+ Councilor Curry aggressively challenged Councilor Carmody’s residency at Tuesday’s Study Session.
Video here start at 53:00
+ Curry used conjecture from Carmody’s public posts to surmise she was not living in Yelm.
+ Curry quoted page 47 of the Yelm Protocol Manual when there is “credible evidence that a Council
Member has, or may have, engaged in knowing and/or willful action or omission that constitutes failure to adhere to the provisions of this Protocol Manual,” which requires calling a hearing.
+ Councilor Curry accused Camrody of willful omissions. However, Camrody has been very public for several weeks on social media about the purchase of a fixer-upper house in Chehalis for the future.
+ Carmody emphatically denied she was living anywhere other than Yelm, and was in accordance with protocols.
+ Curry admittedly did not thoroughly research her allegations and was “not sure” of the residency requirements.
+ Mayor Foster agreed to reach-out to the city attorney and report back, suggesting a sub-committee may be formed to investigate. Of course, Foster’s fervor for investigating this case was in stark contrast to not initiating a third party, independent investigation when allegations surfaced against City Administrator Grayum. Indeed, he did not authorize an investigation into Grayum until months after allegations surfaced and publicly pressed by the Union and council.
+ Curry wanted to proceed by removing Camrody to “start looking at applications” to replace her if Carmody has moved, and she stated she has not.
+ Editor’s note: With what has been called The Cabal in Yelm losing their dominance after 20 years in the mayor’s seat and on the council, was this merely an attempt to dislodge a sitting council member so Foster would be in a position to appoint The Cabal’s council pick before his term ends at the end of year? hmmm.
+ Councilor Camrody’s response is quoted below, with the response from the Office of the Thurston County Auditor.
Council member EJ Curry asked when I was going to resign. I want to set the record straight here. A few months ago, I sold my house like many folks, to take advantage of the real estate market. My husband and I asked the city if we could live upstairs in our office building (inside the city limits), and we were told that if we slept there a few nights a week, it would be okay, until we figured out a solution. We went on a hunt for a house that we could love, and decided to buy an old fixer-upper in Chehalis. To be clear, the Chehalis house needs a LOT of work. We can’t move in there, at least permanently, until we do some major renovation. We CAN spend a few nights a week there, and do, on a mattress on the floor of the living room. In the interim, though, we’ll be spending 4+ nights/week in our camper which is parked in city limits, with the approval of the city. I double-checked with the Thurston County Auditor, who is in charge of elections and residential requirements; they specifically said that as long as I am sleeping in Yelm for a majority of the time, I’m fine. I could literally sleep on a bench inside the city limits and still be considered a resident of Yelm. There is NO requirement that I either maintain a lease or own a home in Yelm. (For what it’s worth, prior council member Tad Stillwell sold his house and then lived with his daughter for over a year while his out-of-limits house was being built… and yet not one council member asked when he was going to resign.)It’s interesting that Mayor Foster was so quick to jump into an “investigation” of my residency, when he himself is so incredibly shy of ethical. Actively avoiding discussion and emails regarding City Administrator Michael Grayum’s alleged sexual misconduct, and trying to hide those emails, according to Nisqually Valley News’ public records request and subsequent article, is inherently dishonest and attempts to deflect public attention.This blatant attempt to deflect attention from his own investigation and that of his closest employee Grayum is shameful and dishonorable. That being said, I will continue to work for the City in my position. I work very hard and am very dedicated to my home for the past 10 years. I’d love to end my term knowing that I did all that I could for the City of Yelm.
Response from Yelm Blogger Steve Klein:
“Yes, this IS disappointing. I was watching the study sesison live and the vitriol exhibited by counil member Curry towards councilor Carmody was intense. If only Curry would have spoken up during her 2 terms as pssionately on issues that serve the public’s interests The timing of this was suspect, as councilor Carmody explained. The 20 year influence of what has been termed The Cabal in Yelm will sunset at year’s end, not soon enough I say. Then we can thank Foster, Curry, Wood & hopefully Grayum for their service and wish them well. I appreciate Molly’s research on this issue and candor with the public.”