Like most journalists, we here at the News-Times treat New Year's resolutions a lot like deadlines. That is, we haven't met one that couldn't be broken. But that won't stop us from offering some unsolicited ideas for others in the area who have the power to improve our communities in 2008.

Richard Kidd, mayor of Forest Grove: The city's effort to create a vision for the future was overshadowed in 2007 by worries over the budget. With the passage of the levy in November, Kidd can now again focus on what Forest Grove should look like five - or 25 -years from now.

We know about Kidd's passion for light rail, but that's another money issue. How about making Forest Grove the greenest city in the metro area? We've already got the trees, and a good start on the trail around the city. What's needed is a focus on sustainability inside City Hall to match what's going on Pacific University and elsewhere. If he plays his cards right, such an initiative should also boost the economy.

Reps. Deborah Boone and Dave Edwards: One of the saddest stories of 2007 was the death of 16-year-old Kaylee Tawzer. The 16-year-old Banks High School student was killed when she pulled her car into the path on an oncoming truck at the intersection of Highway 47 and Verboort Road.

After initially signalling that the busy crossroads were safe, state highway officials reversed their position and moved quickly to make some changes. For that, they deserve credit. But more attention needs to be paid to not only that intersection but others along Highway 47, the only major north/south route through western Washington County.

We think state Reps. Deborah Boone and Dave Edwards are good candidates for the job. The state highway serves as the boundary between their districts north of Forest Grove and they each have expressed an interest in ensuring that Tawzer's death be used to increase the safety of others.

Neal Knight, former mayor of Cornelius: For the first time a long time, Cornelius is starting a year largely free from political strife, with the city council and the city administrators working together.

There is, however, a cloud on that horizon. Knight is considering how to move forward with two citizen petitions to repeal a number of city fees and restrict the city council from making future money decisions without the blessing of the electorate.

The city rejected Knight's petitions in October in what seemed like a nasty bit of politics. We understand his frustration, but we encourage Knight to withdraw from that battle and charge ahead with another of his ideas: creating a cyclical levy system in Cornelius akin to the safety levy in Forest Grove.

We realize that levies come with their own problems, but we agree with Knight that such a system would be a step forward in Cornelius. Given his support among city hall skeptics, Knight could play a big role in getting it done.

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