Yelm Councilor & mayor heir-apparent JW Foster, left, Mayor Ron Harding,
[Jan. 21, 2015] speak to Army leadership on JBLM potential force reductions.
Photo credit: Steven Wyble, Nisqually Valley News
– Mayor Harding’s Council Agenda 1 hour after he leaves office calls for Interim Mayor vote
* The Yelm City Council must follow state law – Interim Mayor selection is a public process,
* Executive Sessions can not be used in manner Harding prescribes for next Council session,
* Councilor Joe DePinto has made his desire to be Interim Mayor publicly known, none others public,
* The days of back-room deals must end in Yelm with Harding’s departure,
* The interview process must be public, Council has 90 days to interview & chose an interim mayor.
* The Yelm City Council chooses their timeline for appointing an interim mayor, not Harding’s.
– Mayor Harding’s Agenda to appoint replacement at Study Session violates public process
At the Council Study Session of Wednesday, July 27, Mayor Harding announced he crafted an Agenda for the August 9th Council meeting, set for one-hour after he leaves office. He directed Council to go immediately into Executive Session to chose an Interim Mayor from one of the city councilors, come back into public session, vote on the appointee, followed by an immediate swearing-in. This circumnavigates public process.
Click here for the Study Session video, Harding’s Interim Mayor Agenda is near the end.
– RCW 42.30.110 – Executive Sessions [use of]:
“(h) To evaluate the qualifications of a candidate for appointment to elective office. However, any interview of such candidate and final action appointing a candidate to elective office shall be in a meeting open to the public;”
Out-going Mayor Harding should not be directing Council to go into an immediate closed-to-the-public Executive Session.
The RCW is clear on this issue!
– RCW 42.12.070 – Filling nonpartisan vacancies.
The governing body has ninety days to fill the vacancy.
This does not have to be done one hour after Harding leaves office. The City has a Mayor Pro-tem.
– Follow the process, WA State Law – not Harding’s behind closed doors/backroom deals
* RCW 42.12.070 Filling nonpartisan vacancies.
“(1)Where one position is vacant, the remaining members of the governing body shall appoint a qualified person to fill the vacant position.”
Qualifications = 1. U. S. & WA citizen, 2. age 18 and above, 3. elector within the city limits.
– Council should listen to voters’ desires: Transparency, Open Gov’t., Community Involvement
Voters handily defeated 3 incumbent city servants by electing 3 new Councilors in Nov. 2015 who all ran on platforms of Open Government, Transparency & Community Involvement. The time has come for the ENTIRE council to listen to and “hear” their constituents, not just the new councilors, yet the entire council. The winds of change are what the residents want now, and not the same old, tired policies of decisions made behind closed doors guiding the future of this town. Just look at the negative public comments and poll numbers about Mayor Harding to the NVN Facebook post and NVN online poll. The future is now and the council has a responsibility to insure the public’s interests are adhered and no longer their personal agendas for self-aggrandizement.
The Council needs to follow public process the important selection of an interim mayor.
Follow the process.