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Response to NVN’s Graves’ Op-Ed on TRL Yelm Library’

Nisqually Valley News Keven Graves in his Publisher’s Column today misses the mark:
“[TRL’s] Executive director’s firing is not unwelcome”

Whatever issues Graves had with former TRL Director Crose, nor the reasons for Crose’s firing, had any bearing on the poor handling and lack of public disclosure which Yelm and Mayor Harding handled their contractual responsibilities for providing a library building in their city.

– I can tell you this from experience going back 7 years on this issue when I was then on the Yelm Library Board Citizen’s Committee and subsequently their Chair. I invited then-TRL Manager of Administrative Services Crose here in Fall, 2007 to discuss with the Board the library’s future. The Yelm Library Board filed an official report to the Yelm City Council on March 25, 2008. Mayor Harding dragged his feet and kept expecting TRL to contribute to a Yelm library purchase, which TRL always declined citing Yelm’s contractual responsibility to do so. Harding even asked Thurston County to join in paying for a Yelm Library, who also referred him to the city’s contractual agreement to provide one. Harding then threw a “Hail Mary pass” with the $1 million library condo purchase presented to the TRL Board in Spring, 2011, without prior consultation with the Yelm City Council.

Graves himself said in his April 4, 2008 NVN op-ed titled “It’s not too early to plan for Yelm library’s future”,
and that, “It may be a wee bit early to sound the alarms, but it is a good idea for the city of Yelm to start thinking about the future of the Yelm Timberland Library.”

– Mayor Harding always said the city could afford to spend up to only $600,000 on a library facility purchase.
That was also discussed on TRL Board member Emmett O’Connell’s blog April 21, 2011, with Harding wanting TRL to split the $600,000 cost.
Subsequently, Harding agreed to Yelm alone purchasing the $1 million library, and finally to a $2.275 million library bond that includes a $1 million community center and capital improvements.
How is that? HMMM!
Where was the city’s honesty with the public on this?

– Graves Asst. Editor Megan Hansen reported last week on the council’s library purchase agreement postponement:
‘”Wording in the contract wasnt quite right,’ Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said. ‘Two weeks wont hurt us.'”

The Library contract for city council approval is NOT on the agenda for the next meeting April 10, 2012, as well, so we will pass the mayor’s two-week acceptable delay for a library bond to be presented for council approval.

Bottom Line:
– This city has a history of not being trusted about the library purchase.

Yelm Community Blogger Klein was a 2004 mayor appointee to the Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board and selected that Board’s Chair in 2007.

Posted by Steve on April 6, 2012 at 6:15 am | Permalink

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