I expected a major backlash after I went public with the Thurston Highlands default records and then JZ Knight’s ad on the city’s Determination of Non-Significance (MDNS) about the water plan. Now we have a City Council member lashing out, along with a supporter of Pastor Jeff Adams in today’s NVN.
Let’s examine Mayor Pro-tem Bob Isom’s Letter to the Editor published today in the NVN piece by piece [Isom’s letter remarks in BOLD.]:
“Who is JZ Knight?…
What about Ramtha?
[Mr. Isom, JZ Knight and Ramtha operate a School that brings thousands of people to the Yelm area annually & pumps millions of dollars into the economy here, even in this economic downturn. Many talented people from all walks of life have moved here and brought their passion, knowledge and experience to make Yelm a better place. As an elected city official for so many years, hasn’t the time come for you to educate yourself and not portray your ignorance to even ask such a question?]
Have you ever tried to contact her?
What about Ramtha?
[contact information is on the Ramtha & JZ Knight websites.
Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, a division of JZK, Inc.
14507 Yelm Hwy. SE,
Yelm, WA 98597
Mr. Isom, how can you even ask such a question after being invited by Ms. Knight and attending one of the first Chamber After Hours at RSE, where Ms. Knight greeted every guest?]
Every member of the Yelm City Council is listed in the phone book.
Is she and/or Ramtha?
[Frankly, Mr. Isom, YES!
Quoting Fairpoint Communications latest phone book of December, 2008
Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment 360-458-5201
Mr. Isom, you are a publicly elected official, she is not. You, as a public citizen, should make yourself available to the public. A private citizen is not expected to do so.]…
We’ve all seen the paid ads about her students spending millions of dollars in the city.
The city records are open for public inspection.
[Mr. Isom, hers is a private company; the city you represent is a public domain and required by law to provide public records.
However, YES, even though hers is a private company, JZ Knight’s ads about student spending locally state that all records are available for review upon request.
No request has ever been received from you to date.
Are Mr. Isom’s private records open for public review?
Of course not!]
Her ad in the newspaper is the final straw.
No basis in fact and unfounded accusations.
[All of the information was taken from City of Yelm documents and are supported by facts from legal counsel. Mr. Isom never explained in his letter what his “beef” was with the ad.]
Do the citizens of Yelm know what any of her minions are costing you, as taxpayers, in public records requests for documents?
[The city is supposed to provide those by law on request. The public pays the city’s required fees for documents, CDs & DVDs, which go directly to city coffers. Unfortunately, the City of Yelm has chosen to make public documents difficult to obtain, which require additional staff time to answer Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
Websters say this on minions, “a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power.”
Ms. Knight has a talented staff and legal team. These fine people are not minions any more than the City’s Staff are not minions to Mr. Isom and the City Council, rather than the committed public servants they are.]
I attended a court hearing regarding her latest suit against the city, as did several other city officials and employees.
Was she there? No.
[Ms. Knight’s legal team and several of her staff were there along with Community Development Director Grant Beck, City Administrator Shelly Badger, and my wife and I. We all exchanged greetings during one of the recesses in the corridor. While Ms. Knight was not there, neither were you or the Mayor on that key day of testimony in Judge Wickham’s Thurston County Superior Court!]
The title of the lawsuit is JZ Knight vs. the City of Yelm. As usual, she sent someone else to do her dirty work.
[“Dirty work” is a very serious comment, Mr. Isom. Unfortunately, when the city does not respond to grievances and a citizen has no recourse but to take the city to Court IS really the dirty work. Interesting then that Thurston County Superior Court Judge Wickham sided with Ms. Knight in her case against the city.]
I have every right 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.
[Mr. Isom, you should know better than to say that because these are property owners and taxpaying citizens that spend money and support local businesses in the City of Yelm and are affected by decisions you and the City make, for they live in an affected area downstream of the city’s aquifer. Does this mean you will also disregard non-students who do not live within the city limits and have issues with the city, many of them filing comments against the city’s recent MDNS? How can you so blatantly dismiss all of these people when they look to city leaders for guidance? Would you say the same thing to Thurston County, the Nisqually Tribe who give the city quite a bit of money annually, or the Squaxin Island tribe who filed an appeal in the city’s MDNS on the water plan, all whom do not reside in the Yelm City limits?
I think not!
Mr. Isom needs to be reminded of all of the tax receipts the city receives from property owners outside of the City that pay for Yelm Schools, Yelm Cemetery, and the Yelm Timberland Library, whether that property is owned by RSE students or not. So, Mr. Isom and the Council guide my tax dollars, even though I do not reside within Yelm city limits. I own property within Yelm, too. Taxation without representation is not the American way!
Isn’t a public official’s first role to protect the welfare of the citizens, ALL citizens? What about visitors to our city? These comments are strange for an elected official of a municipality that is an agent of the State, governed under the rules of the Revised Code of the State of Washington (RCW). His job is to represent all of us!
Is this not discrimination?
This has a potential for VERY serious repercussions for our area.]
I predict that I will be unmercifully attacked by either JZ/Ramtha and/or her followers because I have expressed these view, but so be it.
It needed to be said.”
[No one will deny you your right to speak Mr. Isom, regardless of the fact that you have denied your own citizens that right in Council many times, even earning the City Council on which you sat the egregious Jefferson Muzzle Award. This, in addition to Mr. Isom’s moratorium on moratoriums in response to a citizen’s request.]
Looks like Mr. Isom will run unopposed for his City Council seat this Fall, so we can expect an additional four more years of Mr. Isom’s current policies!
Does this have any meaning?
Or, is this just anther ploy to get people whipped up into another vortex on a diversionary course, like Mr. Isom has done previously?
The Thurston Highlands auction was postponed a week. HMMM!
What is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know?
LET THE READER DISCERN FOR THEMSELVES WHAT TO MAKE OF MR. ISOM’S CLAIMS, ONCE THEY HAVE ALL OF THE FACTS!
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The City of Yelm proper is getting exactly what they want, via their silence.
No open seat will have anyone to oppose them, as is seen now.
That is truly sad.
No one wants the abuse I have endured for sharing information and offering differing views with
the club of city officials.
Thanks for YOUR interest though.
Yes, t’is true and reported here on November 16, 2007!
TO THE EDITOR OF NISQUALLY VALLEY NEWS:
I find it unfortunate that so many of the articles from the Nisqually Valley News seem to DELIGHT and encourage separation in our community- rather than unity.
I have not seen one article that is balanced, even, respectful and objective as regards JZ Knight or the Ramtha School.
I have lived here in Yelm for 21 years- I have watched this community grow and I’ve made many friends here, and yet, this pattern of mistrust and disrespect continues.
As an objective observer, the issue of water usage in Yelm is important to EVERYONE IN AND OUTSIDE THE CITY LIMITS.
Why does our local government in Yelm resist working with Ms Knight?
Her interest and concerns regarding the usage of water is to everyone’s benefit and should be encouraged.
Underground water aquifers do not respect city limits- we are dealing with nature.
It is important that everyone remains informed in a timely manner of all issues regarding their most important natural asset WATER- and that we have a right to speak up and be RESPECTFULLY HEARD.
Unlike Councilman Bob Isom’s statement printed in the Nisqually Valley Newspaper: I have every right 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.
My question is, who else does this Pro-temp Mayor and Councilman disregard?
Anyone he does not agree with? If so, Yelm BEWARE- YOU MIGHT BE NEXT!!!
Our local government is supposed to represent ALL OF THE COMMUNITY not just a small group of established business men and women in Yelm.
This is, after all, the United States of America, which is strong it its representation and respect of ALL PEOPLE.
To the Editor of the Nisqually Valley News:
There has been much written over the past few months in the blogosphere and elsewhere about the Nisqually Valley News being the Official Newspaper of the City of Yelm. I think there may be some clarification in order.
Whenever anything of the nature of a public or legal notice must be published, the City must have a designated means of doing so. The notices are produced by City departments and sent to the Newspaper of Record ? the NVN in this case. The newspaper publishes the notices, and the public is thereby notified of the City’s Official statements, proclamations, plans, etc.
Besides Yelm, other municipalities have also contracted with the NVN to publish their Official Notices. I believe the paper won the bid for Thurston County a few years ago. The City of Roy had recently threatened to change their Newspaper of Record to Eatonville, evidently because the NVN was printing things that didn’t present Roy in the best of light.
As has been demonstrated with the City of Roy, the NVN can report the truth when it chooses to do so. However, there seem to be a number of times when dealing with the City of Yelm where that opportunity has been missed.
Having the legal notices available, whether from the City, another municipality, or a private party, provides the NVN with a ‘heads up’ as to what’s coming down the pike. A more well-rounded story to back up an obscure, fine-print notice would truly be a service to the community.
Having moved from the Yelm area over three years ago, I look to several sources for information about my adopted hometown. Providing a more extensively researched story in the public printed realm would be greatly appreciated by everyone, I am sure. I would venture to say that it would also reduce the number of stories from other sources that seem to be disparaging to the paper. Being proactive usually gets better results.
St. Charles, IL
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