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Citizens of the City of Yelm now own a library

The Yelm City Council voted unanimously tonight to buy the library condo in Prairie Park for $1 million.

A listing of precedent-setting items that led to this deal:

– Mayor Harding presented his proposal to the Timberland Regional Library (TRL) Board of Directors on April 27th, 2011 for the City of Yelm to purchase the current facility at Prairie Park for $1 million dollars. He told the TRL Board he had not previously discussed the proposal with the City Council [or citizens].

The city’s website states:
“As described in the Yelm Municipal Code and Revised Code of Washington, certain responsibilities are vested in the City Council and the Mayor.”

“The Council acts as a body. No member has any extraordinary powers beyond those of other members. Members of the city Council are collectively responsible for establishing policy, adopting an annual budget, and providing vision and goals to the Mayor and Departments. Policy is established by at least a majority vote of the Council.”

– Mayor Harding said Yelm could only afford a $600,000 library purchase, yet proposed a $1,200,000 condo deal, where current building owner Margaret Clapp gifted $200,000 making the city’s purchase price equal $1 million.

– The Yelm City Council never shared with the public any other buildings other than the current locale that they examined for consideration for the library structure.

– The Yelm City Council added and additional $1,000,000 to the $1 million library bond for a community center without public input, one the city said it cannot staff. Yelm has a center and a second proposed by the Lion’s Club; can the city afford a third?

– With the Library Condo’s appraisal last year and continual drops in property values since, wasn’t the right thing to do, at the very least, was to have requested another appraisal before signing this deal, to protect their citizens from paying too high a price?
Would you now pay $1 million for a structure appraised over 8 months ago with declining property values?

Bottom Line:
While everyone supports a library here, the lack of candor from Mayor Harding on the library purchase has been astounding.

Blogger Klein was a 2004 mayor appointee to the Yelm Library Citizens Advisory Board and selected that Board’s Chair in 2007, serving in that capacity to 2008.

Posted by Steve on June 12, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

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