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City Council rejects public hearing request

Mayor Ed Prilucik admitted at the June 12 Sunnyside City Council meeting that an official public hearing on a proposed landscaping ordinance was not held as he said it would be. But that didn't stop Council from passing the controversial ordinance, much to the dismay of one of its members, Councilwoman Bengie Aguilar.

Aguilar brought her concerns before the rest of the Council at this past Monday night's meeting.

Aguilar stated to Council that she had additional information on the landscaping ordinance she wanted to introduce before Councilman Don Vlieger called for the vote last week.

When a councilman calls for the vote it basically means all discussion on the matter is closed and Council is being asked to take action on the matter before them.

Aguilar used last night's forum to add some of the additional comments she was looking to touch on last week. Aguilar asked that Council honor the requests of local businessmen to have a public hearing on the matter. Aguilar read from minutes where Sunnyside Planning Commission Chair Jim Warren had said a public hearing would be held on the matter. Aguilar also mentioned the acknowledgment of Prilucik at the June 12 meeting that a public hearing would be held.

"The request that was made was really important," said Aguilar. "I think it is very important we hear from the citizenship."

Aguilar also read from a list of 14 businesses that long-time Sunnyside businessman Pete Sartin presented to Council at the June 12 meeting, who were against the landscaping ordinance. Aguilar added that four more businesses are opposed to the landscaping ordinance.

Council, though, refused to acknowledge Aguilar's request to provide the public hearing and reconsider the landscaping ordinance.

Sartin then took to the podium and expressed his disappointment with the Council. Sartin said that sometimes he admires the Council members for the tough issues they address and then other times he sits there trying to figure out what is going on.

Sartin once again reminded Council that the landscaping ordinance will be expensive for local businessmen to implement.

Sartin then turned his direction towards Vlieger, whom he accused of using his political power to put an end to the discussion that was taking place at the June 12 meeting prior to Council adopting the landscaping ordinance.

"Shame on you," said Sartin. "Shame on all of you who voted for it."

. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at mkantman@eaglenewspapers.com

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