Andrew and Cynthia Smith, the couple denied an occupancy permit for their home wrote a letter to the local newspaper published Jan. 7th outlining what the City of Yelm omitted in their report to the NVN.
These key points sum-up what they assert the city would not communicate with the newspaper, nor their constituents:
1. “that my wife and I [the Smiths] were not aware of the booster pump requirements.
I am a simple man by simple means, a career Army soldier who wanted nothing more than to build a dream home for his family.
2. how they [ the City of Yelm] unilaterally and illegally altered the final plat amendments on the Palisades West subdivision to change the requirement for a booster pump station from a certificate of building, to a certificate of occupancy.
3. …[the city] violated city code by not having the booster pump station job bonded at the time of final plat approval.
4. their first argument for denying … occupancy was over fire safety concerns, concerns immediately mitigated by Southeast Thurston Fire Authority Chief Rita Hutcheson in a letter dated April 2009 with her recommendation to allow the Smiths to move into their home.
5. once the [fire safety concerns] argument was mitigated, they argued they believed my home was a model home which allowed them to issue a building permit but not an occupancy permit.
6. city officials would not freely give me [Mr. Smith] a copy of my building permit…[which] clearly stated the home was a custom home for Andrew and Cynthia Smith.
7. the city made sensational claims that adding my home to the Yelm water and sewer systems would threaten the water quality and safety of every home in Yelm.
I say sensational because, at the time, it already was connected to city water and sewer.
8. my wife and I paid more than $7,000 to hire a well-known, respected, professional engineer who worked with the City Public Works Department to draft alternative plans; plans approved by the Washington State Board of Health, that would completely mitigate any public health or safety concerns City of Yelm officials may have had.
9. Those plans were provided to Yelm city officials and the Yelm City Council [decided to] indefinitely table our plat amendment hearing.
10. in March 2010, I was not allowed to speak [to City Council], and it disapproved my request based on the grounds that I failed to demonstrate how them approving my permit for occupancy would benefit all the citizens of Yelm.
11. [the city] wouldnt want you to know that this legal team drafted a document and encouraged my wife and I to sign it that would completely absolve the City of Yelm of any water or sewer problem that occurred anywhere in the city at anytime, past, present or future, and shifted that responsibility to my wife and I.
No, they wouldnt have wanted you to know these things, and you wouldnt have received both sides of the story without talking to both parties involved.”
This is a sad state of affairs.
Again, this proves city official’s number one priority is to cover their own agenda, rather than protecting their own citizens FIRST!
I have said this for years & years and now, and now another case demonstrates this as truth, no matter the Mayor’s (and Yelm Chamber’s President) ramble at today’s Chamber Forum — that is all spin & show, since Mayor Harding will NEVER hold a public forum as long as he is Mayor. He only speaks to the Chamber Forum, who’s Board protects his backside.
He even insures the public gets little time in front of the City Council, as Mr. Smith can attest!
Disagree with this Mayor & City Council AND you will be assured of being squelched!
Isn’t this the time for Mayor Harding & Yelm’s City Council take the “high-road” to inspire & protect the public welfare & their constituents?
The Smith’s unabridged letter is used with permission from the writers.
CLICK HERE to read this Blog’s Nov. 10th, 2009 entry on the subject of the Smith’s home occupancy issues..