December 31, 2012 10:01:42 AM
In a few hours, we will be finished with 2012. For better or worse, we will need a rear-view mirror to see 2012.
As the old year passes, a new year stretches out before us. That's the way it is with years: No sooner are you finished with one than another shows up to deal with.
Without a doubt, 2013 is certain to bring its share of challenges, but with those challenges come opportunities as well.
There is probably no better time to be optimistic about a year than at its beginning.
So with that in mind, we look forward to a year that, in 365 days, we will look back upon fondly.
We look forward to a year in which our national, state and local leaders work in harmony, putting aside partisan politics and personal gain to serve the public's best interest.
We look forward to the municipal elections in the spring and hope we will remember the elections as a rare moment when the very best our community has to offer stepped forward as candidates. We are hopeful those candidates will articulate not only a clear vision of a better community, but a specific, detailed account of how they intend to achieve that vision. We look forward to clean, vigorous campaigns that produce a record turnout of voters.
We look forward to a spirit of congeniality between city and county leaders and hope 2013 will stand out as an example of a year when they worked together in a spirit of harmony.
We look forward to a year in which the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau finally gets its act together and uses the taxpayer funds entrusted to it wisely and effectively.
We fervently hope 2013 is the year when elected officials, perhaps pricked by conscience, acknowledge that it is unethical to ask for funds from a board they appoint. We look forward to a year in which community festivals are truly staged for the benefit of the communities they serve rather than thinly-veiled campaign events. We look forward to a CVB that promotes and encourages events that are a benefit to our community and a magnet for visitors. That will mean a year of full hotels and restaurants.
We look forward to seeing our schools reverse their recent trends of poor performance and begin the long trek back to vitality.
We look forward to a year that will be remembered as a year of more jobs and less crime.
We look forward to a year in which each and every citizen recognizes they have an important role in helping our communities thrive. That means standing-room only crowds at PTA meetings, school board meetings, city council and board of supervisors meetings. It means citizens will demand accountability and performance from the people they have elected to office. And it will mean that those elected officials have responded in a way that meets those expectations.
We look forward to a year in which our leaders take a practical look at issues such as teen pregnancy and address those issues with something more forceful than pious platitudes. We look forward to a year in which we respond to real problems with practical solutions.
We look forward to a year of full schools, churches and playgrounds and empty jail cells, unemployment offices and hospital emergency rooms.
We look forward to a year in which every citizen can proudly note that they contributed something meaningful in helping make our town a happy, vibrant, peaceful place to live, work and play.
Yes, we look forward to 2013.
What a year it could be!