In a year that saw the area rocked with political scandals, protests, a limping economy and more than its share of violent crimes, we hope good things happen in 2012. Here are a few things we'd like to see happen in the coming year.
For the Tigard-Tualatin School District: What we need is a quick and painless resolution to contract negations set to begin early next year. The last go-round took more than a year and talks of a strike before a resolution was made.
Former School Board member Manny Trujillo put it best when he spoke on the subject in May:
'That is something I'd like to get ahead of instead of waiting until the last minute to come to the table. Our ability to work across those lines is important and getting teachers and everyone who wants to be involved ahead of the game so we're not negotiating for months.'
For Tigard: Here's hoping the planned improvements along Southwest Main Street will help draw people downtown. We think the idea of a Downtown Organization is great and we would love to see more community events downtown to get people mingling in the core. But in the end, it's the kinds of businesses downtown that will draw in the crowds. We need to encourage a few more destination businesses to put down roots. If we can make a suggestion, we'd love to see a pizza shop where Lab 33 used to be.
For Tualatin: Kudos to the citizens who banded together and organized Tualatin's first Citizen Involvement Organizations. It was about time. While there may be some controversy about the exclusion of businesses in the neighborhood groups, there is room for every single Tualatin home - and business - to join in. We encourage you to do so.
This will not only provide an avenue for increased communication between residents and the city, but increased communication between residents themselves. We hope our readers make the time to join.
For Sherwood: The search for a new city manager is under way and we hope that the process will find someone who knows that a strong local economy will help drive the community forward and someone who can anticipate opportunity and adjust to the challenging times.
We're hoping the next city manager will become a trusted partner, not only to the City Council and mayor, but to the community and the region as a whole.
For our mayors: Congrats on taking a great step forward by working together outside of Metro. Like you, we aren't sure where these meetings will go, but believe a great deal of good can come from regional cooperation. Let's share our good ideas, our needs and strengthen each city.
For Democratic 1st Congressional District candidate Suzanne Bonamici: Name a controversial Republic proposal you support to prove you are not merely a rubber stamp for Democratic Party special interest groups, like public employee unions and environmental groups.
For Republican 1st Congressional District candidate Rob Cornilles: Name a controversial Democratic proposal you support to prove you are not merely a rubber stamp for Republic Party special interest groups, like Wall Street bankers and oil companies.
For Metro President Tom Hughes: Prove that Metro can help solve serious problems by proposing some form of regional infrastructure financing assistance, perhaps in cooperation with the Community Investment Initiative that is studying the issue. Even if the proposal is not ultimately successful, you can show Metro is willing to take a chance by not merely offer voters uncontroversial Oregon Zoo and natural area ballot measures.
For all of our communities: Enough winter and spring sunshine to provide something close to the Vitamin D we need to stay healthy and in good spirits.
For ourselves: While we pride ourselves on being the best source for local stories, we want to be even better. With our expanding social media presence, we're more accessible to our readers than ever before. Our goal is to become more involved in our communities with in-depth reporting, more reporting from our smaller communities such as Durham and by being everywhere that you are.
We know it's impossible, but that's no excuse for not trying.