– Mayor Harding responds, posted on their Facebook page at 6pm last night:
“Thank you for contacting me about this issue. I have look (sic) into the details surrounding the letter and the violation. Unfortunately the owner of the White house (sic) tavern has misrepresented the circumstances to his face book (sic) group and the City is paying the price.
The letter was sent out to about twenty businesses for violations to our sign code following several residents who complained about violation (sic). Out of all the violators the WHT was the only one that had patriotic colors. The staff member was not thinking about this as he was addressing a larger group of violators and he missed seductions (sic) 18..62.020 which exempts decorations for holidays as well as states the American flag is not a form of advertisement.
Only the first paragraph was shown on face book (sic) but if you would have been able to read the full letter, it showed each business a way they could comply with our sign code at no cost again remembering we were sending this to twenty different businesses. The letter was written not to enforce but assist any business in meeting the requirements.
The owner of the WHT said on his face book (sic) page the City was forcing him to remove the banner, this was not the case, nor did we tell him he would be fined in anyway.
I think what has happened here was a mistake by my staff including his business as a violator and the owner adding some damaging statements to face book (sic) without all the facts and context.
I did contact the owner on Friday and told him to disregard the letter. I hope you will share this information with your contacts (sic)
The bright spot in this situation is that patriotism is alive and well and we can be thankful that people are still this passionate about our county.”
– Another Yelm business owner responds to receiving a letter from the City of Yelm:
Cynthia Schmier shared this with the Yelm Community Blog as one of the 20 businesses to receive the city’s letter –
“I submit from Yelm’s ReMax Country that I am one of the 20 businesses that received a Notice of Correction from John Rowland of Yelm’s Community Development Department.
My box-van has been parked on my property for 10 years and is not placed there for additional advertisement or signage, merely for security. I have spent thousands of dollars due to vandalism and theft of gasoline by parking the company’s van in the rear of my building, for which the police are unable to protect.
I have placed a call and left a message for Mayor Ron Harding to contact me to address this letter.”
Owner/Broker, ReMax Country
Schmier regularly makes this truck available at no charge as a community service to non-profits.
As in the case of White Horse Tavern, “the letter [below] is not an enforcement letter,” quoting Mayor Harding.
Click here for the city’s Notice of Correction.
– From the Yelm Municipal Code:
18.62.030 Prohibited signs.
Prohibited signs are subject to removal by the city at the owner’s or user’s expense, with the exception of a legal nonconforming sign.
The following signs or displays are prohibited:
G. Advertising vehicles, with the exception of the identification of a firm or its principal products on a vehicle operating during normal course of business;”
Why is the city cracking down now? As examples,
* Bill’s Towing has had their truck parked on their property prominent placed for years, formerly with emergency lights on all night,
* State Farm Insurance parks their bar-b-que truck in front of the Rent-A Center store during the day and in a parking lot on Yelm Ave. at nights and weekends,
* Rent-A Center has their truck parked prominently periodically.