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Elect Gant

A special thank you to all of the past and present members of the Sunnyside City Council, a group of dedicated, elected individuals who have now, or have had, the awesome responsibility of making decisions necessary to keep our fine community progressing. I am pleased to see so many candidates striving to become members of our city council.

I support Bill Gant as a candidate for Position #4, and want to urge all of our voting citizens to study his qualifications and then cast a ballot in his favor. I have known Bill for 45 years as a close friend and colleague. We worked together as Sunnyside School District teachers and administrators for many years. During that time I benefited from Bill's ability to very thoroughly evaluate problems, determine the options at hand and then contribute dependable suggestions. He has excellent talent as a leader and person, having an open-minded approach to a team member style of problem solving. He has the ability to become a very capable member of our city council.

Bill Gant is a property owner in our community. He knows the importance of keeping taxes at a managable level while continuing to move our city forward. He's ready and willing to go to work as a councilman.

Join me in electing Bill Gant to the Sunnyside City Council, Position #4.

/s/ Jack Middleton, Sunnyside

Council needs

to work as a team

I would like to send a message to the current Sunnyside City Council members. Do you want to keep your positions? Then, it is time for you to stop playing he/she said, did, acted.

Prove to us (the community) that you deserve to keep those positions. I hate to say it, but at times the council members have not acted professionally at all.

We need people who are going to work as a team, not against each other.

I am definitely going to vote on the issues - not by popularity.

Good luck.

/s/ Heather Pacheco, Sunnyside

Full credit

for clean air?

I was pleased to read Pat Muir's article in the Yakima Herald-Republic's 2005 Yakima Valley Voters Guide regarding Bengie Aguilar, an incumbent on the Sunnyside City Council.

Mr. Muir wrote, "...she (Aguilar) is not highlighting the purchase of the Monson feedlot property, which is credited with greatly reducing the noxious dairy smell in the city. Too many people worked on that for too many years for individual council members to take credit, Aguilar said."

It is refreshing to have someone acknowledge the work of many others rather than take full credit for a complex accomplishment.

This attitude is in contrast to the full-page ad in a recent Daily Sun News thanking two other incumbents for "Clean...Healthy...AIR." They received full credit "For working to clean Sunnyside's air of dust and smell," as if other city council members had no part to play in this endeavor.

I was further dismayed that this ad claimed to have been paid for by "Sunnyside Health Care Providers." I'm really curious about whom these health care providers are since not even one representative of this group was noted. Given the size of this ad, it would seem that it could have listed some of the many providers which were implied.

We have a wonderful freedom to advocate for the candidates of our choice, and we also have a responsibility to do so with respect and accuracy.

As for the AIR, there has been a discernable improvement for which we can all be grateful to the many who helped bring this about. Hopefully, it will have a long-lasting effect on the health of our lungs, minds and hearts so that we may have a truly healthy community.

/s/ Grace R. Diaz, Sunnyside

What did odor eliminating efforts really accomplish?

A funny thing happened on my way home from a day in Seattle. As I entered the Lower Valley, I couldn't believe my nose. It stinks!

This was hard for my senses to comprehend, especially after all the media from our local politicians about how they had eliminated the smell from what they have painted with their own brush as "Smellyside." In fact, Mike Farmer and Bruce Ricks are using this grand odor eliminating deed as the platform for their re-election bid. I think these boys need to breathe in through the nose instead of out through the mouth.

So what did this "grand odor eliminating" event accomplish if it didn't eliminate the odor? It did eliminate in excess of $1.1 million in sales to Yakima Valley area merchants. It did eliminate the purchase of more than 140,000 tons of commodities per year which would include hay, potato bi-products, grains, etc. I can not even get into the lost revenue to the trucking companies that hauled those commodities.

This is good for the Yakima Valley? This is good for Sunnyside? That's right boys, it is pronounced SUNNYSIDE.

We live in an agricultural area. Agriculture is what has made our Lower Valley strong and vibrant. When I talk of our Lower Valley to anyone across the state or across the country I brag about how we can grow any and everything...from apples to zucchini. I brag about how many days of sunshine we have in the valley. And yes, I brag about how strong the beef and dairy industry has made our economy. These are things to be proud of, not scorned and ridiculed in the media.

All I ask is that the people of Sunnyside think about what these few politicians have actually accomplished. They have labeled Sunnyside with a nickname that I hadn't even heard of up to just a few years ago when they started this pilgrimage. They have alienated a good business that has always supported this community for many years.

They have taken the first steps in changing Sunnyside into a dying, urban community.

It is your vote.

/s/ Robert Gates, Controller, Monson Ranches, Sunnyside

Rewards await with Veloz vote

How fortunate Grandview is to have two excellent candidates willingly place their names on the ballot to serve the community.

I would like to recommend that voters cast their ballot for Karen Veloz for Grandview School Board. Karen's extensive degrees and career are vested in best practices for the successful education of children. What a resource she will be when decisions are being made for the students in Grandview, as to how dollars should best be spent to maximize the public's money!

Karen has been very involved in Grandview, from her countless hours spent working to pass school bonds and levies, to her position of leadership on the SPLASH Committee, to the wonderful flute playing she has shared with congregations here in town.

She excels as a community leader, parent, wife and teacher. I believe that a vote for Karen will bring Grandview School District untold rewards.

/s/ Pam Horner, Grandview

Gant has qualities to make a good council member

I have known Bill Gant for the past 50 years, and I knew of his family prior to that. I knew of Bill when his father was killed in World War II. In his youth, Bill would have been classified as a migrant student, as he moved to Oregon and California to work in agriculture. As a young man without a lot of parental support, he was assisted in his upbringing by the Chambers, Johnsons and Sutphins of Outlook, his Grampa and Gramma Black, as well as my husband Hoyt and me.

Bill cut asparagus, bucked and baled hay, worked in the warehouses and took various and sundry other jobs to make money so that he could pay his way in high school and begin putting himself through college.

The most important aspect of his character was his determination to improve his own lot in life through his education. That carried over to his own family through his insistence that his wife, Juanita, completed her degree, and that all of his four children do the same. I have an idea that his nine grandchildren will follow that same course.

Bill has the qualities that will make a good council member. He has shown that he is a strong and fair leader. He is a hard worker who has high standards. Bill does not accept substandard work from himself or his family, and he will not allow it to happen in his hometown. Bill has many friends and former students from all walks of life in this town, and he will represent the entire community when he is asked to make decisions for the welfare of Sunnyside.

I urge you to cast your vote for one of Sunnyside's lifetime residents, Bill Gant.

/s/ Mary A. Thomas, Sunnyside

Vote your conscience

Citizens of Sunnyside, I believe that there is a mud slinging campaign being brought against Bruce Epps, Carol Stone and myself.

As I read through the letters to the editor and find my name and other respected individuals’ names being stepped on and defaced. I can’t help but feel sad for those that feel the need to write such inflammatory and out right untruths about other respected individuals in our community.

I have been working hard to encourage others to run for office and become leaders of their community and I commend our new candidates for stepping up and doing the right thing by running for office, including Mr. Gant. It is unfortunate that many times excellent candidates will not run for office because they are afraid of being put in the line of political fire, which is exactly what is happening now. The new candidates and, myself are being fired on and have so far taken the higher road and chosen not to fire back. It concerns me greatly that my council peers are allowing their friends to write letters to the editor with such inaccurate content on their competition. While they themselves print and send out flyers with twisted information and untruths about their opponents.

I also want to comment on all the campaign ads that have come out regarding Monson’s feedlot. There were four other council members and myself who sat alongside Farmer and Ricks when as Jim Stevens, (Sunnyside Health Providers) puts it, in his huge ad on the back of Sunnyside Daily News last Friday, “you were meeting to improve our town.” Does he mean all of the Council or just two in particular?

For the public’s information I want you to know that this project took many years to finalize and many minds, too many to name here, were involved in helping it come about. It disturbs me to think that two council members seem to be taking full credit for a job that many people worked hard on bringing to fruition. Especially our former City Manager -Dave Fonfara, Attorney - Mark Kunkler, current City Manager -Bob Stockwell and let’s not forget Marshall Doak, our former SEDA Executive Director who helped reopen a communication breakdown when it was needed.

For the public’s information the council involvement consisted of approximately a 20-minute meeting where we all agreed to pursue the project. Approximately four or five, 20-30 minute meetings followed for updates on the project. The final meeting was approximately 45 minutes long, and we agreed on the terms of the contract with Monson’s as well as a price. To my recollection the council involvement was minimal in terms of time and effort on the Monson’s project. However, staff and others spent a lot of time on finalizing this project, they are the ones who should be commended and can honestly take full credit for the cleaner air that we now have in Sunnyside.

Call me at City Hall (837-3997) if you have any questions regarding the letters to the editor or any campaign ads. Leave me a message I will return your call.

I respectfully ask you to please vote your conscience in the General Election.

/s/ Bengie Aguilar, Sunnyside

Sunnyside’s future rests with election

Last week we got our ballots in the mail and for the people of the city of Sunnyside this will be a very important election as it will determine the future direction of their city.

While several members of the council point with great pride to the purchase of Monson’s feedlot as their great accomplishment on the Sunnyside City Council they seem to overlook the other parts of their record for the past few years.

For example the city of Sunnyside was under a court order to come up with a sewer improvement plan. We used up all our extensions and were facing serious fines when up popped the idea that we should run our waste water over the river and through the meadow out to Mabton it should go. There wasn’t any time to properly look at this idea intelligently and assess what its costs would be. Wiser heads prevailed.

Then along came the next idea and that was we should privatize the ambulance service and the operation of our water and sewer service. They had little regard for the public feeling on the idea of privatizing. It was only when it was found that the privatizing of these services would not have the expected cost benefits that ideas were dropped. Not one of these candidates ran on platform on privatization nor did they mention that they were considering it as an option for city services when they ran.

They then decided to scuttle the library by seriously under funding it and not recognizing that it was the second most heavily used library in the Yakima Valley Regional Library System. It was agreed to hold a special election to allow the people to vote on the funding. I’m sure the council believed it would fail but instead it passed and they didn’t do a thing to encourage its passage.

An area that has been surprising and outright troubling for me has been their hostility to the local small business community here in town, especially considering that they themselves are businessmen. One of the things they did was to put a medallion in the middle of the intersection at 6th and Edison. This resulted in those two streets in that part of town beings closed while the work was being done, which I’m sure was quite a hardship for the downtown businesses. At the time I thought it was a move towards revitalization but apparently that wasn’t the plan.

One councilman has opposed almost every liquor license application brought by every convenience store in town. He has wanted to ban alcohol sales near schools even though some of the stores in question were built before the schools were. I wonder what the economic and financial impact on the city would be if he were actually successful.

They have come up with noise and landscaping ordinances and they have wanted a sign ordinance to prevent advertising. The noise ordinance they enacted became a way to get at the “Good Humor” man. Who votes against the “Good Humor” man? That is like voting against Santa Claus because his sleigh bells are too noisy.

I don’t know what new surprises some of these candidates have to offer. The future of Sunnyside in many ways rests in this election, SO VOTE!

/s/ Carol L. Peterson, Sunnyside

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