December 27, 2011

YELM CITY COUNCIL IGNORES MAYOR’S APPREARANCE OF A CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST

This writer sent an official letter for consideration at tonight’s City Council session, that while City Administrator Badger referenced prior to the vote, the entire City Council ignored, except for a joke by Council member Don Miller:

“I am writing to request that you again reconsider Agenda item 8C (Mayor Harding to authorize a 2012 contract on behalf of the City of Yelm and the Yelm Chamber of Commerce) Tuesday, December 27, 2011, which presents an appearance of a conflict of interest with the fact that Mayor Harding also serves as the Yelm Chamber of Commerce President.
I suggest you intervene and instead of Mayor Harding being involved on this item, that you should direct Mayor Pro-tem Isom to authorize.

Mayor Harding’s signing the previous provider agreements with the Yelm Chamber of Commerce and his involvement in getting the Chamber’s electronic sign approved while serving as their Treasurer and then President after Glenn Cunningham’s departure, were also appearances of a conflict of interest, as the city’s of newspaper of record then reported, as well.”

Ed. Note:
I have always been amazed that this city’s leaders will do nothing to avoid appearances of conflicts of interest.

THIS IS THE KIND OF COUNCIL THAT YELM CITIZENS HAVE AS THEIR REPRESENTATIVES, ALL IGNORING AN APPEARANCE OF A CONFLICT OF INTEREST!


December 27, 2011

THANKS GO TO TONIGHT’S DEPARTING COUNCIL MEMBERS

While I do not agree with many of their votes on our town’s issues, I do acknowledge Council members Don Miller and John Thompson, who will preside at their last council meeting tonight and retire from their positions.
I am a strong supporter of public service and applaud them for stepping up-to-the plate and wish them well in their future endeavors.


December 27, 2011

“TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT”
THIS WEEK: Wazzup with the Library purchase?



“TRANSPARENCY IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT”

Timberland Regional Library’s agreement to support the Yelm Library lease ends this Saturday, requiring the City of Yelm to bear the full amount of expenses for monthly rent beginning January 1, 2012. TRL will continue to provide library services and staff.

Wazzup with the Library purchase?
The question remains as to what could be taking so long to get a contract finalized for purchase, given Mayor Harding said the City of Yelm and seller Margaret Clapp agreed on a $1 million purchase price back in April. The public is still in the dark.
Where are Mayor Harding’s regular updates to inform the taxpayers & patrons?

While the Save the Yelm Library group raised $25,000 to add to other contributions of approx $5,000, their Facebook page has nothing to say about the fact that no contract has been shared with the public and HOW the city intends to pay for the purchase. No fundraising goals have been set by the city since no one knows to what terms and at what interest rate their donations for a library purchase are aimed.
Read more

In closing:
Keven Graves is quoted from his November 25, 2005 editorial in the local newspaper:
“We (he & then Mayor-elect Harding) agree that a transparent government is better government.”

Since taxpaying citizens both within and outside of Yelm support the library financially yet do not demand transparency nor answers, the city has no incentive to publicly comment unless necessary.
The lack of transparency and away-from-public Council Executive Sessions have NOT made for better government here.
Perhaps this story here will garner an NVN article with an update on Thursday?

– An unaware and uninvolved public are Yelm City Council’s greatest allies in carrying forth their agenda.


December 26, 2011

JBLM HONORS YELM RANGER WITH PTSD WHO KILLED HIMSELF

The Olympian’s Adam Ashton filed this report:
“Ranger who killed self honored by comrades JBLM”
“Widow gets wish for ceremony now that unit has returned home”

– Michael Prysner, a veteran of the war in Iraq and an anti-war activist, filed this excellent report August 30, 2011, about Staff Sergeant Jared Hagemann, an Army Ranger in the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Ft. Lewis, Wash. who lived in Yelm and was “suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and had been trying desperately to avoid a pending deployment to Afghanistan – what would be his 9th combat tour. He was 26-years-old, with a wife and two young children.”
Read more


December 26, 2011

‘STANDING ROOM ONLY’S’ HOLIDAY SHOW OPENS TOMORROW

STANDING ROOM ONLY presents Stop The World, I Want To Get Off

From the media release:
December 27- January 3: STANDING ROOM ONLY, the Yelm/Rainier Community’s very own Acting Company is now presenting its holiday show!

At the time it was first produced, garnering rave reviews on Broadway, Stop The World, I Want To Get Off, by Anthony Newly and Leslie Bricusse, was labeled a “new style” musical. Now, some fifty years later, it is as fresh and funny as ever.

Within a colorful, circus and mime milieu, this sparklingly satirical show tells the story of one man, Littlechap, and his journey through the tunnels of Love, Laughter, and Life’s Lessons. Stop The World was nominated for five Tony awards, and won best featured actress for its female star, Anna Quayle.

This show has only been revived once, in the 70s. Director Nancy Hillman has both resurrected its unique carnival flavor, and added the blend of charm and surprise for which STANDING ROOM ONLY has become known.

Where: Spiral Caf – 201 Yelm Ave. East

When: 8pm Dec. 27, 28, 29, 30, Jan. 1, 2, 3

All tickets $12. and may be purchased at the Spiral Cafe, Gordon’s Garden Center and the Yelm Food Co-op. It is appropriate for all ages.

Ms. Hillman is assisted in her presentation, as usual, with New York Musical Director Stephen Borsuk and a cast which stars GW Taylor as Littlechap, and features Kellie Petersen, Sarah Brewer, Rachel Martinez, Holly Lehikoinen, Shelby Gebb, Rebecca Bonnett, Kate Morgan, Alexandria Longshore, Mark Carlson, Livvy Coverdale, Olivia Kearns, and Dustin Wood.

BE SURE TO ADD THIS HOLIDAY TREAT TO YOUR LIST!


December 25, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
MAY ALL YOUR DAYS BE MERRY AND BRIGHT…


Mt. Rainier, as seen from Yelm, Nisqually Plaza, December 24, 2011, 4:15 PM
Photo courtesy: Yael Klein

WARMEST WISHES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON FROM THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG TO YOU & YOUR FAMILY!


December 24, 2011

“FRIENDS OF TENINO” WEBSITE IS BACK ONLINE!

“The Friends of Tenino website is back online! This website is meant to be a free informational resource for residents of the City of Tenino and vicinity. The website provides news, city government information, and useful links to local businesses and regional government. There is also a functioning forum feature that will allow any and all to carry on discussions of important or unimportant topics, it is up to you.”
Read more


December 23, 2011

MAYOR HARDING’S COURT DECISION RESPONSE:
A SAD COMMENTARY!


Mayor Ron Harding
gives small-minded response to WA. Supreme Court decision


Megan Hansen reported in today’s edition
of the Nisqually Valley News that Mayor Harding said this of the city’s loss in Knight vs. City of Yelm:
“Bottom line – this decision does nothing more than say that Knight had the right to file a lawsuit and because so, does not have to pay attorney fees.”

However, Harding’s statement is contrary to the Court decision:
Seven justices of the Washington Supreme Court agreed “that the City failed to meet the water availability requirements of state law.”

Indeed, on page 21 of the Court’s decision, the justices wrote:
“Determining whether there are adequate water sources to serve … development is certainly within the public interest the City Council must consider before approving the plat application.”

Further, the justices gave a stunning rebuke to the city’s request for Knight to pay the city’s attorney fees:
“Knight was the only party to improve her position in the superior court.
Moreover, because the superior court did not uphold the City Councils decisionaffirming the preliminary plat approval and finding Knight lacked standingthe City is not eligible for fees under RCW 4.84.370(2). Tahoma Terra and the City were not prevailing parties in the superior court.”

The Court went on to say this about the subject of attorney fees [pg. 25]:
“Finally, the purpose of RCW 4.84.370 is to discourage meritless appeals. Gig Harbor Marina, 94 Wn. App. at 800. In this case, Knight did not appeal the decision of the superior court. A party such as Knight who does not choose to advance the litigation should not be at risk of paying another partys attorney fees.”

The City of Yelm has been put on notice that state law must be adhered. Continuing “to operate the way weve been operating” quoting Mayor Harding from the NVN’s website last week, is no longer an option!

To continue from Hansen’s NVN report:
“The Superior Court decision came down to ‘and/or’ in a hearing examiner’s preliminary approval of the subdivisions, which would bring more than 500 homes into the area.”

“Yelm Community Development Director Grant Beck said the ‘and/or’ was included because some of the sites had binding site plans, but that the city regularly operates showing proof of water at both stages.”

“The approvals were upheld with that change and the city didn’t have a problem with that,” said Yelm City Administrator Shelly Badger.


Oh brother, the back-pedaling here is mind-boggling!

– Beck says “the city regularly operates showing proof of water at both stages” however, the city spent over $132,000 and countless hours of staff time to defend their stand to show proof of water at the building-permit stage and not at the earlier preliminary plat approval.

– And Badger’s comment the city didn’t have a problem with the previous Superior Court ruling is ridiculous.
The City fought Knight’s issue to the tune of over $132,000 plus countless hours of staff time BECAUSE they did have a problem with the ruling.

Further to quote Hansen’s report:
“City of Yelm decided to join the developers involved with the case in appealing the decisions (Thurston County Superior Court siding with Knight) because during the Superior Court case finding the city deemed “offensive and inaccurate” about its water rights were included in the decision.”

You bet they were offensive – even the WA. Dept. of Ecology filed an Amicus Brief in the case supporting Knight’s claims about Yelm’s water rights, or over-pumping and lack thereof, at the time of this case.

“A lot of public time and resources have been spent and we’re in the same place as 2008,” Badger said.

Badger’s statement is ridiculous for 2 reasons:
– The Court denied the developer’s and city’s requests for Knight to reimburse their attorney fees. After the city won the Appeal, they were elated to report they expecting over $90,000 from Knight in reimbursed fees. Yet, Yelm is now out $132,000 plus alot of staff time.

– The Court’s decision cited state law from which the city can no longer sidestep or dance around.
The City of Yelm has been put on notice that state law must be adhered. Continuing “to operate the way weve been operating” quoting Mayor Harding, is no longer an option!
We’re NOT in the same place as 2008!

And last, this Badger quote from the NVN:
“The city’s original preliminary plat approval of the five subdivisions was upheld by Superior Court, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. The city’s process of determining adequate water supply at the preliminary stage was deemed appropriate.”

This is NOT true, Mrs. Badger!
The Supreme Court clearly stated on page 21 of their decision:
“RCW 58.17.110(1) requires a local governmental body to inquire into the public use and interest proposed to be served by a new development and to determine [i]f appropriate provisions are made for . . .the public health, safety, and general welfare . . . [and] potable water supplies . . . .

“Determining whether there are adequate water sources to serve the Tahoma Terra development is certainly within the public interest the City Council must consider before approving the plat application.”

The city did not do that [determining adequate water supply at the preliminary stage], which was the crux of this case (“…is certainly within the public interest the City Council must consider before approving the plat application.”).

THE CONTINUED SUBTERFUGE BY MAYOR HARDING, COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BECK & CITY ADMINISTRATOR BADGER IS NOTED!

Ed. Note:
I was manager for the University of Miami (FL) Football team for 7 season in the 1970’s. At the end of every game, no matter how contentious, the coaches, staff and team managers of both teams shook hands with each other and the victors were duly congratulated.
When I was a Sales Manager and became Regional interim Director for the then-largest airline in the “free world”, when a route award was parceled out by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) after a long fight with another airline, the loser still worked with and collaborated with the winners, right down to the rank and file.

That City of Yelm officials continue to twist the truth to supposedly make themselves look good or for some unknown other reason to suit themselves, demonstrates how small-minded these “leaders” at City Hall truly are. Why can’t they congratulate an area citizen with whom they battled and show their community they can be bigger than their small mindedness?
Where is their grace and humility?

THIS WOULD BE SOMETHING FOR WHICH THIS COMMUNITY SHOULD BE AWARE!

I love this town – however, nothing personal, I just have little respect for it’s government leaders!
Change comes with 2 new Council members in 2013. Let’s hope they will be strong enough individuals to stand tall and have the public’s interest first in their minds, and not always having to cover their own backsides for the city’s agenda.


December 22, 2011

LOCAL AUTHOR MARK REMILLARD PUBLISHES 2ND BOOK –
“SOLAR FLARE SURVIVAL”

Solar Flare Survival: Protect Yourself And Your Electronics From The Sun And EMPs With Faraday Cages.

Mark states, I find new developments fascinating. Is it not one of the most admirable facets of our human consciousnessto wonder, learn, explore, and grow?

Marks book is published under his pen name Mark Remillard:
We now know that the question is not if a major event will occurBut when? Solar Flare Survival first discusses what our scientists have learned so far about the Sun and how it affects our planet. Furthur chapters illustrate how the Sun can, and has in the past wreaked havoc on worldwide national power grids, spacecraft, and electronics.

Key questions are discussed objectively drawing from some of the latest technology and current scientific studies.
– How do solar flares affect the human body?
– Can solar flares trigger earthquakes?
– Is a Faraday cage that has been designed to withstand a geomagnetic storm adequate for an EMP attack as well?
– Faraday cage theory, design and construction for the common man. Where to get current alerts and information about extreme space weather, and how to understand them, quoting the local source for buying Mark’s book, JZ-Rose and their Online Store.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MARK FOR A FABULOUS AND INFORMATIVE BOOK!


December 21, 2011

WINTER BEGINS IN YELM AT 9:30PM TONIGHT

Read more about December’s skywatching from Space.com’s By Geoff Gaherty.

Read more about the Winter Solstice from Life’s Little Mysteries.


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