By now, you know what headlines claimed the top spots in 2012.
And all of us, as we do each year, look with anticipation toward the next 12 months. But this year, the hopes seem a little more critical, urgent even, on a variety of fronts — the economy, political compromise, budget issues and drugs. Here’s what we would like to see:
• A continued, consistent, creative attempt to attract businesses of all varieties to our area. We need a strong commitment to making this an easy place to do business for our current and potential businesses. And we have plenty of room for growth in almost every genre: retail, restaurant, manufacturing. Perhaps with our top quality agricultural base, there are potential opportunities in this arena.
• It’s been an especially divisive year when it comes to politics. Particularly coming off the fiscal cliff debacle at the federal level and the right-to-work debate at the state level. With feathers still ruffled from the elections and no apparent truce between the Republicans and Democrats, we hope our local representatives at all levels commit even more staunchly to casting their votes for what is “right” for all and not just for their party or re-election.
• It’s no secret that our county is facing critical budget woes. Already our elected officials have come up with some pretty creative solutions for how to cover more ground with less. This is no more apparent than in the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office, where they’ve cut road patrols and staff to bare bones. During this coming year, we’d like to see even more inspired options for partnerships with outside agencies, perhaps, or independent organizations who can help fill the gaps.
• In the past six months, we’ve told the stories in our pages of a couple of women who have done what seems like the impossible and beaten their vice-like drug addictions. Addictions that ruined their relationships with their kids, their families, their friends. Addictions that ruined them financially and took their self-esteem to all-time lows. We know we have a problem in this county. But we also know we have ways to provide a life-changing experience for some of these people, who want to change their lives and be productive members of society and make a difference for folks who have followed their paths.
There are more lofty goals we could call out, for sure. But these are the big ones we think can move our area in an entirely different direction. If we all commit to keeping our focus on where we’re going and not where we’ve been, there’s no reason accomplishing these goals could not be our top headlines for 2013.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.