Welcome and thanks for parade weekend

Julia Hart

I was chatting with a Daily Sun News contributor recently and made mention that I was filling in as “just a messenger.” I was helping find an article she was interested in locating.

But, sometimes, she said, “...the buck stops with you.”

She reminded me that I also have another title – that of mayor.

That is a title which in recent weeks has been a bit heavy as the city council looks at the 2019 budget revenues and expenditures, needs for cuts and increases – the implementation of which is never easy – as we are talking about people- not just dollars and cents.

We, and I say ‘we’, because even as mayor, I am still one of seven people on the city council charged with making the decisions for the city, from safety, streets, utility services and other features which make this city our home.

Frankly, we don’t always get it right, but never think for a minute that we don’t take every element of the job seriously. We pour over budgets and struggle with cutting costs and pulling back on travel and hiring where we can. We have seen what happens when the budget is pared too tightly. But none the less, sometimes it is unavoidable.

And, sometimes in our quest to seek ways to allow for more sales taxes in the community, we heard from the citizens believing that not all enterprises are necessarily a good fit for Sunnyside.

I must say that having another restaurant opening isn’t going to bring a huge increase in sales tax to the town. Even though, we are delighted to have one more place to dine out in.

And, unless, we can attract large ticket stores, which have high ticket items to sell, those restaurant taxes won’t help as much as we’d like.

We are looking forward to the opening of the new Grocery Outlet early next year. I can’t be any happier than knowing that soon the Ostrom’s Mushroom Company will be operating in the Port of Sunnyside, adding more jobs to the community. And, hopefully, those 100-plus employees will find affordable housing, which is already under construction, in which to live.

We also want to attract a lot more tourists who can drop a few bucks to help us make cultural improvements to our town.

The Council still has a lot of work to do on the 2019 budget, and serious decisions to make, but I assure the Sunnyside residents, we are looking at every dollar we can save going forward, and how to squeeze the best value from it.

So, in addition to making slight increases in stormwater, ambulances, tipping fees, and the possibility of implementing a transportation improvement district, we have more areas to consider for potential revenues.

So, while I am the mayor. In this case, I’m still just the messenger.

Reality sucks, but the that’s where the buck stops.

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