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Newly formed committees will aid city council with day-to-day operations in Sunnyside

The Sunnyside City Council at a workshop last night discussed ways to get a clearer picture of what it takes to run a city and settled on forming committees to help them do just that.

Sunnyside Mayor Jim Restucci reported to council that he had looked into what other cities in Washington have done in the past with committees. He said in most cases committees don't have a charter and there are usually three members of the council, or less, on the committee.

Councilman Mike Farmer told council he would like to see a public safety committee. Farmer's vision is to include the police and fire departments in the committee. He also spoke about forming an economical development committee.

This committee could be joined possibly by the Port of Sunnyside.

"I don't know but we need to have our eyes open," he said of bringing in development to Sunnyside.

Councilman Paul Garcia concurred with Farmer on the finance committee and even suggested a public works or streets committee. He wasn't sold on an economic development committee, noting there are other organizations in Sunnyside that are more suited to handle that.

Councilman Nick Paulakis jumped on the public works and streets committee idea. He thought a committee would help keep the city up on sidewalk repair and street lighting.

The council, along with the mayor, decided on three committees to start out with. The three committees will cover public safety, finance and public works.

Farmer said he envisions the committees as keeping the council aware of what's happening. He thought the council might be able to help the city more if they were fully aware.

Garcia suggested there be a rotation of council members on each committee. A group of council members would serve on one committee for a few months, learn the ropes and then change to a different committee. This way, he said, council can get a picture of the entire operation.

Just how many council members would serve on a committee wasn't decided but the city manager and department heads will be involved.

Councilwoman Theresa Hancock suggested that all committee meetings be posted so the public can attend and Paulakis said he thought each committee should have a charter.

Restucci told council he would put together and have the paperwork sent off to the city manager. Once the city's legal department looked at it, the drafts would be brought back to council for approval.

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