While it’s easy to run down the list of personal endeavors we should probably all embrace — eat healthier, lose weight, exercise (more?), be a better person, be eco-friendly (friendlier?) etc. — we decided that for this New Year’s holiday we would look at where we are going as individual communities, as a state and as voters. The turn of the calendar represents a time to embrace a renewed perspective and a pathway of hope and to feel reinvigorated. 2016 is surely going to be a doozy as elections ramp up, but we can improve, on various levels, throughout the year. Here are some resolutions to consider:
Camarillo: It’s nice to see some movement in housing construction — Ventura County needs as much help as it can get. But what the city seems to be missing is more concerted effort to move swiftly in times of emergency. It took just about a year to set up a system to prevent mudslides from damaging Camarillo Springs homes again — the first mudslide disaster occurring in December 2014. We hope the City Council resolves to put emergency plans in place so action is swift and reassuring to residents.
Ojai: Ojai City Council seems not to have properly prioritized certain issues this year. While we are proponents of medical marijuana, the investigation into Shangri La Care Cooperative seems like a complicated ordeal. The fact that the City Council voted to have records unsealed before the investigation was over or had come to a conclusion — we suggest that you give it some time. None of us understands what is going on or why. Further, approving an emergency ordinance of a 3-foot hedge rule? That was a rather hasty and unnecessary decision. What we feel the City Council really needs to focus on is affordable housing, which apparently the city completely lacks. The City Council should probably also not miss out on a good opportunity such as the proposed summer concert series. We hope Ojai City Council will resolve to be less hasty and shift its focus to the dire needs of its community.
Oxnard: Residents, be patient. We know that all of you have gone through more than you should have over the last few years, but city officials are in a bind, given the decade-plus of mismanagement that has left the city in a fiscal crisis. We understand that the residents have little trust but we suggest that you give the new leadership a chance to straighten out this mess before jumping to conclusions. We hope that this year you will try and embrace change and growing pains. It’s not going to be fun, but your elected officials are doing their best to put leadership in place to get the city to be fully solvent. We hope residents will resolve to give them a chance.
Ventura: Two words: Economic growth. It’s a must here. We ask the City Council to resolve to focus on bringing new businesses to town, to spur residential construction, to build wisely but to factor housing costs that are forcing good people out of town. Do these for the betterment of the entire community. Taxation may help, but taxing without a focus on growth is futile.
Ventura County: For the Board of Supervisors, Ventura’s resolution also applies. We need smart, planned growth in business with diverse, good-paying jobs and affordable housing. You get paid well to do your jobs as versus your elected city counterparts who get such minuscule amounts — we hope that you resolve to make Ventura County’s economic outlook robust rather than daunting.
California: Just because a Godzilla El Niño promises rain and snow, we cannot forget the panic that we have been in for the last couple of years. We hope, as residents of our drought-stricken state, that we will resolve to stick with new, water-conserving habits. We can manage this, but we cannot forget that the dire straits we were in recently may be just around the corner again.
U.S.: It’s a rather frightening situation to see the fanfare over Donald Trump and his extremist views. Such black and white perspectives will only cause more harm than good. We can only hope that voters will resolve not to let an extremist politician win the presidency. Pay attention to the betterment of our society, not to divisive fear tactics.