTRACT WITH THURSTON HIGHLANDS, LLC TO GET REIMBURSED FOR THE CITY COUNCIL FUNDING A PRIVATE DEVELOPER’S WATER STUDY.
YOU COULD HAVE DONE SOMETHING THEN AND DID NOT.
THEN CITY-COUNCIL MEMBER BOB ISOM EXPRESSED CONCERN AT THE REQUEST FOR MORE FUNDS FOR THE WATER STUDY, THOUGH THE COUNCIL APPROVED THE FUNDING ANYWAY, AND
WITH NO CONTRACT.
WHAT OPTIONS DO YOU HOLD?
One had better hope Thurston Highlands, LLC. comes up with funding to pay off the debt, liens and the city’s past-due 2008 Invoice by May 25th to get the Yelm city taxpayer off the hook, or the land gets sold to the highest bidder at auction!
-The Yelm City Council authorized taxpayer monies ($550,003) to fund a private developers water study, with no contract to be reimbursed or any protections for the city to get taxpayers money returned should the development not come to fruition.
– The city is owed $121,500 for unpaid services in 2008 by Thurston Highlands, LLC.
– The City of Yelm is not even one of the lien holders in an attempt to get taxpayer money returned. If the city wanted to get this money recouped, then they would have had to follow the procedure of filing a lien on the Highlands properties and get in line with the other lien holders ahead of them to seek their funds.
And now tomorrow, we have the Yelm Chamber of Commerce’s Board who voted for & are presenting the Citizen of the Year Award to one of their own Chamber Board members & Chamber Treasurer Mayor Ron Harding at the Chamber Forum Luncheon, a man who has also been the keynote speaker to the Chamber Forum twice this year. He’s the Chamber Board’s & NVN’s non-declared, defacto-candidate.
Cindy Teixeira (former NVN award-winning investigative reporter), Community and Government Relations Coordinator for the City of Yelm will receive the Chamber President’s Award.
John Thompson, Yelm City Council member will receive the Chamber Volunteer of the Year Award.
Looks like these three special Chamber Awards are a “slam dunk” for City Hall – or “outta da ballpark” as we used to say back East!
Can you imagine awarding these people Tuesday with what is coming out this very same week about the way they have mishandled 2/3 of a million dollars of taxpayer’s money?
While the volunteerism of these award winners is laudable, their first responsibility is to protect their community and constituents from any harm. They obviously did not keep that in focus, as their actions and behavior have been directed to the advancements of a private developer at the expense of their town, which tarnishes these awards to these three city officials.
What do you think of our Mayor, who allowed all of this debt to the taxpayer to occur on his watch being Treasurer of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce?
As one blog commenter wrote to last week’s story on this, “If I were a Yelm resident I’d be wanting blood.”
This towns newspaper editor/publisher, this city’s mayor, & this City Council have all put me down for over 4 years and attempted to shove me aside to make my observations irrelevant.
Those days are over!
I have built a case, brick by brick, which no one can deny and I have been on the record in City Hall and on this blog for 3+ years with all of this information.
Small-town politics at its best (or worst)!
As Walter Cronkite used to say, “And that’s the way it is…”
PERHAPS THE PUBLIC HERE WILL WAKE-UP AND PROTEST BEING OUT-OF-POCKET 2/3 OF A MILLION DOLLARS TUESDAY AT 7PM TO THE YELM CITY COUNCIL AT THE PUBLIC SAFETY BUILDING!