Here are our hopes, ideas and challenges for a better 2008.
If you have some of your own, please feel free to respond to this editorial. But let's all remember that good ideas are not enough - we all need to commit to get these and other priorities accomplished.
- For the city of Beaverton: a mayoral race that will be long on discussions and debate regarding solutions concerning the issues facing the community now and in the future and short on political posturing or second-guessing the motives of the three candidates. It's unusual when a community of Beaverton's size has three experienced council members as candidates running for mayor. Let's use this opportunity to create a healthy, robust campaign debate and not harm on-going council activities.
- For Tigard: an end to mistrust, missteps and miscommunication on Bull Mountain and with the Tigard Water Board. The issues separating people and jurisdictions can only be solved with better communication by all involved.
- For the cities of Tualatin and Sherwood: partners within the Metro Council who are willing to understand your needs to provide better connections between Interstate 5 and Highway 99W that will reduce congestion and improve community livability, while also connecting the Portland region to Yamhill County and coastal destinations.
- For the region: a clear transportation plan that includes expanded highway lanes, maintenance for existing roads and mass transit.
- Let's work to make sure Oregon sustains - and expands - its leadership in sustainability.
- For Washington County and its cities: continued progress in providing long-term safe, affordable and abundant sources of water for human consumption, agriculture and business, and that provide for enhancement of the environment.
- Continued improvement in local school curriculums and education programs that give all kids the best chance at a rich future that allows for successful career and diverse cultural opportunities.
- Continued effort to reduce class sizes in local schools to ensure that enrollments in all classrooms are at a level where all kids can best learn and teachers can teach effectively.
- Oregon citizens need a clear signal from the Oregon State Board of Nursing that patient safety - not protecting incompetent nurses - is job. No. 1.
- Same for the state parole board: Let's start keeping dangerous rapists and other criminals behind bars for their full prison terms.
- We're rooting for TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen to get the thugs off his light-rail trains and even to collect fares on occasion.
- The 2008 Oregon Legislature, meeting for the first time in annual session, must make good on its promise of a short, productive session when it meets in February.
- For Portland weather forecasters: Call at least one snowstorm correctly this year.
- For Oregon voters: at least one visit from the presidential nominees and not so many initiatives to wade through in November.
- For local real estate agents: more buyers.
- We're wishing for deep snow on the mountain but safer drivers on mountain roads - U.S. Highway 26 and Highway 35 in Hood River.
- For Oregon residents serving in Iraq and Afghanistan: a speedy and safe return home.
The plans must be achievable and able to support the regional economy and livability and improve the environment and public safety. While this is a tough test, it's past time that we have some clue where we're going and how we are going to get there.
Happy New Year.