Farewell 2013

editorial-logo3It is difficult to believe that we will say good-by to 2013 this week. It hardly seems like a few months have passed since we were ringing it in, little alone 12 months. We have packed a lot into the last year, some of it good and some of it not so great. Though many people have ambiguous feelings regarding New Year, I always welcome the chance to wipe the slate clean and have a fresh start. 2013 brought a divide to the County, as those in favor of the megasite and those opposed went head to head. It is my hope that 2014 will find Jefferson County healing and uniting in a vision for the future. It will take more than the handful of people involved with Building a Better Future or EDOC or even the Industrial Development Board to move this County into the future. There is an enormous amount of diversity in the County and that diversity can be our biggest obstacle or our biggest asset. It all depends on us. Can we put past failures and past hurts behind us or will we carry that baggage into 2014? It is a heavy load to tote from year to year and it is dragging us down. We need transparency. We need reasonable conversation and we even need debate-with boundaries. What we do not need, and cannot survive, is a rift that is surely to only expand over time.

As we look to the next 12 months, we need to put our priorities in order. Like our individual citizens do, we need to take stock of what worked in 2013 and what didn’t and make our resolutions accordingly. As citizens, we do not need to leave it up to a few elected or appointed officials to be the only ones taking stock of our successes and failures. We need to add our voice to the mix and present our view of what was a hit or a miss and how we can avoid traveling the same path in the upcoming year. Now is not the time to bail out. Yes. It is cold outside and everyone is busy taking care of their own business. But remember, every decision that impacts Jefferson County has the potential to impact your home, your pocketbook and your future. It is a little like taking the polar bear plunge-it is time to just hold your nose and jump into the icy waters of public policy. It may be a little shocking to the system at first, but if we jump as a group the results could be exhilarating.

So, farewell 2013. We learned a lot from you and we collectively grew up a little during your tenure. Thanks for the memories and the lessons, hard earned though they were. Welcome, 2014. It is hard to not be awed by your potential. I hope that this year finds you and Jefferson County thriving in prosperity. The future is upon us. Happy New Year!

Source: K. Depew, News Director