Here's optimistic look at what could happen in 2013
The optimism accompanying a brand-new year too often proves misplaced. We are now one month into 2013, and before it becomes tarnished by reality, lets dream about what could be as opposed to what will be.
Here are just a few of our wishes for Washington County and the Portland area as they enter this still very young year:
-- For local city officials: a smooth transition for new mayors and city councilors in with support from seasoned officials, city staff and community partners.
-- For the Tigard-Tualatin School District: wise decisions during this critical year of determining budget reductions that spare as many classroom positions as possible. Also, a superintendent search that yields a qualified, experienced and visionary leader.
-- For Washington County officials: the long-overdue $12 million in income tax revenue promised by the state as part of the Gain Share Program for which the county waived $83 million in property taxes to attract new jobs.
-- For Intel, which still actually manufactures products in Oregon, its own special session in Salem.
-- Speaking of the Legislature: Is it too much to hope that lawmakers can continue the practical, bipartisan approach they demonstrated in the 2011-12 sessions?
-- For baseball fans in Beaverton, Vancouver and Milwaukie: an all-day TriMet pass so they can watch Single A ball in Hillsboro, which snagged the team they tried to land.
-- For everyday bus and train riders: an end to posturing by TriMet and the transit union. Lets get down to business and negotiate a contract that helps control the agencys budget problems while still providing employees with decent wages and benefits.
-- Meanwhile, lets hope Metro and its supporters wake up to the fact that its multi-modal transportation plans arent working equally well everywhere in the region. Downtown Portland is benefiting from the emphasis on mass transit far more than Washington and Clackamas counties, which have growing congestion problems that need to be honestly addressed.
-- We all should hope the gun debate quickly focuses on practical solutions that include reasonable, enforceable restrictions on high-capacity firearms and effective intervention for those with mental problems.
-- We encourage more people to attend live cultural events to support an ailing arts industry.
-- For Portland Community College: the right person to fill the large void being left by departing PCC President Preston Pulliams and that means not only someone with the skills to run the states largest institution of higher learning but also a leader like Pulliams who understands our community and is willing to commit for the long term.
-- Heres wishing for success as health-care providers adjust to monumental changes on the way for the local, state and national medical system.
-- Along those lines, lets hope everybody tries to do 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise something as simple as walking and drinks plenty of water each day in 2013. After all, thats the best health-care plan there is.