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Cutting to the Core

Time is now for citizen input

The Sunnyside City Council is scrutinizing the preliminary 2010 budget and now is the time for citizens to give their input.

Council signaled it was more than willing to listen to suggestions last week when members directed city staff to budget the city's pool for a 10-week season instead of just eight weeks.

This was the result of a request made by members of the city's parks and recreation committee, headed by Dorothy Aiken. Members were on hand at last Thursday's budget workshop and told council members of their concerns, one being the pool wasn't open long enough in the summer.

The committee members had other ideas as well. One suggestion was that the city returns deposits to people who reserve the parks for parties the next day instead of one month later. A full-time recreation director was also strongly encouraged.

Whether or not these suggestions make any head way has yet to be seen, but at least the council has heard these suggestions. That's something they wouldn't have heard if nobody showed up for the budget deliberations, something that's not all that uncommon.

It's important to show up for these types of meetings if you think you should have a say in how your tax money is spent. And there are still plenty of budget issues to discuss.

For example, some people in the community think the city needs a drug-sniffing dog. If this is something that is important to members of our community then they should show up at these meetings and say so. I've also heard citizens advocate for video cameras to be installed in all police cruisers. A good idea but one that could fall by the wayside if people don't speak up.

Some ideas will be acted upon and some won't, but I'm sure the council will listen to all of them. It's really the only way to get your voice heard.

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