Mayor JW Foster
Photo credit: City of Yelm
– Story highlights
* Yelm Mayor JW Foster calls his title “your full-time mayor,”
* The Yelm Municipal Code (YMC) directs the mayor’s as a part-time post,
* City Administrator is a full-time position to supervise city functions,
* Mayor paid $30,000 + benefits annually, highest part-time mayor’s salary in county,
* City Administrator has a salary range of $110,948-$148,681,
* Is Foster lobbying for a salary increase by continued use of the term “full-time mayor?”
* Or does he want the council to pass an ordinance making the mayor a full-time post,
* Such a move would require the City Administrator position to be downgraded.
* Recommendation: Foster could instead describe himself as “your dedicated mayor.”
* Mayor Foster supports transparency, which requires use of an appropriate description.
– Foster calls himself “your full time mayor” during campaign and since
During last Fall’s campaign for mayor, JW Foster called himself Yelm’s full-time mayor in several events, which drew questions from those that are familiar with the Yelm Municipal Code (YMC). The city’s directive is that the Yelm Mayor is a part-time post, with the City Administrator a full-time position which oversees the city’s daily functions.
Mr. Foster called himself “your full time mayor” yet again at the State of the City.
The local newspaper quoted his statement to which I responded on-line as follows:
“The Yelm Municipal Code directs the Mayor as a part-time position to serve as the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, paid $30,000 annually, reflective of the part-time status. The City Administrator is designated as a full-time position to supervise, administer, and coordinate the activities and functions of the city, with a corresponding salary range of $110,948-$148,681,
according to the 2018 city budget. While Mr. Foster has been calling himself “your full-time mayor” for some time now, perhaps because he chooses to participate in other activities with many not requiring his official attendance as Mayor, yet he takes on that mantle resulting in the use of the term being disingenuous. To provide more transparency, a suggestion would be for Foster to say he is “your dedicated mayor.” Otherwise, if Mayor Foster continues to use the “full time mayor” description, the Yelm City Council should discuss changing the Yelm Mayor to a full-time administrative position and down-grade the City Administrator post.”
– Bottom Line:
While Mr. Foster has chosen to take on all of these duties below, no one asked him to take on so much. While this was necessary to understand city functions when he was thrust into an interim mayor position after Mayor Harding’s sudden resignation, a year and a half later, he should be disseminating many of these roles. This town also has a City Administrator properly remunerated to supervise, administer, and coordinate the activities and functions of the city. Both do not need to participate on these committees.
Committee & Liaison Assignments (from the Mayor’s page)
* Yelm Community & Economic Development Committee
* Yelm Public Safety Committee
* Yelm Public Works Committee
* Yelm Finance Committee
* Vice Chair – Thurston Regional Planning Council
* Member – South Sound Military and Community Partnership, Elected Officials Council
Mayor Foster represents Yelm on the following committees
From the February 13 City Council Agenda
* Yelm Emergency Operations Board
* Community Investment Partnership (CIP)
From Mayor Foster’s Facebook page:
* Thurston County Medic One, part of the Cardiac Arrest Quality Assurance Team
From the Nisqually Land Trust
* JW Foster is President
If Foster is soliciting for more salary and benefits by his continued use of the term “full time mayor,” the Yelm City Council is the forum to address this. Otherwise, use of his mayoral campaign’s slogans are long over.
“With integrity, nothing else counts. Without integrity, nothing else counts”
Attributed to Winston Churchill