The Yelm Business Association would like to see the new community center being built at Yelm City Park named after a former mayor.

The association proposes the community center be named “The Kathy Wolf Memorial Community Center” after the woman who served as the city’s mayor from 1993 to 2001.

YBA Executive Director Daniel Crowe read a letter on behalf of the association to the council on Tuesday.

“Kathy Wolf was an outstanding member of the Yelm community and deserves to be recognized for her many years of dedication and contribution to our city,” Crowe read.

Wolf was appointed to the Yelm City Council in 1984 and served as a council member until 1993, when she became the mayor of Yelm, the letter states. She died in April 2007 from cancer.

“As a rapidly growing city, Yelm benefited from her work,” the letter states. “Kathy was instrumental in helping to develop Yelm’s Vision Plan and in making Yelm one of the first cities in Washington to reclaim and reuse 100 percent of its water.”

“The idea is that she hasn’t been honored anywhere else in the city and this is a perfect opportunity for that,” Molly Carmody, a member of the YBA, said Wednesday morning.

Wolf worked hard for the community for many years, she said.

“A lot of the people in the YBA knew her and really liked and respected her and wanted to sort of honor her memory,” she said. “They talked with the Wolf family and the Wolf family said, ‘You know, that’s actually really touching and we would really be honored to have that name come up.’”

Wolf worked as a Yelm elementary school teacher for 37 years and was instrumental in creating a strong remedial reading program and bringing kindergarten to Yelm schools, the YBA’s letter states. She led a Cub Scout troop and was a 4-H leader for the Prairie Wranglers.

She served on several local nonprofit boards, including the Thurston County Fair, the Nisqually River Council, Capital Medical Center, Thurston County Economic Development Council, Briggs YMCA, and the South Puget Sound College Foundation.

Honors she received include PTA Golden Acorn Award, the JT Quigg Trustee Award from the Thurston County Economic Development Council, Yelm Citizen of the Year, Woman of the Year from the Pacific Peaks Girl Scout Council, and the Distinguished Service award from Yelm Community Schools.

Wolf and her husband, Bob, were involved in starting and supporting the Yelm Dollars for Scholars program.

“Indeed,” the letter concludes, “the strong leadership, involvement, and inspiration that Kathy Wolf brought to the Yelm community came at a critical time in Yelm’s history, and for that reason, the Yelm Business Association proudly recommends that the new Yelm Community Center be dedicated in her name.”

Chapter 12.22 of the Yelm City Code designates the procedure for naming a public facility in the city.

One of the criteria is, “An individual who has contributed outstanding civic service to the city.”

The city council designates the names of public facilities, and may choose to make its selection after receiving a written recommendation from any one of the city’s advisory boards, or a specially appointed committee, based on public input from individuals and organizations, the code states. Such written recommendations must state how the proposed names meet the criteria for naming a public facility.

Once a name has been selected for a public facility, it should be bestowed “with the intention that it will be permanent, and changes should be strongly resisted,” the code states.

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