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
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,
/s/ Jack Middleton, Sunnyside
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
I am definitely going to vote on the issues - not by
/s/ Heather Pacheco, Sunnyside
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
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
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
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
/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
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
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
/s/ Carol L. Peterson, Sunnyside