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To the Editor:

Re: Other People's Money (Mr. Jim Johnson's OPM): Disclaimer, I am the director of a regional nonprofit located in Ellensburg; and being generally reasonably well versed in the needs of our communities, my immediate response to Jim Johnson's letter was, "Really!?".

Then as I read it over again, I realized it was just someone who doesn't have the facts straight. Healthy communities give back; healthy communities, with both the citizens and local governments, find ways to provide transportation, housing, food and employment so that people in difficult circumstances, often beyond their control, can begin to contribute to our economy.

Sometimes, yes, that may take asking for other people's money. The health care community does it, the schools, emergency services, and the fire department ask for it, just to name a few — and when we give, no matter the amount, we are a much better community for it. We are sending a message that all of our community members are important, and yes, sometimes it does take to quote Mr. Johnson during the City Council debates, "Throwing money at a problem to fix it."

As individuals we do not live in our own silos. We have a responsibility to continually work to make our community a better, more livable one, and that also means you, Jim Johnson. It is ironic that you did not bring up these points during the debates when you were given the opportunity; you spoke about faith-based housing, but your last letter was anything that was reflective of a person who understands true faith-based or community giving.

Von Elison



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