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Mayor Harding’s annually announced goal since 2006 at each State of the City address to build a Community Center during his term has now been eclipsed by the recent announcement of the Yelm Lions Club’s proposed youth and community center that would cost an estimated $10 million.

Tyler Huey reported in Friday’s edition of the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) the Yelm Lions Club is “charging forward with plans to build a center” and their board “authorized the establishment of the 501 (c)(3) nonprofit foundation.” Huey reports “millions of dollars to be raised by the Lions through grants and fundraising.”

Editor’s Note:
One HAS to question what is going on in Yelm:

1. Yelm has a quality community center with Yelm Community Services, also supported by donations and tax-deductible funds from the public. I have commented for years why Mayor Harding, city staffers and others always ignore this fact.
And, why hasn’t the Yelm Community Services board not shouted this out!
Click here for Yelm Community Services’ fabulous website.

2. Harding’s newspaper column last week titled “Clearing up confusion on community center” just added more confusion!
Harding said that the city’s community center “could be structured to offer classes that would provide things to do for all ages.”
Harding also told the Nisqually Valley News on February 10, 2012:
“The city wouldnt be able to afford to staff the building.”
The city already provides taxpayer support to the Yelm Adult Community Center with classes for our area’s seniors and now the Yelm Library, which offers a wide variety of programs!

Harding continued saying “The Lions Club model is more of an activity center. Programs like those offered at the city facility could be included.”
“Our goal as a city is to provide an additional community space that can be enjoyed by all, yet is financially sensible for our community and current economy.”

Harding really needs to get a grip & put himself in the shoes of his constituents!
Where is HIS mind in providing something “financially sensible for our community and current economy?”

1. He just spent over 2 million dollars to buy a library condo facility for area citizens to have a place where classes and programs could be offered for all ages. That bond debt is now placed on the backs of city property owners.

2. The Yelm Community Services Center already exists and has been supporting this community since 1971.

3. The Lions Club is going to raise $10 million for a facility?
Harding has previously said in the NVN even the YMCA “realized the city’s model [for a community center] missed the mark compared to the YMCA model in several areas, including population density, facilities, programs and fee structure.”

4. Yelm Lions Secretary Dave Pratt said, “Yelm Community services focuses primarily on social services, so this will flush out the needs of the community.”

How myopic of a comment is that?
Does Mr. Pratt know that the Yelm Community Services center has classrooms, a gymnasium and currently offers several youth and adult programs that have been assets for this community?

We have a very fragile economy and have watched for months as the city grappled with financing the purchase of a way-too-large, less-than-desirable 2nd floor library condo at a cost to Yelm property owners of over $2 million dollars. The community already supports the 501 (c) 3 non-profits in the Yelm Adult Community Center and Yelm Community Services organization and now property owners are expected to pony up for two additional community centers via grants, donations and taxpayer funding?

Please tell us how and why our officials are spending this kind of money like “drunken sailors”?
Why are so many good people going in different directions, which in the end, works against each other?


Posted by Steve on March 21, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

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