Yelm Mayor Ron Harding and Council Member Bob Isom’s actions in recent days have turned especially aggressive towards the public they were sworn to serve.
I can imagine they are gearing-up for unopposed runs at their seats again in 2009, and given that they have demonstrated the previous 4 years that there will be no Town Hall Meetings nor interactions with the public on official business unless in Council Chambers, where they control and cut-off dialogue with the public, looks like we can expect increasing belligerence from the City Council for four more years.
Of course, the people of Yelm do not engage city officials on matters where the Council affects their lives, so the public is getting what they want.
Mayor Ron Harding
The Yelm Community Blog received this e-mail from a reader in last week,
“Mayor Harding was interviewed on TCTV and at the end said that anyone can meet and talk with him directly about any community concerns…and he mentioned water, transportation, and a couple of other issues we face in our community and how hard he and coucil (sic) are working to meet and satisfy community members needs and what a difficult job it is to do that….given all the considerations and sides…he appeared so NICE…AND OPEN-MINDED. ….sooo maybe someone should interview him from another position and film it and put it on TCTV (all of the issues Yelm has on their plate: a Water Plan, Transportation, an MDNS, a lawsuit the City has on appeal, etc.).”
In the spirit of this interview AND the contemptuous letter of Council member Bob Isom in the newspaper last week, I wrote Mr. Harding and said,
“I am writing to request a meeting with you at your earliest possible convenience to discuss the deteriorating situation amongst factions in our town.
Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom’s incendiary letter in today’s (June 5) Nisqually Valley News has the potential to inflame the Yelm area community in dividing the energies of the talented people we call our neighbors, as we begin a 2009 election campaign this filing week…
Mr. Harding, I am requesting a meeting with you at your earliest possible convenience to discuss this and the potential for irreparable harm to our community that could ensue if we all do not work together to stop it…
…the divisions here are clearly lining up for escalating tensions that perhaps a face to face conversation to discuss our differences can do something to avert. ”
Of course, there has been no response nor did Mayor Harding say anything to me prior to the Council Meeting Tuesday evening. His silence is his answer!
In a Public Hearing where only I and one other spoke, Mayor Harding would not permit me to respond or ask questions of Staff’s answer to my comments. So, I have written Staff for an answer and will publish here in-full. This was a public hearing where there is supposed to be open dialogue. Two people’s comments under 3 minutes each are not like alot of time was being taken up in the Hearing!
Council Member Bob Isom
Regarding Council Member Bob Isom’s Letter in the NVN,
My wife & I penned this letter together & sent to NVN Editor/Publisher Graves:
“Council Member Isom’s letter was really nothing more than a reaction to an ad revealing facts the city has been hiding from the public they swore to serve. And perhaps he is attempting to distract the public from focusing on a massive Council-imposed water rate increase on Yelm property owners prior to the citys Water System Plan being made public or approved by the DOE.
As a City Council Member, Isom took an Oath of Office affirming,
“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully and impartially perform the duties of City Council Member of the City of Yelm, to the best of my ability.”
Mr. Isom’s comment “to disregard JZ Knight, Ramtha and any of the so-called students who do not live within the city limits when they attempt to influence decisions of the city council” demonstrates his pronouncement he cannot be fair and open-minded in making decisions as a Council Member.
We are students of Ramthas School, own a home within the City of Yelm and several parcels and a home in which we reside outside of city limits. On all of our properties, we pay taxes that go to City of Yelm fixtures like Yelm Schools, Yelm Timberland Library and Yelms Cemetery. Mr. Isom is stating that he will not listen objectively when we have matters before the Council.
That runs contrary to his sworn oath.
Placing this contemptible statement from a sworn public official in context ‘needed to be said!'”
LOOKS LIKE WITH NO OPEN DIALOGUE WITH ANYONE THAT HAS AN ISSUE WITH THE MAYOR OR CITY COUNCIL AND ONLY ONE OPEN COUNCIL SEAT WITH ANY OPPOSING CANDIDATES FOR THE PUBLIC TO HEAR ISSUES, THE NEXT 4 YEARS ARE HEADED TO BE EVEN MORE CONTENTIOUS IN YELM !
THIS IS VERY SAD FOR THIS COMMUNITY!