Sometime ago I was looking up something in the dictionary when I came upon the definition of the word REPUBLIC. Basically, a republic is a system of government where the sovereign governing power is vested not in a single person like a king or a queen, but in a group of citizens known as the electorate...the voters. This power is then exercised on their behalf by their elected representatives.
Now, I was stunned when I heard last week about Sunnyside City Councilman Bill Gant's comments about the citizens of our community, but when I listened to a recording of them I was more than stunned. I was seriously irritated, to put it mildly.
In 2005 the citizens of Sunnyside chose Mr. Gant to be one of their elected representatives. It's a position of great honor and trust, and I realize there are some major headaches like with the budget woes we are facing at this time. But to hear one of our elected representatives disrespect the citizens of this community and the very people who voted for him is unbelievable.
We the people of this town are its citizens and the taxpayers who support it with the money we pay in various taxes (i.e. sales, property, utility, etc.). It is this money that pays his stipend as a member of the city council and the services we receive from the city, services that have recently taken a significant hit with the recent round of budget cuts. People have lost their jobs and there has been a cutback in police and fire protection, and the loss of parks and rec to name just a few things.
We the people of Sunnyside have taken a hit and many are not happy about it and taken in this context, Councilman Gant's tirade last week is irritating, demoralizing and elitist.
Next year Councilman Gant will be up for re-election and we have to ask ourselves, do we want him to be one our representatives for another four years?
/s/ Thomas Peterson, Sunnyside