Photo courtesy: National Park Service
Mayor Harding begins 3rd term with usual “Doublespeak”
On this Presidents’ Day 2014, we pause to reflect on the achievements, the honor and integrity of leaders such as Washington and Lincoln. They put the public interests first and foremost: Washington rejected being made a King, Lincoln gave the ultimate sacrifice in sticking to his principles and lost his life.
We all are looking for this kind of leadership, and nowhere is that more important than in America’s local governments. Yes, I have been a critic of many inequities I have seen coming out of Yelm’s City Hall, yet have also been fierce in acknowledging a job “well done.”
The major issue Yelm Mayor Ron Harding has practiced since he came onto the political scene here in the 2001 is his lack of candor with the public, supported by his shifting public statements on key projects. That was clearly demonstrated for new residents and long-time constituents at his State of the City Address last Tuesday.
– HARDING MOVES AHEAD ON COMMUNITY CENTER WITHOUT PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT
Harding reported to those gathered, as reported in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN),
“The city has $1 million from a state grant to complete the community center project, Harding said. The city council has also set aside $1 million for the project.
Because the city would lose the grant money if they didnt move forward with a community center this year, the city council decided to move forward with a smaller community center than they had originally planned.
The community center will be about 5,000 square feet and consist of restrooms, a commercial kitchen, and a large room that can be divided into smaller rooms, he said.
The skate park would be moved across the road from the park in the old public works yard, Harding said. He said the city would engage skateboarders to see what they want in a new skate park.”
Moving forward on this is contrary to what Harding was quoted as saying in the NVN posting on November 7, 2013 after TWO Park Bond initiatives failed:
I think at this point what well do is probably convene a workgroup, maybe of some community members and staff and probably just step back and say, what are our options, how can we best put the limited number of dollars we have to the best use for the community, and what does that look like? he said. I dont want to take anything off the table.
– HARDING TOOK PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT OFF THE TABLE!
WHAT HAPPENED TO CONVENING A WORK-GROUP WITH SOME COMMUNITY MEMBERS?
And, there was no mention how moving ahead on the Community Center would dovetail with the Park proposal.
And Harding’s proposed move of the skate park across the road from the park in the old public works yard, without public discourse, has enraged many property owners nearby, where major feedback will be forthcoming.
We are now well-indoctrinated as we begin our 9th year of Mayor Harding’s “Doublespeak”!
[Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words.]
As per usual, Mr. Harding’s modus operandi, which has become his hallmark, continues –
SAY ANYTHING TO APPEASE AND YET OMIT PUBLIC PROCESS.
Oh, and to you architects out there, you should ask if the City of Yelm posted the bid publicly on planning and design of this smaller down Community Center!
The following letter from well-respected local resident Steve Craig was published in the Nisqually Valley News on Friday, April 12, 2013 and sums-up Harding’s charade: