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I sent this letter to the Nisqually Valley News in response to their inaccuracies in reporting what I said at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting.
CLICK HERE for my letter read to the Council.

Dear Megan,

I am writing you to say that your story about what I stated in the Yelm City Council Meeting Public Hearing on the Water Plan is NOT correct, nor is Stephanie Ray’s [Yelm City Staff] response correct, where you said:
“…Steve Klein… questioned why the council was approving increases the public was not informed about.

Ray responded that the city held three open houses, posted the information on the city’s Web site and sent out mailers to all water customers.

Mayor Ron Harding added that he personally doorbelled 150 homes to discuss the rate increases.”
[Ed. Note: How can the Mayor doorbell when the Water System Plan was not made public? How can he look his constituents in the face to sell them on something that had not been finalized? HMMM!]

The previous 2002 Water System Plan was a 227 page document.
Click Here to see for yourself.

The Water System Plan Plan is an engineering, legal document.
Mrs. Ray cannot say that a 30 page PowerPoint Slide Presentation on the city’s website and presented at the open houses [March, 2009] is THE document on the 2009 Water System Plan, when it is not!
That was nothing more than some slides thrown together for public consumption.

If you read my letter correctly that I presented to the city on-record and sent to you, I stated and I quote (attached),
“Why are you adopting rate increases to pay for water system improvements that have not been reviewed by the public nor approved by the Department of Health and the Department of Ecology as part of the required update to the Water System Plan? The Water System Plan update should be done first then the Council can consider and implement appropriate rate changes that are consistent with an approved update to the Water System Plan. Why are there Water System Plan decisions without public review?”

Since Mayor Harding would not let me respond to Mrs. Ray’s ridiculous answer, I remind you & Mr. Harding that what I was requesting was for the public to see the 2008 (now late, so 2009) Water System Plan.

Interestingly, the City’s Water System Plan just “showed-up” on the city’s website today [June 12] with a June date, yet under the March 23rd headline link
Draft Water System Plan Released

as if no one would notice and the city acting like the Plan has been there since March, when they know they just posted it.
IF Mrs. Ray was correct, then this Water System Plan would have been available for the public open houses and dated March, 2009, instead of saying
“Draft Water System Plan – June 2009”

I find interesting that ONLY since my comments Tuesday night, does the public finally have access to Draft Water System Plan Released and dated March 23, 2009 out on the website now, yet was published in June, 2009!
[Ed. Note: Normally, when something is placed on the city’s website, the exact date of loading the item is placed there, too. However, not in the case of 2009 Water System Plan example! WHY NOT?]

This is grand the Water System Plan is now made public, though after the Public Hearing on the Water Rate Increase & City Council voted in a July 1st water rate increase!.
This is VERY disingenuous on how/when the plan was released and just another demonstration of the lack of candor from City Hall with their constituents!


UPDATE: June 19th, 2009
Mrs. Ray said in the City Council Meeting June 9th according to the Minutes, “…the public has had an opportunity to review the rate increase as part of the Water System Plan online and at a series of three Open Houses meetings…”

However, City officials all knew the Water System Plan was not available online until June (it’s even dated as such by the city’s engineering firm, even though the city still chooses to post the Plan under a March 23, 2009 posting date) and access via the website was not working, even requiring several people to notify the city to get their Plan working online and access made available to the public. That finally happened on June 12th.
The Open Houses all happened in early Spring without the Draft Water System Plan being available to the public as the Plan was not actually publicly available until June.

Posted by Steve on June 13, 2009 at 12:25 am | Permalink

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