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* Grayum may have violated Yelm’s Code of Conduct,
* Foster unfaithful to his transparency campaign pledge to staff, council.
* Character counts, integrity counts in our leaders!

File:City Hall in Yelm, Washington.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Yelm’s stone masonry welcome, crafted by Paul Keeslar
Photo: Commons.Wikimedia

Yelm’s Protocol Manual, Mayor Foster’s Campaign Pledge allegedly preempted

  • Editor’s note: A few city council members and readers the last few years have commented that my blog posts can be harsh about Mayor Foster. I can see how folks would think that. However, I have listed the facts with every accusation.
  • Foster has repeatedly preempted his relationship as mayor with his own city council, especially unilaterally signing a multi million dollar contract, without notifying the council for six months until questioned, and over his $35,000 authorization limit. Covered here in-depth on this blog June 26, 2018.
  • While a few councilors have challenged Foster on this contract, there was not a majority to press him on why he did this, nor to censure him. Yet the entire city council took an oath to serve in the public’s interests, not the mayor’s!
  • Now, thanks to the Union coming forward in representing “several women [who] feel they were being discriminated against by [City Administrator] Mr. Grayum, that they felt they were being harassed and working under a Hostile Work Environment,” the council and public learned on Friday, September 17 that Mayor Foster has known about these allegations for some time, and did little, according to the Union.
  • That Foster allegedly did little to protect city staff, one thing is clear: Foster betrayed his responsibility with the city’s legislative branch of government, in keeping from the city council the facts of these multiple allegations and the Union contacts with him. That the Union representative felt she had to send this information directly to the council around Mayor Foster, is indicative of the Union’s desire to have Foster take appropriate action.
  • That Mayor Foster did little to protect his staff amid such allegations violated the Yelm Protocol Manual Code of Conduct Policy.

Union: City Admin. Grayum creates a “Hostile Work Environment,”
Sexual harassment, discrimination alleged by several women,
Mr. Foster has not done enough to address this: Union!

Click here for page one of the Union’s letter to Mayor Foster, Click here for page two.


+ Allegations of a toxic workplace at Yelm’s city hall are not new. “In an interview with the Nisqually Valley News, [former Finance Director] Wolfe said he had been looking for a new job before the investigation began and that the city harbors an unprofessional environment, which he described as “toxic.” Covered here on this blog June 19, 2019.

+ Why did 3 Finance Directors leave under the Foster/Grayum leadership? One of them, Joe Wolfe, spoke of a toxic environment. Foster is now on his 4th Finance Director, which is unprecedented in 5 years. Covered here on this blog February 19, 2021.

+ Nisqually Valley News: Foster said when running for office that his top priority was to “Take care of the employees who take care of Yelm,” in the NVN, October 19, 2017. Why did he not do that here?

+ Yelm Protocol Manual: Chapter 1.04 Section B. Code of Conduct Policy

“It is the policy of the City of Yelm to uphold, promote, and demand the highest standards of ethics from all of its elected and appointed officials. Accordingly, all elected officials, members of all appointed boards, commissions, committees, City employees, consultants and professional service providers are expected to maintain the utmost standards of personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fairness in carrying out their public duties; avoid any improprieties in their roles as public servants; and never use their City position or powers for personal gain.”

+ Nisqually Valley News, March 9, 2017: When Foster was appointed mayor in August he said he wanted to increase public involvement in the city and increase transparency. [Ed. note: While Foster did improve transparency as interim mayor for the year after Ron Harding resigned, his 2017 mayoral campaign commitment for transparency has not carried forth from his interim mayoral stint. That Foster has not been transparent to the Union and his own council about the Grayum accusations, shows his commitment to transparency was merely a campaign slogan.]

+ On the Yelm Community blog of October 24, 2017: “Where I find fault with Foster is in his lack of leadership in standing-up to stop a derogatory comment about [a council member] by another councilor off-the-record yet unaware there was an operating camera on the council’s system. Foster should have been the leader he touts himself to be and immediately put a stop to that kind of attack, both in-public and on his social media pages, yet he “fosters” them instead. [Ed note: This is one of many examples from this blog where Mayor Foster did not immediately intervene in a staff issue. That Foster did not take decisive action in Grayum’s case, leading to the Union’s attempt to get action by going directly to the city council, is consistent with his lack of leadership! ]

Bottom Line:

Personal integrity, truthfulness, honesty and fairness in carrying out…public duties” is the policy of the the City of Yelm!

Character counts, integrity counts in our elected officials and city leaders.

True leaders are honest, have candor and morality, and do the right things for their staffs and constituents.

Posted by Steve on September 22, 2021 at 8:11 am | Permalink

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