After seeing Bengie Aguilar's letter to the editor last week, my first response was to ignore it. I then thought that perhaps I should respond with the simple words of my dad, "...you know that you go to hell for lying, as well as for stealing."
However, since she is publically accusing me of a crime, I think a factual response is in order.
The incident that Mrs. Aguilar is referring to happened seven years ago at an open Sunnyside City Council meeting in front of an open microphone, but she is the only one who heard a threat made. The council was considering granting substantial tax breaks for the Yakima Catholic Diocese as they wanted to build low income housing at 16th and North Avenue. During the debate, the fact that Mrs. Aguilar was an active member of the Diocese came to light. The question was asked by another council member if she had a conflict of interest, as she would be voting money to an organization to which she belonged. Instead of answering the question if she could be fair and impartial, she attacked my credibility and integrity, stating that I owned rental property (inferring I had something to gain or lose) and should remove myself from the vote. I responded with the fact that I did not own any rental property in Sunnyside.
At the close of the meeting I told Mrs. Aguilar that if she ever did that again (publically attack my integrity and credibility) I would reciprocate. At this point, she started raising her voice and making the accusations that she is still making today.
Anyone who knows Mrs. Aguilar can attest to the fact that she can be very emotional. She also, with all the respect due to someone who has publically accused me of a crime without any evidence, is not very bright.
She obviously does not know the definition of the word reciprocate. I should have used an easier word for her to understand. To help her out now, here is the definition of reciprocate: (verb) Respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one.
How Mrs. Aguilar can be threatened by me telling her that I will question her integrity in public if she questions mine, is beyond understanding. But she does play the professional victim very well.
Well folks, that is what happened. You choose who to believe. You can believe her version that has no evidence, or mine that is supported by the public record.
/s/ Don Vlieger, Sunnyside