The City of Yelm, 2011 Year-In-Review –
a selection of issues from City Hall with a few added city highlights:
– City’s case against citizens dismissed.
The Smiths are a military family and had intentions of settling down in Yelm.
The family is unable to move into the completed home because the city will not issue a certificate of occupancy without the installation of a booster pump, a pump the SE Thurston Fire chief said was not necessary….
Read more of the Smiths’ response.
– More pain from Thurston Highlands
“A Mercer Island couple has obtained an $18.2 million judgment against local lender Thomas Hazelrigg III in connection with a 5,000-home development that was planned for the city of Yelm, in Thurston County.”
– Family devastated by water sale
Highlights of the results of a mayor & city council who went after one of their own citizens in seizing water rights, which has left them ‘devastated”.
Read more from the McMonigles.
– The 2010 Census shows Thurston Countys fastest-growing city was Yelm, which saw its population jump 108 percent from 2000.
– Mayor Harding responds to the more than doubling of the population, where Yelm was dubbed “Thurston Countys fastest-growing city”:
“I know some will look at these numbers [the population growth doubling here in the last 10 years] and think that our population growth is a bad thing, considering more traffic, larger schools, increased service demands and cost. This may be true, but a growing population also provides the ability to build new roads, schools and provide services not currently available.”
– Yelm’s City Council restricts summer irrigation on local businesses for a 2nd year in a row.
– Mayor Ron Harding presented a plan to the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Board of Directors where the city would purchase the existing library space on the 2nd floor of the Prairie Park Building for $1.2 million dollars through a 20-year bond, with a $200,000 reduction in cost to $1 million by the building’s owner. TRL would pay the annual O & M expenses (up to $37,000 per year) through the bond’s term. TRL conditionally accepted the proposal.
Mayor Harding admitted to TRL’s Board he had not presented the proposal to his own City Council.
– Yelm Medical Plaza opens
– The Washington Supreme Court conducted a live hearing on Thursday, May 26 in the case of Knight vs. City of Yelm.
– Tacoma News Tribune editorial writer Cheryl Tucker published an editorial in Inside Opinion June 9 titled Knights water war with Yelm is one worth fighting.
– Nisqually Jail concerns expressed to County Commissioner
– Naming of Wal-Mart Blvd. raises eyebrows as a “bad idea” and sets a precedent.
– Washington State Auditors Office says the Yelm Cemetery District superintendent misused funds.
– Mayor Harding returned with city staff from a seminar back east on emergency preparedness and wrote a glowing column in his monthly newspaper report, yet the public has not seen nor heard anything since then to assist this city’s constituents in preparing for an emergency.
– Yelm in national news for crime – again, calling for the question, “What is happening here?”
– Yelm Community Schools (YCS) tour kicks off campaign for YCS Replacement Levy awareness ahead of February, 2012 vote.
– A firestorm from the local newspaper over SE Thurston Fire Chief’s retirement and Yelm Fire’s budget challenges.
– The city received a very generous donation of $25,000 from fundraisers by the Friends of the Library, bringing the total amount in the city’s Library Building Fund to $30,000, far short of the $400,000 needed to bring the city’s debt burden for the structure down to the Mayor’s stated, affordable cost of $600,000. There have been no set goals nor direction from the city on what amount needs to be raised by the public.
– Homeless issue brings Yelm Community Services into the limelight for their efforts in helping the needy here.
– Council member Don Miller retires his seat after 20 years, saying he never had to run a campaign to be on the city council, never raised a dollar and always ran unopposed, and added he “does nothing.” John Thompson retired his seat after 10 years of service.
– Timberland Regional Library’s agreement to support the Yelm Library lease ended December 31, 2011, requiring the City of Yelm to bear the full amount of expenses for monthly rent beginning January 1, 2012, with NO word from Mayor Harding as to the status of the proposed library facility here. TRL will continue to provide library services and staff.
– A stunning 7-2 Supreme Court decision for JZ Knight last week against the City of Yelm, Mayor Harding says the city will continue “business as usual” even though the Supreme Court said the city must adhere to state laws.