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Can the chamber director serve their mission, yet execute their oath if a council member?

  • Editor’s note: I have been asked by several readers about an appearance of a conflict of interest with Yelm Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Line Roy’s candidacy for Yelm City Council.
  • Should she win, both positions would require her to be loyal to each of their constituencies: the Yelm Chamber of Commerce members, and the public’s interest in serving all of Yelm. 
  • The City of Yelm has been previously warned twice in the last 15 years by the State Auditor to take all precautions to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • I put this question to Ms. Roy a week ago and have received no response for publication to-date:
If Ms. Roy should win the council seat, how can she adhere to her oath of elective office to uphold the Yelm Municipal Code’s Protocol Manual to maintain the utmost standards of … “fairness in carrying out their public duties; avoid any improprieties in their roles as public servants,” while having the fiduciary responsibility to adhere to the Chamber’s mission to refer chamber members to visitors first above all others?
Should a council member be serving 2 masters? If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
For example, would Ms. Roy refer only Chamber member restaurants to visitors as required of the Executive Director? Or would she refer visitors to non-Chamber member restaurants, too? If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
The Chamber’s Executive Director advocates, coordinates and collaborates developing, planning and executing joint Chamber/City projects and events. If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!   
The city funds a Chamber map annually and certain events during the year, funding requested and accepted by the Chamber’s Executive Director. If elected as a councilor, this is a conflict!
 
This issue was in the news in 2010 when Mayor Ron Harding was selected at the Chamber’s President. Nisqually Valley News Editor/Publisher Keven Graves then wrote, “I believe the ‘perception’ of a conflict of interest can be every bit as damaging as a genuine conflict of interest.”
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From the 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.”

Posted by Steve on October 25, 2021 at 12:31 am | Permalink

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