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Future is bright in Sunnyside

FORUM

In my 25 years in Sunnyside I have never been more optimistic about our community. We have overcome the two major issues that stigmatized our city; the smell and crime.

I have often heard that you have to change the perception of Sunnyside if you want to see positive change in our community. I agree, and the best way to change people’s perception of Sunnyside was to change the reality.

The reality is that our town now enjoys the aromas of a farming community…hops, grapes, mint and yes, sometimes (but nothing like before) cows.

The other reality is we enjoy the lowest crime in 23 years. We are now among the safest cities in the Yakima Valley (far lower crime than Yakima). The shootings have all but totally stopped. No matter how the naysayers try and spin it, we have had one, yes one, drive-by shooting this year. That shooting was one bullet fired at a house with no injuries.

The question now is what do we do to capitalize on the amazing turn-around our community has experienced? Do we go back to the policies that showed so little success in the past? Or, do we stay the course and build on the incredible opportunity we now have?

I love Sunnyside. Sunnyside is home to the highest quality people I have ever known. I have incredible friends, and this community has provided my family a good living. From working in the schools, to my small business, to my terms on city council, I have always strived to make a pos-

itive difference. I am grateful for the opportunity the people have given me to serve.

I ask for your vote to continue the positive change in our community. Together we have seen great things happen in Sunnyside.

/s/ Sunnyside Deputy Mayor Don Vlieger

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