Yelm Community Center,
site of previous Town Halls.
Photo credit: Yelm Chamber of Commerce
– Editor’s Note:
The city of Yelm should consider adopting a format similar to Tacoma,
“Four town hall meetings with Tacoma City Council members have been scheduled for this fall, the city recently announced. At the meetings, residents can learn about the city’s proposed 2019-2020 biennial budget and share comments with council members,” quoting South Sound Business.
The Yelm city council can schedule their own public Town Halls, seeing how Mr. Foster has held zero Town Halls since being elected mayor, even though he committed to them as interim mayor.
– Story highlights:
* Town Hall public forums are a community investment, as we are all TEAM YELM!
* Prior to 2016, the previous Town Hall here was in 2004 for a proposed NASCAR track.
* Yelm’s first Town Hall in a dozen years was held Nov. 4, 2016.
* Two issues for discussion then: allowing marijuana retailers and food trucks in Yelm.
* A cross-section of the public attended and excellent comments were presented for both issues.
* So successful, Mayor Foster announced that regular public meetings would be returning to Yelm.
* The 2nd Town Hall/Community Meeting was conducted March 27, 2017, focused on Public Safety.
* Yelm’s Community Center has served as a perfect venue for the community’s public forums.
* With no further Town Halls since, Mayor Foster should resume these based on what he said Feb, 28, 2017, supporting “Open Government, best run government,”…reaching out to our community.”
* And Mayor Foster should have an interactive social media platform to interact with his constituents, as his Facebook page is merely for photo ops as if a campaign was underway. Councilors Carmody and DePinto have had interactive Facebook pages with their constituents for years.
– In conclusion:
Outside of political candidates Town Hall public forums, Yelm has not continued having these meetings, yet this is an excellent vehicle for Mayor Foster, councilors, and city staff to engage with the public on issues of mutual interest. The previous public meetings were specifically topic-driven and very successful. New food truck and marijuana regulations were enacted from ideas expressed by the public, in addition to a greater understanding about Public Safety issues exchanged at the 2nd forum.
Whether citizens live within the city limits or in the greater Yelm area, we’re all TEAM YELM, as we shop here, pay taxes here, property owners fund our community schools, library and cemetery, and have a stake in our community. Town Hall public forums led by the mayor with councilors and staff present are an investment in the constituents they serve.
Let’s bring back Town Hall public forums and engage in open and regular dialogue. After all, the sum of our parts is greater than the whole, which creates dynamic synergy for the future of our town.
Click here to express your support for regular Town Hall public forums with the mayor, councilors and city staff.