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FORUM

Police cuts not the answer

Since the public was not given the chance to speak at this past Monday's Sunnyside City Council budget meeting, I'll just take my opportunity now. I'm not here to say I'll pay more taxes, or recommend cuts or whatever. What I am here to tell you is what is going to happen if you let Frank Sweet cut positions at the police department.

Criminals aren't stupid, for the most part. They will know when there are fewer cops on the street. Fewer cops mean more opportunities for them. If they have the opportunity, this city will be right back where it was in 2010.

All you council members were here in 2010. I was here in 2010. Mr. Sweet wasn't here in 2010. He has no clue what it was like to open the newspaper on what seemed to be a daily basis to read about another homicide or drive-by.

You, the council, recognized this and gave the police department the resources and tools it needed to make this a safe place. And you know what? It worked! And it's still working.

From personal experience and knowledge, Sunnyside isn't the violent city it was just two years ago. I credit that to Pam Turner for doing an outstanding job with the Chamber of Commerce, and the Sunnyside Police Department for protecting the city.

You all are on council because you care about the community and its citizens. I guarantee the community and citizens are not on Frank Sweet's priority list. If you don't believe me, ask him how many community events he has attended. Ask him why he's proposing cutting employees, but also proposing his position receive a $16,000 per year pay increase.

You brought Mr. Sweet in to do a specific job, which I'm guessing is working the budget. And he's doing it, which means he's a good accountant. But he is also a grossly incompetent leader. You, as council, have the chance to be the leader Mr. Sweet is incapable of being.

/s/ Scott Orate, Sunnyside

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