I noted in the newspaper this morning that today, October 14, is the day ballots will be coming out for the November election. Of interest to me is the large slate of people asking to serve our community as members of the Sunnyside City Council. Although there are numerous choices, marking ones ballot is a relatively simple process this year. If you feel that the incumbents asking for your support have been openly honest, ethical and above board in their handling of certain things the past few months, then, by all means, you should support their attempt at reelection. If you do not you, logically, will support those people running to unseat them. A couple of things I personally will ponder:
(1.) Did the firing of Eric Swansen need to happen as quickly as it did or did it even need to happen at all? Would that decision have been delayed or even changed had the council responded positively to the request of one council member that nothing be done until he could return from Denmark where he was making arrangements to have a family member's body brought home after his sudden death on a cruise ship? Was this council "emergency" real or fabricated. Your call!
(2.) Should a meeting of concerned citizens over the stormwater issue have been attended by the city manager? A Yakima lawyer was there, the mayor was there, an "interested" councilmember was present, but the head of our city government was not included. Should our chief executive officer have been there? Your call!
(3.) Was the "new money" recently "found" an example of an incompetent city manager (one with 20 plus years of successful city management) or was it an example of an economy slowly coming out of this country's recession thus providing more revenue than anyone could have predicted several months ago? Your call!
(4.) Was the city manager form of government under Eric Swansen allowed the opportunity to happen. Was his authority usurped as certain council members would ignore the "chain of command", a process that must be in place and supported by everyone if city government can do the tactical and operational things necessary to run a municipality? Your call!
(5.) And finally, was it somewhat disconcerting that Mark Kunkler, a loyal, hard working city employee for some 17 years, resigned as a result of the upheaval at city hall? I daresay he had seen a lot over the years and why now holler - enough! Oh yes, and why did I resign my council position with a record of 45 years of public service and, in every one of those years, working as part of or with boards and commissions? Your call!
Folks, so much of this just does not add up to me and I therefore urge those who feel as I do to vote for Don Vlieger, Jason Raines and Mike Farmer for the Sunnyside City Council and Jim Grubenhoff as commissioner for the Port of Sunnyside.
/s/ Bill Gant