SELAH, WA - On Wednesday, Selah Mayor Sherry Raymond announced City Administrator Donald Wayman was released of his duties. This decision came after a private meeting on Tuesday between the city council, City Attorney Rob Case, Mayor Raymond and Donald Wayman.
I reached out to everyone involved in the Tuesday meeting, but did not hear back about why Wayman was fired. I did however get a statement from the mayor which said:
"As of May 25, 2021 the Selah City Administrator Donald Wayman has been released of his duties. The city of Selah is determined to nurture our close, safe community in the best way possible; we are confident the leaders in the city will continue to serve in their capacity."
Wayman was involved in a number of controversies during his time as city administrator, the most recent being his comments about the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) calling the activists "communists" among other things.
Selah Alliance for Equity (SAFE) also recently filed a lawsuit against him and Mayor Raymond for freedom of speech violations.
The group put up BLM and "remove Wayman" signs around the city, which Raymond and Wayman are accused of removing in their full capacity as city officials and selectively enforcing the removal of signs they disagree with.
SAFE Organizer Anna Whitlock said SAFE tried to communicate their concerns with the city before bringing a lawsuit but they were unsuccessful.
"The lawsuit really felt necessary to try to get that to stop because it's not fair to us and it's really not fair to anybody in the community because they can just pick and choose and really it could happen to any person no matter what they believe," Whitlock said.
Whitlock also said the removal of Donald Wayman could be a good thing for the Selah community if the mayor's statement is genuine.
"Don Wayman's removal from his position I think is hopefully this is a positive change and that the city is now going to take the time and invest in things like racial equity training and realize there were issues with silencing the voices of black and indigenous and individuals and people of color," Whitlock said.
We don't know if one of the controversies Wayman was involved in led to his termination at this time, but we will continue investigating. I did reach out to Wayman, but have not heard back.