Thanks to Councilor Tad Stillwell requesting that public comment restrictions to council be officially deleted, city of Yelm Staff will receive directives from the October 3rd Study Session to verify the removal procedures restricting public comments at Yelm City Council sessions:
– Written on every City Agenda and Council meeting comment card:
Please complete a blue speaker’s card and present it to the meeting recorder.
Comment topics should not appear elsewhere on the agenda.
Time (three minutes per speaker) and the number of speakers (five)
are limited and may be adjusted to meet agenda requirements.
Click here and see notation at top of agenda.
– Yelm’s city council enacted this public comment restriction in 2005
along with voting to prevent public comment at council meetings on “Wal-Mart” and “Big Box Stores,” which garnered international attention here, plus drawing the ACLU and other civil rights groups. Yelm’s City Council received the egregious Jefferson Muzzle Award in 2006 for such a despicable act against Free Speech. Mr. Harding was then Mayor Pro-tem, became mayor in January 2006 and enforced the council’s rule “Comment topics should not appear elsewhere on the agenda” with rare exceptions during his tenure, and that rule has stood on council agendas and public comment cards since. The council’s “Wal-Mart” and “Big Box Stores” restrictions need to also be removed!
Click here for info about the Muzzle and the issue of addressing the council.
– The Council’s egregious “Moratorium on moratoriums” to the public should also go!
On April 13, 2005, Yelm area resident Bill Hashim asked the city council to enact a moratorium on any further building in Yelm until the Critical Area’s Update could be completed – a moratorium that would have placed the then-proposed Wal-Mart Superstore approval process on-hold until more study and compliance with the Growth Management Act (GMA) Hearings Board could be accomplished.
So outraged was the city council at the continuing public outcry about a Wal-Mart to be built here, and especially from the group “Protect Yelm,” then City Council member Bob Isom (soon to become new Mayor Harding’s Pro-tem) immediately motioned for a “moratorium on moratoriums” and at a following council session, they passed a resolution that the words “Wal-Mart” and/or “big box stores” not be brought before the council again. Council member Joe Baker seconded the motion.
[Quoting the city’s website of the council Minutes of April 13, 2005: “MOTION BY BOB ISOM, SECONDED BY JOE BAKER THAT NO MORATORIAMS (sic) BE IMPOSED AND THAT THE ISSUE NOT BE BROUGHT BEFORE COUNCIL AGAIN. CARRIED.”]