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Councilors grilling Mayor Harding now required –
Yelm interim City Admin. choice raises questions


Republican Gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant,
Yelm Mayor Ron Harding (looking on) given Lifetime Achievement Award.
Thurston Republicans Lincoln Dinner.
February 12, 2016, Olympia.


– Yelm Mayor Ron Harding appoints Bill Brandon as interim City Administrator Bill Brandon.
On Monday, March 14, Mayor Harding introduced his selection for interim City Administrator, Bill Brandon, to staff and councilors at the Yelm Community Center, who began in this post on March 15th. With no public introduction or welcoming from Mayor Harding, as is done elsewhere, the front-page, top-of-fold story in the Nisqually Valley News (NVN) today quoting Harding raised many questions requiring Yelm Councilors to address, as they have a fiduciary responsibility to ask the tough questions about Brandon’s role here:


* The NVN subtitle requires Councilors to address this issue:
“Fircrest Reportedly Fired Bill Brandon in 2011; Mayor Says Turnover Common in Industry”
The Tacoma News Tribune reported that “The Fircrest City Council has fired its city manager. The council voted unanimously to accept a termination, release and settlement agreement with Bill Brandon at a Jan. 14 [2011] meeting.” The public deserves to know why.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!


* Brandon was one of four finalists for the Tumwater City Administrator position in 2009:
The Olympian reported December 24, 2009 that Bill Brandon was not selected as Tumwater City Administrator. The public deserves to know why Brandon was not selected.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!


* The NVN states, “Harding said Brandon’s firing is irrelevant, and he is a temporary employee.”
That is totally ridiculous. Background on anyone hired in the city’s top paying job, on an interim or full-time basis, is VERY relevant!
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!


* The NVN reports Harding “did not do an extensive background check on Brandon.”
That is totally ridiculous. Anyone hired in the city’s top paying job, on an interim or full-time basis, should be required to have an extensive background check conducted!
Mr. Harding touts his business training from University of Washington on his Facebook page, yet as a BBA & MBA graduate, I can assure anyone that a lack of due diligence in hiring a replacement in such a demanding position is not taught at any business school.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!!


* The NVN reports Harding said “bringing Brandon on as interim administrator will help ease the city’s workload.”
How can an interim City Administrator ease the workload being employed on an “‘as needed’ basis until a new City Administrator is selected?”
Yelm needs a City Administrator on-the-job daily, so the Department Heads can exchange ideas, views, and dialogue with a hands-on City Administrator to effectively do their jobs, and to be more free to bring up issues, suggestions and recommendations without the mayor’s intimidation, whether outright or implied.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!


* Harding hired Brandon while he “searches for a permanent person to fill the position.”
If such were the case, Harding would have immediately hired an interim city administrator when Shelly Badger announced her departure early last June, to work with her during her 3 months transition out of the position between June 5-September 1, 2015. Harding has shared nothing on acquiring a professional executive recruitment firm to hire a permanent city administrator, now almost 10 months after Badger gave her notice. Where IS Harding’s intent to appoint a full-time city administrator, if he has any intent to do so at all, required by city ordinance? Harding needs to explain clearly his target date and process for hiring a full-time City Administrator?
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!!


* Harding said an interim city administrator is needed “to free me up….to help with that relief”
Mr. Harding previously told this Blog that he has not taken any additional salary to also perform the duties of city administrator for almost 7 months. The Yelm Municipal Code is clear that a full-time Yelm City Administrator needs to be in this position, not the mayor operating in this role. The Yelm City Council has a fiduciary responsibility to grill Mayor Harding extensively why he is in this function and without pay for 7 months. His answers are not sufficient.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!!


* Harding says an interim city administrator appointment does not require a vote from the city council.
While technically correct, is Yelm going to have Dictator Harding run this city as both Mayor and City Administrator indefinitely and without Council oversight until the end of his term December 31, 2017? Is an interim city administrator who was reportedly in his last temp role as Carson City, Nevada’s Animal Services chief in late 2013-early 2014 suited for this position?
Yelm needs a City Administrator on-the-job daily, so the Department Heads can exchange ideas, views, and dialogue with a hands-on City Administrator to effectively do their jobs, and to be more free to bring up issues, suggestions and recommendations without the mayor’s intimidation, whether outright or implied.
YELM CITIZENS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY MAYOR HARDING IS TAKING THIS ACTION!!


Mayor Harding took an oath of office to uphold the laws and ordinances of the City of Yelm.
A full-time City Administrator is required by ordinance.
This Blogger challenges the Yelm City Council elected to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility to their citizens in asking these questions of Mayor Harding!

Posted by Steve on March 18, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

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