– Jennifer Littlefield appointed to Yelm City Council tonight.
Littlefield is a former 2009 Yelm City Council candidate and 2011 Mayor-appointed Planning Commission member, who was also appointed by Mayor Harding in a tie-breaking vote over candidate Tad Stillwel for Mike McGowan’s vacated City Council Position 4 tonight.
Littlefield ran against Tracey Wood for the vacated Position 5 Yelm City Council seat in 2009, losing by only 47 votes.
– Mayor Harding casts City Council’s tie-breaking vote.
This vote between candidates Littlefield and Yelm Farmer’s Insurance Agent Tad Stillwell finds the community again stung to witness yet another conflict-of-interest by Mayor Harding, this one so blatant because the mator’s wife Myrna works for the firm of Littlefied’s husband, Littlefield, Siminski & Co., P.S. I am elated a woman is returning to the all-male Yelm City Council, since Pat Fetterly retired at the end of 2009. I applaud Littlefield for her service to the community in her 2009 Yelm City Council campaign and her work on the Yelm Planning Commission, however this issue is not about her.
– Harding should have recused himself from this vote!
As former Nisqually Valley News (NVN) Publisher/Editor Keven Graves so aptly said on June 18, 2010 involving Harding when he was both mayor and Chamber President:
“As mayor, Harding has the potential to knowingly or unknowingly ‘grease the skids’ for the chamber in this process. [placement of a Chamber sign on public, city property]”
“I believe the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest can be every bit as damaging as a genuine conflict of interest.”
– Editor’s Note:
If Mr. Harding is to be trusted by the voters in his quest for higher political office, he is going to have to cease practices that are not in the public’s interest. While his actions may go unchallenged in his “Yelm Fiefdom,” this kind of action will not play well for him in a county or state position.
Harding had been previously instructed in 2013 by the State Auditor that he should have “bent over backwards” to prevent any and all appearances of a conflict of interest.
In his current Business School studies, perhaps a retake of a Business Ethics class is in order.