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The contract extension was not ready for the Tuesday night meeting and so it was not addressed, however, Mayor Haroon and Chief Domish met later that week to discuss their differences and come up with a resolution.
Granite Falls Mayor Saleem Haroon and Domish have had a history of differences, which became more evident during Haroon's campaign for Mayor last fall. "I met with Tony on three or four different occasions for several hours," Haroon said. The issue now for Haroon seems to be a lack of cooperation with a couple of city council members. At a meeting held on Wednesday, Dec. 30, the council wanted to sign a five-year contract with the police chief but Haroon asked them to give him a chance to review the contract and then perform an evaluation at which time they could renew his contract. "Why should we give him a five-year contract when he has stated earlier that he would not work with me. I would like to review the new contract and do a performance evaluation in 30 days, then bring it to council and act on it," Haroon explained.
Granite Falls Mayor Saleem Haroon is in the process of planning a business conference for all Granite Falls businesses.
Granite Falls Mayor-Elect | Saleem Haroon
Haroon has one of the best memories I have ever encountered and the stories of his past are interesting and amusing. What I found was a man who is honest, up front and has learned tough lessons throughout his life experiences. Haroon, who was born Sheikh Haroon Saleem in Rawal, Pindi, Pakistan over 54 years ago is not exactly who one would imagine to be the Mayor of a city in small town America, but after a heated campaign battle last month, Haroon beat out mayoral incumbent Lyle Romack 61 percent to 35 percent. Haroon was raised the youngest of five children, in a wealthy family and was taught at an early age that hard work and determination are the keys to success. "As kids, we were very fortunate," he said. "We were able to go to really good schools." His family business was in importing and the resale side of glassware, silverware and china. When Haroon was only 12 years old his father's business became financially unstable and he returned from school to work with his father. "We had fallen on hard times, my dad's business took a hit and I started working with my dad instead of finishing college at that time," he explained. At the age of 20, Haroon lost his father suddenly. At this time he took an "internship" position at the Intercontinental Hotel because he wanted to learn the business. After working for the Hotel he decided to take a contract job in Iran where workers were miles from any town and worked in 120 degree heat. His hard work paid off and he was making decent money, but when the work came to a halt because of political reasons within the country of Iran, there was nothing to do except play cards and gamble. "I was always a hard worker," Haroon explained. 'But riots started against the Shaw and everything started shutting down. I lost all of the money I had earned playing cards." After Haroon returned home with no money and out of the goodness of a friend's heart who paid for his bus ticket, he decided to come to the United States. His sister lived with her husband in Rhode Island and a good friend from boarding school invited him to come to San Francisco. After filling out all of the paperwork, all that was left was to find the funds to pay for the trip overseas. "I got ready to come to the United States, now comes the part of where the money is going to come from," Haroon said. After years of working in many restaurants and as a cab driver in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, a first marriage that ended in an immigration office in San Francisco (a very amusing story) Haroon ended up in Western Washington working as a manager at Jack-in-the-Box right after the E.coli outbreaks. After being asked to leave Jack-in-the-Box he moved on to Shari's restaurant. Haroon explains that he would would seven days a week, 17-18 hours a day and that every store he managed ended up becoming more profitable than before he took over as manager. However, he learned that speaking out wasn't always a good thing. "I have been one of those people, all my life, that when I see something wrong I stand up for what is right," he said. "Over the years I've paid my dues." Fast forward a few years to August 2000 when Haroon decided to buy the Timberline Café in Granite Falls. "I fell in love with this town--I've always wanted to live in a small town," he explained. "Everything just fell into place." Now, he employs over 20 people, most of them local. He also enjoys hiring teenagers in his restaurant so he can help them learn a strong work ethic. "I want to educate the youth, get them in the work force and teach them a work ethic," Haroon explained. Six years ago, Haroon was approached and asked to run for Mayor, he declined. Four years ago he was asked and again and declined but after helping to start the Granite Falls Concerned Citizens Association (GFCCA) with two past mayors, attending several council meetings and finding out the results of the city's audit, he felt it was time to throw his hat in the ring. For now, Haroon is looking forward to taking over as the city's new mayor on Jan. 4 and hopes that the citizens will continue to believe in him as their leader. "We believe we ran a very effective campaign and we have some great plans for our city and we're going to have fun," he said. "Unfortunately there are some elements who have not accepted the public's will." As for being recognized as one of the Journal's Most Inspiring People of 2009, Haroon's eyes filled with tears. "I am so honored and very humbled. Never in my life did I think I would get that honor," he said. Haroon and his wife Bushre have an 11-year-old daughter Nida and enjoy their life in Granite Falls.
Mayor Saleem Haroon
Saleem provides balance that the City needs. The truth is emerging about Saleem! "The police officers wrote that a reserve officer's identity may have been revealed while working an undercover drug investigation at the Timberline Cafe, a tavern owned and operated by Saleem." If Saleem knew all along that their was an undercover officer operating in his bar, then who ever told him, is a leak, and huge threat to the safety of the officers. Did Saleem go to the Police Chief and let him know that one of their officers had been compromised? It doesn't sound like it. Instead, we see that Saleem found out about the U/C operation, and rather than getting on board to clean up the city, he is upset because they busted criminals at his bar. Then in an effort to throw off the investigation, he puts the Chief on admin leave in an attempt to intimidate the PD to drop the investigation. He is acting out loudly in an effort to keep those who frequent his bar happy. He caters to the criminal element. What has this mayor done to clean up the city? Why wasn't he on board with clearing out the criminals from his business in concert with his police department? As a politician he should have been leading the positive news stories about cleaning up GF, taking all the credit. But as shady as he is, he takes action on his own, without the city council, in an effort to derail the quiet, less-public investigation against him. But it backfired, he has yet to come up with a valid excuse why he pulled the Chief from duty, turning the PD upside down.
Mayor Saleem Haroon