[This post was written by Steve Klein.
– #1 below – Klein is a former Mayor appointee to the Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board and subsequently that Board’s chosen Chair.
– # 2 below – Klein and his wife Yael are annual donors to the Yelm Community Center holiday food distribution program.
– # 3 below – Klein and his wife Yael are property owners in the City of Yelm.
– # 7 below – Klein is employed as the Event Services Manager for JZ Knight and Ramthas School of Enlightenment.
– # 8 below – Klein and his wife Yael are contributors to the SE Thurston Fire Authority.
– # 11 below – Klein was a 2005 mayoral candidate and gifted his traffic plan to the citizens of Yelm in full-page newspaper ads in December, 2005.]
This was posted by a reader in the Nisqually Valley News online edition:
“Growing up in Yelm, there was a time when you knew everyones (sic) name and they knew yours. I would walk from Clearwood to Yelm and get rides from lots of people. I never was scared or worried because it was a small town and it was safe. Now you have what you wanted a big town with big town problems, which is why I no longer live in Yelm but another small town.”
As discussed here previously, Mayor Harding can tout all of the physical things the city has done to make improvements, like new sidewalks, a partial bypass, Prairie Trail, etc., however one thing sorely missing in this town is the city’s attention to their people’s issues, as shown by the comment above.
Additionally, the mayor’s vision for growth continues unabated. Indeed, he said in his State of the City Address that just six weeks into 2012, Yelm already doubled its anticipated building permits for the year. City Council member Mike McGowan crowed last night about the Salmon Run Apts. ground breaking ceremony tomorrow for 40 new apt. units on Vancil Road, bringing more traffic, people and growth directly into Yelm’s urban core, regardless of the fact that they are low-income apts (is this for low incomes?
From the NVN:
“There are two one-bedroom units that will be priced as low as $479 and a couple four-bedroom units that will cost $751 and $959 per month, respectively.”).
Mayor Harding was quoted in the Nisqually Valley News Feb. 24th:
“Any jurisdiction’s job is to improve the quality of life for its residents.”
Yet, Harding has still unaddressed these social issues:
1. The over $1 million debt on a $1 million library-purchase bond
2. The cost of another Community Center structure, when this city already has an outstanding Yelm Community Services facility, suitable for all sorts of public activities. Why doesn’t the city promote it?
3. Utility rate increases for Yelm property owners, again: sewer increase of 5.4%, water rate increase of 8.25%.
4. Continued drop in median home prices.
5. South Sound home values declined again in 2011, 6%
6. The intense demand on local food banks from our friends and neighbors.
7. The City spent almost $300,000 in taxpayer money and lost a water case in Wa. State Supreme Court last year, brought by JZ Knight. Seven of nine Court Justices sided with the Thurston County Superior Court opinion that the city appealed. This impact will not be addressed.
8. Potential cutbacks at SE Thurston Fire Authority.
9. Burglaries and crime continue unabated.
10. Forecast continues with slow economic growth
11. Yelm’s number one issue: Traffic
Entries posted here many times over the last 6 years that Yelm Ave. traffic can not be properly handled without its eventual widening. Ask anyone commuting home after 3pm any afternoon through Yelm, especially Thursdays & Fridays.