As the holiday season ends and we focus on beginnings once more, the hopes and concerns for another year float to the surface.
On a personal level I have two major life changes to embrace/confront.
The more positive (albeit somewhat unsettling) is my return to the workforce after an 11 month hiatus. Questions like "Can I stay awake for an eight hour day and function as required?" or "How will I really adapt to a desk/management position after being absent from such for 17+ years?" and "How am I going to find the time & energy to stay involved in the civic issues that've become so big a part of my daily routine?"
These and others have played out in my mind in a myriad of scenarios over the past few weeks and like all of us, I've reverted to my fallback position which invariably is "Do the best I can with what I've got where I'm at, but continue moving foreward!"
The second and more disconcerting dilema for me is my Marine Corps son leaving today for an additional two weeks of training prior to deployment to Iraq by the end of the month. I'm torn between supporting him personally for his decision to volunteer for this assignment and my disdain with our political/military machine which breeds and cultivates such events. But that is a different discussion for a different day.
My primary focus this day is on local issues. We have a "New" City Administration and a "New" Common Council ! Or do we?
My hope (and at this juncture my trust) is that this group of elected and appointed leaders will follow through with their camapign pledges for change in the way our city fucntions.
Likewise, based on life's experience, my fear is that we will be subjected to more of the same ole same ole.
At the end of the day, somewhere between these two concepts will emerge reality. Which side the boat lists to will depend more that anything else on our (the public's) involvement.
If we choose to stay home and be silent, as historicaly is the case, the odds are that deadlock, misappropriation of resources, and political favoritism will once again rule the day.
If, on the other hand, we choose to be a consistently informed & involved presence in the many varied aspects of the process, I've no doubt we'll see some change for the good.We need to request, insist, and if all else fails, demand accountability of all and cooperation between all entities involved.
Know that we can not accomplish these results from the comfort and seclusion of our favorite recliner. We must be willing to sit on hard seats, endure long meetings, and do our own homework.
Knowledge is power and we are the employer. They are merely our employees. The question remains, are we going to become knowledgeable employers or are we going to once again allow the tail to wag the dog?
These and many more questions will arise over the coming weeks & months and vacation time , for the moment, is over. So put down your purses, put aside your interpersonal differences, and let's get on with the gettin' on.
See Y'all tomorrow evening at the inaugural 2008 Common Council meeting!