The Yelm Chamber of Commerce has announced their guest speaker will be Mayor Ron Harding with a Water Update on April 13, 2010 at the Chamber’s Forum Luncheon. This is the 2nd time in two months Mr. Harding has given an update about city issues to the Chamber Forum, bypassing taking his message directly to the general public. He is now in his 5th year of operating with NO public forum of any kind on the city’s & public’s business, instead speaking in a controlled setting at the Chamber Forum luncheon.
Mr. Harding is a Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board Member and the Treasurer, while Chamber president-elect Glen Cunningham is his own appointed Yelm Planning Commissioner…
As reported here on March 13, 2010, I said that the city was going to be forced to demand conservation from residents and businesses because the city is pumping over Ecology’s allocated water. Now, the mayor is laying that foundation with his NVN column last Friday where he said,
“City residents understand the difference between involvement to improve their quality of life and involvement just to cause chaos…
Challenges, by nature, indicate we would like the situation to be different.
As we move toward summer, we face challenges associated with our water supply.
We will be looking to everyone to do their part to help conserve water this year. Hopefully everyone will be looking for ways not to use as much water this summer as in the past.
Working together, as an informed, involved and personally invested community, we will take this challenging situation and make positive improvements that will benefit us all.”
If the city is out of allocated water to supply, why does the city keep issuing building permits?
City residents will soon know the difference about involvement, as they get kicked in their gut with another 16% water rate increase effective April 1st. The mayor will be prepared for the public outcry like last year when Council Chambers were at near capacity by posting a police officer for sessions after that increase, for surely there are again going to be some angry residents voicing their concerns – a whopping 32% total water rate increase within a year. And five persons limited each to 3 minutes at Council meetings will not be enough to handle the groundswell coming Council’s way this year. Last year’s 16% water rate increase brought a public response to Council that was only a dress rehearsal to this year. If city residents don’t get involved after seeing their water bills rise this Spring, then they should blame no one but themselves.
Unfortunately, this town re-elected a mayor that just cannot be up-front and face his constituents directly, to share with them in any open-to the-public setting except City Council, where he controls who speaks and for how long. The City of Yelm is over their water pumping capacity and has had an expired Water System Plan for over a year and a half, resulting in a Yellow Operating Permit from the Dept. of Health. The public deserves ALL of the facts from Mayor Harding and an opportunity to interact with him. Yet, since no one says anything at these Chamber Forums and no one speaks up when the Council votes on these things, the citizens get what they want – no inclusion in policy decisions.
MAYOR HARDING, IF YOU WANT YELM RESIDENTS HELP TO CONSERVE WATER, YOU SHOULD HAVE AN OPEN -TO-THE-PUBLIC WATER FORUM TO PRESENT THE FACTS & ENLIST THEIR SUPPORT, OR AT THE VERY LEAST, A BULLETIN TO CONSTITUENTS ON CAUSES YOUR VOTERS SHOULD BE AWARE.
And last, least you think I am involved in this city’s issues “just to cause chaos” as Mayor Harding describes of some in his latest NVN column, I love this area just as much as the mayor or anyone else. Since the Mayor, Council, City Administrator and City Planner do not provide the complete facts on these public issues such as water, this is one of the few resources around here for those wishing to be in the know.