Photo: City of Yelm
* Councilor Carmody noted there was a change to city attorney, prosecutor,
* There was no open bidding process on these posts’ changes as required by law,
* The city council was not provided an opportunity to vote on these changes,
* Carmody called on this to be resolved by Court session on Thursday morning.
* Finally, council takes mantle as Legislative branch checking Executive branch.
– Editor’s note:
In the most clear, concise and direct manner I have ever witnessed from a Yelm councilor in almost 30 years here, Councilor Molly Carmody provided the required checks and balances of a councilor’s position to the Mayor and City Administrator concerning a change that occurred over a month ago in the city attorney and city prosecutor without public notice or council input.
Carmody properly noted Yelm’s Attorney and City Prosecutor Agreements are with the law firm Bean, Gentry, Wheeler & Peternell, PLLC, (BGWP) and not with BGWP’s former attorney Brent Dille, who is now serving the city in both positions from his own law firm.
+ She pointed to RCW 39.26.120 “Competitive solicitation” which states, “all purchases of or contracts for goods and services must be based on a competitive solicitation process.”
+ Carmody noted there was no public bidding process when the city changed attorneys from Bean, Gentry, Wheeler & Peternell, PLLC to Brent Dille, and without the authority of the city council.
+ She said a vote now to renew the contract with BGWP or Dille violates Washington law, that these positions must be put out for bid.
+ Carmody added this places the council and city in a potentially compromised position, especially when the Court convenes Thursday morning, if there is no properly contracted prosecutor present.
+ Carmody requested this be resolved by then. Mayor Foster said we respect Carmody’s opinion, though disagree, however this WILL be resolved by Thursday morning.
+ In Harding-esque style, Foster provided
1. no explanation to Carmody and the council as to why this occurred nor
2. how this would be resolved in less than 36 hours, nor
3. why he disagreed with Carmody, nor
4. what steps he would take to ensure this does not happen again, though did form a new council committee to become educated on procedural issues.
+ Councilor DePinto added that following proper procedures is required for full transparency in the public process.
Click here for Councilor Carody’s transcript of her statement to council.
BRAVO to Councilors Carmody for raising this issue, Councilor DePinto for his comments.
This is exactly how city government is supposed to work.
The Council is responsible for the Mayor and City Administrator following the laws of this state and the city, as described in the oath given to the newly elected mayor and councilors last night, which they vowed to uphold.
The days of a complicit council to a mayor’s whims are over in this city and that was very obvious as Mr. Foster took his seat for the first time last night as an elected mayor.