2015 City of Yelm Councilors up for re-election (Joe Baker, JW Foster, Jen Littlefield) consistently vote unanimously to circumnavigate the process and vote for Mayor Harding’s issues du jour.
I also add candidate Planning Commissioner Terry Kaminski to this group, as she was appointed to the Planning Commission and touted that the city does a great job at the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon and forum on Tuesday, September 8th. Based on her Planning Commission tenure and public stands, she is unlikely to raise any dissenting points of views as a Councilor, nor in support of following the process in the public interest.
I genuinely like each of these individuals, yet they took an oath to uphold City of Yelm laws, statutes and ordinances, which they vote against.
There is NO dissent from this town’s City Council since Councilor Mike McGowan moved out of the area and Littlefield was appointed as a replacement.
Under the 4-year watch of this current Yelm City Council, they all mostly voted in favor of “end runs” around city policies and their constituents’ interests, which these examples cite:
* 2012, all but one Yelm Councilor voted for the golf course water rights litigation pay-out.
On Tuesday, May 8th, 2012, Yelm City Council member Mike McGowan [who resigned due to his out-of-area move, Littlefield appointed to replace him] noted on-the-record that while he agreed with a pay-out for the golf course water rights litigation, he was voting “no” and stated, “I think the public should have the opportunity to comment. McGowan continued, I don’t think they [the public] were properly notified, quoting Megan Hanson in the Nisqually Valley News.
* 2013, Council does an end-run around property tax payers in authorizing $1 million added to library bond, without public input.
The Yelm City Council authorized $1 million in funds be tacked-on to the Library Bond and when the community center bond measure failed on two ballots in 2013, those funds were posted in the 2014 city budget released in late 2013. The key point about this issue is that property tax payers outside of the Yelm City limits also contributed to library revenues and were not consulted on the library bond nor the tacked-on appropriation, which equates to taxation without representation, another end run around the citizens.
* 2014, Council approved an end-run around 2 publicly failed community center votes.
Even though Park Plan/Community Center bonds failed twice previously in 2013, the City of Yelm solicited grant money to build the Community Center on Yelm City Park land without public process. The first grant of $970,000 was authorized to be received by the council in 2014, a second one followed in 2015.
* 2015, Yelm City Administrator position still not posted.
30 year city veteran Shelly Badger gave notice to the city on June 5 her last day in the position would be September 1. Nothing has been publicly posted in the 5 intervening months, almost 40 days after the position’s vacancy. Outside of a Councilor asking the status back in August, nothing has been done on-the-record.
While a citizen’s lawsuit was ongoing, new well construction was authorized by the Yelm City Council?
City of Yelm & Ecology litigant Sara Foster penned this in March 2012, which tells the entire story of what was then-to-come.
“YELM WATER RIGHTS NOT A ‘SLAM-DUNK’”
– Mayor Harding has been attempting ‘damage-control’ from a city council candidate questioning the unused Yelm Golf Course well, which has remained capped and unutilized.
This tells the story from the Nisqually Valley News, May 11, 2012:
“Yelm to pay $151,000 for pair of water rights”
THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG RECOMMENDS A VOTE FOR CARMODY, STILLWELL AND DEPINTO WHO HAVE ALL STATED PUBLICLY THEY WILL NOT VOTE MR. HARDING’S STATUS QUO!
Yelm Blogger Klein has contributed to the campaigns of Carmody, Stillwell and DePinto for Yelm City Council.