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Friday, January 1, 2010

2010: Hopes, Wishes & Aspirations

I actually wrote a blog entry last night, but alas it sits in draft status along with a few other friends that just didn't seem quite right enough to post. That's one of my problems: I write more than I actually post, so I end up with content that just sits there. Anyway, none of that has to do with the topic at hand, namely that of my hopes, wishes & aspirations for 2010. Here goes:

Lou Barletta
I hope 2010 brings to Mr Barletta a bit more of a conscience, one that steers him away from blaming every ill besetting Hazelton on illegal aliens. He can do better than that, and his anti-immigration crusade makes him appear to be nothing better than a modern-day Know-Nothing Party member. He can choose to wage a Congressional campaign based upon ideas that appeal to our better angels, or he can continue to appeal to our worst instincts (such as fear of those who look different than us); either way the choice is his and his alone.

Luzerne County Government
I hope the Federal house cleaning continues. As I noted in another post (a post for which at least one person slammed me), the residents of Luzerne County share in the blame for this mess through decades of complacency, so they also share in the responsibility to help clean it up. How? Let's just hope that attributes like "football hero" are no longer considered satisfactory qualifications for government service.

Lackawanna County Government
I'm actually somewhat pleased with how the county is being run. I see real efforts to reduce costs, although more needs to be done. The fact that they are actually trying to enforce a contract provision that benefits taxpayers is a welcome change. Related to this is...

Corey O'Brien
I hope Mr O'Brien soundly loses in the Congressional primary. No offense to Mr O'Brien, but he's simply not ready for the task. Being a less-than-full-term county commissioner isn't what I'd call a record to run by, nor is paying for your own talk show on WILK. Don't get me wrong: I basically like Mr O'Brien and I think he is doing a decent job as Commissioner. All the more reason to stay and finish the job. Ambition shouldn't be the enemy of success, and he is young enough that he could add to his resume and still be able to run for higher office in the future.

Scranton City Council's New Members
I hope they collectively get their heads out of their butts and realize that you are not going to balance the budget, cut taxes and raise employee salaries simply by "cutting the Doherty fat". That's an insult to the intelligence of every Scranton resident who has more than three firing synapses. By all means do cut expenses. By all means do make sure that our police are paid a fair wage for the great job that they do. By all means do try and reduce some of the taxes that stifle our local economy. But please stop acting as if Chris Doherty has this secret Swiss Bank Account full of taxpayer money that can be raided in order to solve our every problem. Get real, please. Work with the Mayor...disagree when necessary...but work with him never the less. There is enough ego room in City Hall for both Janet Evans and Chris Doherty.

Here's to hoping that the things finally hit bottom. Like the drug addicts that so many Dunmore residents seem to think don't exist within their borders, I truly believe that Dunmore government will have to hit bottom before they can actually make the substantive changes necessary to live in the real world. You simply can't have things like paid firefighters and the same wage tax that surrounding communities (that rely on volunteer firefighters) have; you can't add to your employee roster when you don't have the money to pay for your existing staff. Dunmore has to live within its means, and the longer its leaders pretend that fiscal gravity doesn't apply to them, the worse the final fall will ultimately be.

Oh, and also for Dunmore, it's my hope that some residents don't have to go through the pain of having a family member addicted to drugs before they seem the real value in substance abuse treatment. Dunmoreans: You may not want it in your back-yard, but I'm afraid it already is.

The Scranton Times
I hope that they continue to investigate the dealings, shenanigans, and down-right questionable actions of State Senator Bob Mellow. I'll be blunt: It is a flagrant conflict of interest that Senator Mellow serves on the boards of institutions he can have a hand in regulating, and it's an insult to Pennsylvania taxpayers that he had the state pay him to rent property that he had a hand in owning. The Scranton Times has done some good work in exposing this, and I hope that they certainly continue and in fact do more.

For Me
Last but not least, I have a few hopes, wishes & aspirations for myself:

- I hope my children stay healthy & happy
- I hope that I don't need a major tragedy to be reminded of just how precious life truly is
- I wish my extended family, friends and co-workers a healthy, prosperous New Year
- I wish that compassion and common sense be my guides in making important decisions
- I aspire to grow & evolve as a person for as long as I am allowed on this Earth

Happy 2010 to one and to all.

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