City of Yelm letter causing a Facebook firestorm
Photo credit: White Horse Tavern
After Mayor Harding’s non-anonymous business survey letter last week, another letter from the City of Yelm has drawn unprecedented “views” from Facebook responders, prompting Mayor Harding to post a statement at midnight last night:
From Ron-Myrna Harding post on FB:
“Ok folks, this is Mayor Harding. Just to let you know I did not send the letter in question. I just learned about this tonight and have checked into the situation a bit to try and understand what may have prompted this.
I believe the letter is being misinterpreted to be something other then what the City staff had intended. This letter is not a fine or citation of any kind. The letter is not anti-American or anti-Patriotic in any way. The letter does not say to remove any banner or flags.
I attempted to contact the Owner and let him know to disregard this letter until further notice so I could have time to fully understand the details behind the issue, however he has been unavailable.
I hope this will ease concerns.”
No, this will not ‘ease concerns!’
I don’t care what Mr. Harding says, this is from the city’s Community Development Dept., happened on his watch, and is totally consistent with his management style, as reported here for almost a decade.
How many fingers does he have to plug all of the holes in the city’s dike?
All of his policies are coming home to roost – and this one he can’t blame on “Steve Klein bashing!”
– Commenters have called for the ACLU to get involved,
which would not be unprecedented in Yelm, since the ACLU brought the city into national headlines in 2005:
“ACLU Challenges Yelm City Council’s ‘Speak No Wal-Mart’ Policy”
Read more from KOMO-TV 4 in Seattle.
– Yelm Municipal Code referenced
The intent of this chapter is to provide minimum standards for the number, size, design, quality construction, location, electrification and maintenance of all signs and sign structures, and to preserve and improve the appearance of the city. A sign is any communication device, structure, or fixture that is extended to aid an establishment in identification, and to advertise and/or promote a business, service, activity, or interest. (Ord. 995 § 12 (Exh. A), 2015).
The following are exempt from the regulation of this chapter.
A. The flag, emblem or insignia of a nation or other governmental unit or nonprofit organization, subject to the guidelines concerning its use set forth by the government or organization which it represents.
White Horse Tavern is clearly posting a banner with “The flag, emblem or insignia of a nation (our nation).”
18.62.040 Temporary signs.
A temporary (nonpermanent) sign is intended to be displayed for a limited period of time only. Temporary signs include, but are not limited to signs, banners, pennants, valances, and flags (except as exempted), searchlights (provided the beam of light does not flash against any building or does not sweep an arc of more than 45 degrees from vertical), balloons or other air- or gas-filled figures or advertising display, and sandwich board or sidewalk signs.
C. Special Events. Events for businesses and organizations include sales or other business activities, circuses, carnivals, festivals and other similar events. Temporary signs are allowed on premises only, for a period of 14 days at a time, limited to four times per year, and must be removed at the end of the 14-day period. Temporary signs shall not be larger than 20 square feet. Sandwich board signs shall not exceed two and one-half feet by four feet.
White Horse Tavern clearly has a banner for the special events surrounding Yelm Prairie Days and Independence Day July 4th. Perhaps the city can show SOME leniency in that their flag banner is larger than 20 sq feet.