Each year, countless Americans and businesses make resolutions for the coming year, everything from individuals wanting to lose weight and join a gym to businesses wanting to be more productive and profitable.
At The Daily Astorian we’ve made ours, and they are centered on our readers, website visitors and our advertisers rather than ourselves. We will strive to serve each reader, visitor and customer better than we have before to meet increasing expectations in print and on our website, provide excellent customer service in all aspects and remain faithful to our core values.
For the coming year we’ve resolved to be even more of an active and representative regional voice and be a more inclusive advocate for those who live and work throughout Clatsop County and the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington.
We will also continue to pay special attention to topics that include: The Housing Crunch, the area’s No. 1 concern; local and state political dysfunction and the use of scarce tax dollars; children’s well-being in all matters; emergency preparedness, planning and preparation that can save lives; environmental issues like climate change and natural resources; timber, forestry, fishing, the oyster industry and waterway issues, all of which greatly impact our area; mental health treatment and the need for greater standards of care; and homelessness and the need for strategies to help those who need it.
While those are our resolutions, we hope those in state and local political leadership make a few and keep them too. They include:
• For all state and local leaders to adopt a simple motto for themselves to “resolve to solve” problems.
• For Gov. Kate Brown to resolve to become a more visible, problem-solving leader for all Oregonians as she was elected to be. With the next legislative session only weeks away, Brown needs to step up and be at the forefront of finding and advocating solutions for longstanding issues. Those include reforms of the enormously underfunded Public Employees Retirement System; state taxation and revenue generation; sustainable funding for education, transportation and infrastructure improvements; and raising the bar for the leadership in key state agencies to solve performance, personnel and functionality problems that have been highlighted in recent state audits. Brown has an enormous career opportunity that many in the political arena aspire to have but haven’t achieved. We hope that like an esteemed conductor of a world-class symphony Brown is able to rise above past performance and be a maestro for the work that needs to be done.
• For Oregon state representatives and senators, who like the governor, need to resolve to put their partisanship aside during the upcoming session and seek solutions. Voters in the last election made it abundantly clear they’re tired of seeing politicians kick the can down the road for others to solve sometime in the future while they continue to push their own personal agendas in the present.
• We hope each of our local governments resolve to work together more diligently to develop solutions for common problems like housing, economic development and emergency preparedness that exist on a regional basis. Individually and collectively, they need to be thinking strategically and comparing notes to get results that can raise the quality of life throughout the region. We also hope that in-fighting and grandstanding between members of some of those entities — and between some of the entities themselves — comes to an end. They need to stop wasting the public’s time and to show far more professionalism and civility in their interactions with each other. They also need to remember that their duty is to serve the public rather than themselves. The premise that when interests conflict individual members of some of those boards resort to lobbing insults at each other or at staff rather than working together, or that some of those entities would use scarce tax dollars and human resources to pursue litigation against each other rather than negotiate settlements isn’t in anybody’s best interest.
• And finally, for taxpayers to resolve to hold our leaders at all levels more accountable, and to mandate that they put performance above partisanship when making decisions on the issues that impact each of our lives.