Yelm Community Center
Photo credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce
* Councilor Littlefield seated in Position 3 for the first time.
* Nisqually Tribe member makes plea to city.
* Yelm Cemetery Compliance Officer Betty Kitchen shares new direction.
* (YBA) President Cynthia Schmier: Community Center named for the Wolf Family.
* Councilor EJ Curry’s dropped with a thud – the 2017 budget is “bad”
* “Financialization is Harming Our Economy”
In Interim Mayor Foster’s absence, Mayor Pro-Tem Wood conducted the session:
1. Councilor Jennifer took her seat for the first time. [Mayor Foster had administered the Oath of Office to interim councilor Jennifer Littlefield after her October 11th appointment. That was officially sent to Thurston County and recorded.].
2. Nancy from the Nisqually Tribe spoke about issues in Yelm that need to be addressed.
She outlined how this town of her childhood has changed, bringing many challenges, i.e. growth, traffic, drugs, and more. Nancy turned to Chief Stancil to verify the drug calls to her old neighborhood on Crystal Springs Rd., who confirmed her assertions. She commented there was not one Yelm representative noted at the Paddle to Nisqually celebration earlier this summer and suggested the City of Yelm interact more with the Nisqually Tribe, highlighting over 3,000 visitors came to the Nisqually reservation and contributed to Yelm’s economy. She said there are no honors in Yelm for tribal folks that grew-up here and called this home. Bottom line: more top-of-mind awareness is due about tribal connections and that begins with city leaders. She concluded by emphasizing that afterall, “Yelm” is a tribal word, though pronounced differently.
Councilor Carmody expressed appreciation for her candor.
3. Betty Kitchen, Compliance Officer of the Yelm Cemetery gave an excellent presentation on how the Board has taken steps to move beyond the past lack of compliance and is on a new course. Invited all to come visit and walk the beautiful grounds. Introduced new brochure, more services, and newsletter.
4. Yelm Business Assn. (YBA) President Cynthia Schmier presented a YBA Board request naming the Community Center for the Wolf Family. Schmier said the YBA had not received any response to their June 2015 proposal nor follow-up letter request to name the facility for former Mayor Kathy Wolf. Councilor Joe DePinto committed this would be placed on the council’s agenda to discuss at a Study Session, and that the city would get back to the YBA with an answer this time.
5. Councilor EJ Curry’s dropped a statement in her councilor report that brought a long pause – she said she served on the committee that reviewed the budget and that this looks bad for 2017. That was all that was said. The public should be prepared to hear more on this in the future.
– This article is pertinent to Yelm’s budget woes –
“From Higher Education to Water Treatment, Financialization is Harming Our Economy”
“One of the standout features of our increasingly financialized economy is a systemic disinvestment in public goods such as infrastructure and education. As the finance sector hoards the wealth our economy produces, wages stagnate, corporations and the wealthy avoid contributing their rightful share in taxes, and money and power coalesces at the top, revenues at all levels of government have declined.
Correspondingly, we have witnessed a turn to austerity measures including big cuts to the budgets of the entities that provide vital public goods, from water to public education. This is no accident- it’s a feature of a rigged economic system in which austerity is the price most of us pay for the wealthiest to get even wealthier,” by Carrie Sloan, Roosevelt Forward.
Note: We’re seeing this in Yelm with our water/sewage plant, as an example. The city of Yelm MUST come to grips in 2018 to decide how to fund an upgrade in this Public Works area, to handle the system being stretched to capacity by the growth here, Harding’s legacy (unbridled growth without infrastructure investment).