Yelm council’s 2 vacant seat filled
+ Position 2: Joseph Richardson: “Richardson, 38, is an associate pastor and administrative assistant for an insurance company with a Yelm High School education and minister’s certification. Married and father to one, he has held no public office, but noted he is the Yelm Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors president elect, a member of the Yelm Police Department’s Independent Investigation Team and the committee chair for Young Life Highway 507,” quoting the Nisqually Valley News, July 13, 2021.
+ Position 6: Line Roy: “’I’m really proud to call Yelm home,’ said Roy, who is the executive director of the Yelm Chamber of Commerce. ‘I want to continue to say that. I think my vision for Yelm over the next five, 10 years, is (for it) to continue being a family-friendly, fun place to be. We’re a city that loves to invite tourists. I definitely want to see it grow sustainably and continue to have that small-town feel with all of the amenities that a large city offers,’” quoting the Nisqaully Valley News, October 12, 2021.
- Editor’s note: Line Roy was asked by Councilors Smith and Hess about her conflicts of interest in being a Chamber Executive Director and serving on the council. Roy acknowledged conflicts with anything, however she said is committed to serving the community, underscoring she is an advocate for small businesses.
- The Chamber policy is to refer their members exclusively and to support small businesses.
- However, would the Chamber’s 4 members on the council also be ecumenical in championing large businesses, i.e. a big box store like Target wanting to enter the Yelm market? Or Marriott wanting to open a Courtyard Hotel here, which would compete with the Prairie Hotel? Or AMC Theaters wanting to build a multiplex here, competing with the local theater?
- In addition to Executive Director Roy, 3 council members are in businesses that are Chamber members (Crossman/PTL Hardwood Floors, Kaminski/Windemere Real Estate, Richardson/Yelm Prairie Christian Center). They and Ms. Roy are going to have to be very cautious about even an appearance of a conflict of interest, as these four can be perceived as council’s quorum in their voting block for the Chamber.
- Two Chamber Board members (Ms. Roy & Mr. Richardson), a current member/former Chamber Board member (Ms. Kaminski), and current member (Mr. Crossman) can have the potential to unduly influence the council implicitly.
- And Joe Richardson should have recused himself from voting to affirm Line Roy as a council member tonight, as he is listed on the Yelm Chamber Board.
- There may not have been a thorough due diligence by every city council member on the entanglement of these relationships.
- This city council has now become very conservative in their ideology. Hopefully, they will also be more fiscally conservative and responsible in comparison to the councils of the previous 12 years.