Will leaders resolve to make 2007 a good year for Toledo?Written by Kevin Milliken | | email@example.com
Santa has made his list, checked it twice, and completed another round of deliveries to children both naughty and nice. Now is the time of year when we adults count our blessings in 2006 and make resolutions to ourselves and promises to each other to improve our situations in 2007.
To all those who vow to eat better, exercise more, or quit smoking — I wish you well. I will be among those seeking a healthier lifestyle next year. Aren’t we all?
Sure, it’s easy to write all that stuff down, then write it off, saying you made your resolutions just like last year … and the year before that … etc. You get the picture. Here, then, are a few resolutions I hope our leaders will make for 2007:
Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner: Please promise you will take our community’s limited resources and put them toward the creation of more jobs than projects that involve bike paths, twinkling lights, and executive showers. The city’s three-year commitment to Ironhead Marine is coming due in 2007, and we’d all like to see some progress on that.
City Council President Rob Ludeman: Rumors swirling around Government Center have you facing a fight for the leadership position on council. May you vow to stave off competitors by wielding the sword of solid leadership, so the City can move forward instead of spending valuable political capital and wasted time on who’s in charge of what committee and starting all over again.
Lucas County Commissioners: You now have it the way you want it: across-the-board Democratic leadership. Here’s hoping you will use that solid majority to accomplish great things in 2007, not grow into a three-headed political monster. A new arena sure is a huge feel-good project, but it’s not all our community needs.
Commissioner-elect Ben Konop and Councilman Joe McNamara: Voters have put you into office and now expect you both to be all you can be in 2007. We’ll give you a few weeks, maybe months, for on-the-job training. After that, you have vowed not to be rubber stamp votes, so only time will tell if those were empty words, or the promise of young leaders with solid backbones.
Toledo Public School Board: The one resolution people want to see from five adults is the will to get along with each other for the greater good. There’s too much to get accomplished and too much at stake in 2007 for the same-old, same-old approach to running — or ruining — this school district.
Governor-elect Ted Strickland and the new Ohio Democratic leadership: You wanted voters to sweep the state clean of corruption, and that was done. Now live up to your slogans and rhetoric to do something meaningful and turn Ohio toward a new sunrise.
The view of a Rustbelt junkyard is too much to bear, while a national economy hums around us and international competition picks at what’s left of us like a vulture hovering over roadkill. The only Hope we had in 2006 was the state’s First Lady.
The New Year is more than just a new beginning for our region and our state. It must represent a new beginning for our state-of-being.
To that end, we should all make one last New Year’s resolution: to reach out and do more for others. We can help our politicians and elected leaders by going just a little beyond holding their feet to the fire of our expectations and their campaign promises.
Checking on an elderly neighbor on a cold evening might just spark a lasting conversation. An extra buck or two dropped in a red kettle might just keep someone warm and full of food another night or two. A family outing to volunteer somewhere instead of a trip to the movies may be the most fun you’ve had in a long time — and the most meaningful lesson your kids learn that didn’t come from a textbook.
Here’s to a good year in 2007 — and a brighter tomorrow.
Kevin Milliken hosts of “Eye on Toledo” on WSPD 1370 AM.