FORUM

We can afford police that the city needs

By placing safety first, we can afford the police protection that all of us need in Sunnyside. We need to cut waste at city hall.

Unfortunately, some of the positions I discussed were left out of the recent Daily Sun News article that focused on the city council position that I am campaigning for.

My opponent blames police for not bringing up items like police cars during the budget process. Deputy City Manager Byron Olson told council during a public meeting that he directed the police department not to bring these items to council until later in the year. It is an outright fabrication for any member of city council to blame the police for not bringing this up sooner.

In the last three years, my opponent has voted to cut police officer positions, voted against creation of additional police patrols, the gang suppression unit, and also voted against the "Gang Elimination Strategy" of the Sunnyside Police Department.

During this time, I have attended almost as many city council meetings as members of the council itself, and more than any reporter for the Daily Sun News. I am well versed in the issues confronting our city, and am on record where I stand. It is not just during an election year that I remember the importance of public safety. That is why the Sunnyside Police Officers Guild is endorsing me for city council.

It is imperative that we stop spending $700,000 on legal fees. Our budget cannot take this kind of waste, especially when we have a need to field a strong police force. We need to significantly reduce this expense.

I oppose illegal pay raises, period! All pay raises should be approved by city council. While this may seem like common sense, my opponent voted against sending all relevant information to the county prosecutor for his office to investigate the issue. Staffers at city hall have self-interested motives in trying to blame the police department for tight budgets.

We have bloated and redundant bureaucracy at city hall. By eliminating duplication of supervisory positions, we can save at least $200,000 in our budget. That is money that can be used to fund police officers, vehicles, parks and recreation, and a myriad of other services that directly benefit citizens.

When we control the crime problem in our city, we will create a more attractive environment for businesses to invest. More people will want to live in the city, which will increase housing options along with property values.

Most importantly, with an atmosphere that is attractive to businesses, we will create conditions for investment that will be a catalyst for good paying jobs that will employ the youth of our city. To succeed in the long-term we cannot continue to starve the police department, in order to fund extravagant salaries at city hall.

/s/ Jason Raines, Candidate, Sunnyside City Council

Log in to comment