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Aguilar represents local community

Why has Sunnyside Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar been chastised about trying to help the businesses in our community grow? She should be applauded and not attacked for her efforts.

The formation of an Hispanic Chamber of Commerce wouldn't be a bad idea for our city of Sunnyside. If there are funds available out there to boost our businesses, how can we as a community view this as a bad thing?

They're already cutting the efforts and funds of Mrs. Aguilar's REC program.

(Through the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce) $1 billion is available for entrepreneurs, coming through a different source other than the city. How can we as a community view this as a bad thing?

The two chambers can work together for the overall betterment of the community and to also further expand our possibilities. The Democrats and Republicans have been doing it for years as the U.S. Senate.

The percentage of Hispanics in Sunnyside is great. I don't believe Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar is acting on her own ideals, but is representing the community. She sees a great opportunity for this city, an opportunity we cannot afford to pass us by.

/s/ Reynaldo Melendrez, Sunnyside

Council censure

I was very disappointed to see in the newspaper that the Sunnyside City Council voted to publicly censure members of the council who happen to be delinquent with their water bill or property taxes, etc.

This is in truth an effort to embarrass and humiliate an individual member in public. Many people have been victims of embarrassment because they could not give the right answer to a question, or they did not have the right clothes, their ears stuck out or they had to wear an eye patch or braces. The reasons can be many and different, but the pain and discomfort is not.

Today, we are working to discourage this type of bullying (as well as other types) in our schools. When you have four or six members of the council targeting one member for whatever the reason, that is simply bullying. I have to wonder if this is the type of example we wish our children to see out of our city leaders.

After some consideration I have to admit that Councilman Bruce Ricks' comments about someone with a $22,000 a year income has a certain appeal to me. A person struggling with monthly bills and perhaps a fistful of prescriptions and maybe even a transmission going out on their car and who is trying to balance it all has a real appeal to me. When he or she votes on something, they are going to seriously consider the impact it is going to have on their budget.

I would like to point out that there are seven members on the council and no one individual is greater or lesser than the others, and in spite of this the financial wizards have not done a very good job keeping the city from bleeding red ink. There are other ways to deal with this type of problem other than using public embarrassment and humiliation.

Public censuring is something that should be reserved for the most extreme situations and not used in a relatively light manner. It does have a place, but this is a situation where there are other options available.

/s/ Carol L. Peterson, Sunnyside

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