Tonight’s Council Agenda has several critical omissions
The balance of the three public council sessions for 2019 are this evening, Nov. 26 just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday, and December 10th, as the Christmas Eve council session on Dec. 24th will be cancelled.
However, not on this evening’s agenda are critical items that must get handled:
- The council is REQUIRED by city ordinance to have an “action item” from Mayor Foster to authorize the $363,375 Splash Park cost overruns in the budget. Councilor Carmody requested this item on August 13, 2019, and to-date, the motion has not been brought before the council for the discussion and vote.
- The Public Works Department has an interim leader after the abrupt resignation of Director Chad Bedlington. The Nisqually Valley News reported that Interim Public Works Director Stephen Clark is in his acting capacity from the Prothman Company, the city’s executive recruitment firm. Bedlington resigned effective October 1st and to-date, the position has not been posted as open on the city’s Human Resources page. And the city council has not seen the contract of the salary and length of term in hiring the interim replacement. Yelm needs to be openly seeking a full time Public Works Director at this critical juncture!
- The city has also had an Interim Finance Director since Joe Wolfe resigned after being placed on administrative leave April 8th after an accusation, which was investigated where the results were inconclusive. This blogger had reported previously that the city would probably promote Wolfe’s former co-worker Heidi MacDonald to that position. MacDonald’s 6-month probationary period is almost up, so I expect the city administrator will slip MacDonald into this post, however will the council be publicly consulted? Wolfe being forced out followed by the city placing his colleague as Interim and perhaps full time Finance Director has had an unsavory public perception.
- On December 29th, the City of Yelm will hold the deed on 640 acres the mayor signed by contract in lieu of the deed holders’ foreclosure, without required council approval, unless something changes. If that occurs the city will also be responsible for the over $1 million of debt associated with the land. Is the budget ready for this debt burden?
- Public Works requires approximately $27 million in deferred maintenance upgrades, plus a city administrator-recommended $350,000 in emergency contingency funding. How is all of this to be funded?
- The status of the Yelm Loop completion and grant funding if I-976 passes is of concern to the city, as official Andrew Kollar publicly expressed. Why is this not in the council’s agenda?
Bottom line: The City of Yelm has some serious issues that continue to not be publicly addressed!
“City’s Revenue and Expenses on Par with 2019 Budget and Council Approves Resolution to Establish a Budget Schedule”
- Editor’s note: This budget analysis is only through September 2019, and does not mention the city used funding appropriated elsewhere to underwrite the Splash Park cost overruns and how those will be recovered.
“The City’s 2019 revenues and expenditures are on track with the 2019 budget through September, according to a staff report by Interim Finance Director Heidi MacDonald. Finance updates, similar to the one in this report, will be made available on a regular basis after Council unanimously passed a resolution to develop a budget calendar,” by the City of Yelm. Read more