I sure wish I had some words of wisdom, some nuggets of information or predictions to launch a new year. But alas, my crystal ball is faulty and my predictions are highly suspect. In short, I'm just trying to muddle through this holiday maze like everyone else.
A new year offers us hope for change and improvement, progress and promise. I long ago discontinued making resolutions for the new year since most were broken far too early to even count. But without being overly optimistic, I honestly believe our community is in for some progress and visible change in the new year. And there's reason to believe that way.
The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority will indeed remove dozens and dozens of substandard structures this year. What began last year will explode in the coming year as the legal process becomes more commonplace. That will indeed be a progressive step for Sikeston.
The expansion of new homes is sure to continue as well. That means we'll have to remain vigilant to assure that the homes being vacated for the newer ones are not reduced to substandard conditions in the near future.
Our school system has a dream in the form of a bond issue for new schools and major improvements to all of our school facilities. To pass the issue will not be easy. But it's a challenge we'll all face in the coming year.
The real community fight in 2005 will be similar to prior years. We'll have to promote the expansion of the job force to make good-paying jobs available for those seeking employment. And at the same time, we'll need to assure that we have an adequate, trained work force to fill those jobs. That means some of the deadbeats need to either change their behavior or seek another community to call home. We want workers and we want jobs for those workers. In the end, the entire community will benefit.
With no major election this year, perhaps the Missouri General Assembly can indeed streamline state government and improve the services to the public. There is never an assurance of success in this area but there is true hope that progress can occur. And if not, we need to make our voices heard loud and clear.
Here's another hope for the new year. Let's hope our medical community can resolve their differences and end the in-fighting that has divided parts of our community for far too long. The medical community is far too important to our community to allow this battle to wage much longer. The scars being inflicted today will not heal overnight.
All in all, I'm very optimistic about the coming year. Maybe I'm looking through rose-colored glasses but I think not. I hope a year from today we can all look back on a year of progress and expansion that is long overdue.