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Do your homework, then vote yes Feb. 3

As an employee of the Sunnyside School District for 30 years I always felt that a part of my job responsibility was to diligently support any and all levy or bond requests set forth by the board of directors. Now that I have no affiliation with the Sunnyside School system, and have not had for the past 10 years, I find myself being much more objective, probably more critical and certainly more conservative in regards to where my tax dollar goes.

With a certain cynicism in my back pocket I attended one of the early organizational/informational meetings held by the YES Committee. After listening to their financial presentation and reasoning for their bond/levy request I no longer have the reservations I initially had. No one likes to spend money and certainly property tax is a paramount concern, but what our elected officials are proposing is something our community needs and something that makes sense financially for us who pay the bills.

Sometime this week an informational letter will be coming out to district patrons. I urge you to read it carefully. It will show that we certainly have a need with approximately 100 new students enrolling yearly, and as space becomes more of a priority we have to expand facilities. What is of paramount concern to me is that everything that the board of directors is asking for can be accomplished at a very minimal cost to us (the tax paying community).

I know that many are asking, just as I did, how can our district accomplish everything that they are proposing with only a 20¢ per thousand tax increase ($1.41 will increase to $1.61). Please do as I did. Attend an informational meeting, call any member of the YES Committee or the district office itself. Be critical, be cynical, ask hard questions. I believe you will come away with the same feeling that I now have concerning this latest request.

Our board of directors continues to provide the leadership that gives the patrons of this community the best return for our educational dollar. I am in full support of this bond/levy proposal. I firmly believe that once you have all of the information and have done your homework you too will vote YES on Feb. 3.

/s/ Bill Gant, Executive Secretary, Yakima Valley Interscholastic Activities Assoc. and retired principal, Sunnyside High School

Levy support

As a community there are not many things more important than the support of our schools. This is not blind support because the ability to leverage dollars has never been better than through this levy.

Education being the great equalizer, and in these United States, the opportunity to dream and through education to achieve those dreams requires support from us all.

This levy is a responsible use of dollars and makes cent$.

Vote YES, YES!

/s/ Bruce Ricks, Sunnyside

High five

This past month here in Sunnyside, we citizens have heard, seen and experienced some of the good, bad and ugly. We have gone through the trials and tribulations of holidays, economic times, terror alerts, war and the weather.

I would like to give a high five, pat on the back, three cheers to some very often overlooked in our town—to all those everyday heroes who kept on doing their best, for not only themselves and their families but who also without being asked, paid or told to, helped their neighbors, strangers and even wildlife in countless ways.

I observed people who gave blood, delivered meals, kept sidewalks cleared, dug neighbors' driveways out, cleared parking lots, helped encourage shut-ins with phone calls or visits, and put food out for birds, stray cats and dogs and yes, even the squirrels. In so many ways that made a difference, you all showed that we are all connected, we are all family and we are all caring human beings.

You know who you are and what you have done and what you have always done and will continue to do for your fellow man, woman and child. I saw plowed streets, running water from taps, toilets that worked, fires put out, accidents and aid calls responded to, bad guys caught, businesses kept running, papers delivered, plans being made for future projects, bills being paid, mail deliveries, etc.

Life doesn't stop in our town. It may slow down, take a short break, even a detour now and then, but we will always keep on putting one foot in front of the other, always remembering to watch our steps so that we don't walk on someone else.

/s/ Carol Stone, Sunnyside

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