- Editor’s note: With the recent resignation of City of Yelm Finance Director Joe Wolfe after he was placed on Administrative Leave under circumstances that have not been made public, the city is yet again being served by City Administrator Michael Grayum in an acting capacity as Finance Director until the city hires a replacement. Grayum is also acting Public Works Director while the current Director is on Administrative Leave this month.
- Joe Wolfe and Yelm’s Senior Accountant Heidi MacDonald were hired with much promise in September 2017. Will MacDonald be appointed to replace Wolfe?
- With Wolfe at the helm, the City of Yelm earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for the first time.
- Wolfe was commended on this blog April 2nd and by the City of Yelm in a news release March 13, 2019, after achieving the designation of a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA).
- A Finance Director of Wolfe’s stature placed on Administrative Leave by city mgt. is a major decision, and this action not being publicly explained was questioned in a blog entry on May 28, 2019. Already hired elsewhere, there has been no public explanation here.
- The replacement for Wolfe will be the third Finance Director during Mayor Foster’s almost 3 years in his position. This leads to many questions as to why the constant and disruptive turnover. Former Mayor Ron Harding had a revolving door of Finance Directors during his tenure, too, with three alone between 2009-2010, and more recently, Harding hired Noah Crocker in late summer 2015, who lasted here almost 2 years!
This story written 2 years ago by former Nisqually Valley News (NVN) reporter Andrew Kollar is almost identical to a news release he could write today in his new job as City of Yelm Communications Assistant:
“City of Yelm in Search of New Finance Director”
“Crocker [now Wolfe] Resigns, City Administrator Grayum Will Serve in Interim”
“Following the departure of Crocker, Grayum will serve as the interim manager of the Financial Department.
“‘The good news is, I don’t feel like the position will be vacant for very long and we have a very highly capable and dedicated team that will continue holding down the fort,’ Grayum said,” by Andrew Kollar, August 3, 2017.
Click here to read Kollar’s report.
Bottom line: In closing, I wish Joe Wolfe well in his new endeavors. I considered his easy-going manner and experience quite an asset for this city and a major plus with his achievements as a Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) by the Association of Government Accountants (AGA), which will be challenging to replicate here.