The week between Christmas and New Year’s Day feels like limbo because one year is petering out and a new is beginning. But it’s one of my favorite times for thinking and putting the past year in perspective. Not to mention looking forward to what’s ahead.
There’s a lot to anticipate in 2012 for Glen Rose and Somervell County.
First out of the chute, the new sports arena, paid for with your tax dollars, holds its grand opening on Jan. 14. Whether you voted for or against it in the 2010 bond elections, it’s your tax money, so drop by and inspect it.
Basketball tournaments already have been scheduled there and the hope is that the arena will attract playoff games from other districts. It’s a well-designed facility that hopefully will do the community proud and be a drawing card for sports fans.
This year’s county elections will be important because several officials are retiring after years of service.
The legal fight over Texas’ redrawing of state and congressional districts has thrown firm dates for primaries and runoffs into some question, but Somervell County is in a lot better shape than the big urban counties that have been into split into pieces in the new election maps.
Voters can look forward to going to the polls, likely in March for the primary race, to elect a new County Commissioner to replace Lloyd Wirt, who’s stepping down for personal reasons. And County Attorney Ron Hankins is retiring. As of the latest filing deadline, City Attorney Andrew Lucas was the only candidate who filed to run for the position.
City elections will be up in May. Former mayor and mayor pro tem Johnny Martin already has said he won’t run for a seat on the Glen Rose City Council again. Other names are swirling about who might run, so it will be an interesting contest.
Local veterinarian Mike Jones is challenging veteran Sid Miller for the state rep race. Miller is pretty well entrenched, but that may work against him if enough voters feel it’s time for some new blood.
County residents also should find out who their congressional representative will be after the county got plucked out of the district currently represented by Republican Bill Flores and placed in one that stretches all the way to Hays County south of Austin. But who knows how that district finally will end up?
Look for continued efforts at cooperation between the county, city, school district, water district and other entities. County Judge Mike Ford's "shared summit" to share ideas and work on common problems, as well as save money, held its first meeting at the end of the year and will keep the cooperative ball rolling in 2012.
On the challenging side of the ledger for next year, those of you with children enrolled in Glen Rose ISD will get to experience another change in testing when the district segues from the TAKS to the more rigorous STAAR test. The district will be hosting several briefing sessions for parents.
And the state’s climatologist has been saying that the drought may be back in full force by next summer, so we should all enjoy the wet weather while we’ve got it and pray that La Nina takes a vacation.
Finally, remember the past year and all that this area has been through. But we survived and will again. If this year's trial by fire — literally — and ice and wind and drought and tornadoes, not to mention the economy, have proven anything, it's that this community pulls together in adversity and perseveres.
So pop a cork on a champagne bottle and toast the new year. Polish your “to do” list. Make resolutions. (No. 1: Resolve to keep them this year.)
And whatever the new year may bring….bring it on!