Wednesday, December 27, 2006

New Year?s resolutions for 2007

Ah, New Year's resolutions. So easy to make, so hard to keep. But some resolutions simply don't measure up or get lost in the myriad of choices out there.

For example, a public official whose primary resolution is to lose that last 5 pounds instead of resolving to fill those nasty potholes or fund the library really misses the point.

So, we reviewed the year's news and recommend quality resolutions for the New Year 2007.

Idaho Legislature: Same as last year: To quit ducking the issue and to stop the siting of dirty coal-fired power plants in the state by adopting restrictive emissions rules.

Idaho Legislature: New this year: To unshackle residents of cities and counties to let them rule themselves by allowing creation and collection of local taxes for local needs that would have to be approved by voters before going into effect. It's time to let cities and counties grow up.

Blaine County Board of Commissioners: To stick to its plan to develop a full-time county administrator's job. The board finally hired a temporary administrator to help create a permanent position to deal with day-to-day management issues to give the board more time to deal with policy issues.

Idaho Sen. Larry Craig: To contemplate the state's future with no salmon, no steelhead, no more wilderness areas, but lots of gas-powered conveyances. To reconsider whether blocking bills like the one that would have created three new contiguous wilderness areas is best for the future.

Idaho Governor-elect Butch Otter: To stop cleaning house long enough to give state agencies time to take a breath, make a smooth transition and adjust to losing the experience of its top executives.

Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Tom Luna: To fire up a computer and do a crash course on public policies in education before taking office armed only with notions honed at the coffee shop.

Environmental Protection Agency: To live up to its name—or change it. One possibility: the Environmental Prevarication Agency. Its new motto: "Kill, pollute, destroy—we'll make it OK."

Sunnis and Shiites, Israelis and Palestinians, Ethiopians and Somalians, or terrorists of all stripes: To lay down arms, embrace diplomacy, and give peace a chance.

Ketchum City Council: To listen to naysayers, thank them kindly, and then proceed undeterred to make the changes the city's downtown needs to thrive.

Every American politician who will take an oath of office in January: To stick a Post-it on the bathroom mirror that says, "It's the corruption, stupid!" as a reminder of the No. 1 issue in the November election.

Cities of Ketchum and Hailey: To be good neighbors and to engage with their counterparts to make the valley work as a single community.

Idaho voters: To pay as much attention to the issues in every election as they did when they defeated Proposition 2, which would have damaged planning and zoning in the state beyond repair.

Wood River mayors and city council members: To resolve to quit remaking the wheel by taking one work-study trip a year to learn firsthand how other mountain resort communities in the region are handling growth.

Blaine County residents: To continue their philanthropic ways and to give nonprofit groups the time and money that help make the Wood River Valley a good place to live and work.

Blaine County voters: To figure out that voting to build a new jail isn't voting for room-service for felons, but for a humane and secure facility that will do the job a jail needs to do.

Everyone in the U.S: To figure out what this country of 300 million people will do with the next 100 million scheduled to arrive in the next 37 years.

Anyone who has been wronged: To remember and to emulate the forgiveness and humanity of the Amish in Lancaster County, Pa., following schoolyard killings by a disturbed gunman who later committed suicide.

President George W. Bush: To quit substituting belief for evidence, to listen to advisors outside his inner circle and to come up with a better plan for Iraq than to "stay the course."

U.S. military and intelligence services: (Same as last three years) To find Osama Bin Laden.

Blaine County School District: To consult with parents first next time before changing school hours.

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