(Editor's note: Mr. Gates' letter is being reprinted because part of it was inadvertently ommitted in this past Wednesday's edition of the Daily Sun News.)
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 over 30 full-time jobs paying out over $1 million annually in base pay and benefits. 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