The horizon ahead

We’re looking forward to 2019. We’re looking forward to the construction – at some point – winding down and we have five luxurious lanes coming into the county from the south.

We’re looking forward to Damacus being back in the highway patrol business (seriously) because we do get tired of driving through there and being passed by tourists and those who think the speed limit shouldn’t apply to them because they were either not paying attention or didn’t care.

We’re looking forward to the various office holders coming into office Jan. 1 and assuming their new roles. We’ve, as is the nature of newspaper reporting and interaction with professionals in government, have enough experience with them to think things will continue well and we will have a lot to talk about.

We’re looking forward to 911 funding being worked out by phone fees – at it was supposed to be done from the start – at the next legislative session. We really don’t want to see another funding wrestling match on that one going into 2020.

We’re looking forward to the various initiatives designed to get those passing through the county to step on the brakes and visit for a while (and we’re not taking being pulled over for speeding in Damascus, although a case could be made…). We could use the tourism dollars, and this is certainly a nice place.

We’re looking forward to the social media hate squad getting a clue and stop firing spitballs just because they know how to type. “They just need to pick up the phone and get some factories to locate here!” Yeah, right, why don’t you pick up the phone and show us how it’s done, no?

We’re looking forward to the continued progress of our schools, and our school students. One of the little-sung strong points of living in Van Buren County is that you can, if you wish, get a good education. Heck, there’s even a nursing school in town and lots of great, dedicated, teachers.

We’re especially looking forward to the hard work of those who want the people to be better in all that ways that means better. People volunteering for all sorts of things in the county, not the least being in recovery centers for the drug-overwhelmed, or food pantries for those suffering that insecurity, and more and more coming in, bringing ideas and strong backs, willing to do what it takes to help the people in this county grow as they are nurtured.

We’re looking forward to (but not betting on) a resurgence in natural gas extraction in 2019. Distant, scant, rumors show that some production advances have the potential to impact natural gas demand in 2019, and increase in demand has certainly helped the county in the past. With that said we’re hoping the SWN lawsuit on mineral rights can settle up soon. It’s leaving a lot of money coupled to question marks on the table.

We’re looking forward to you, to your news, to hearing what you’re up to. We genuinely and completely are flattered by your willingness to include us in your lives and affairs, and look forward to that relationship growing in the year to come.

And thank you, thank you for the opportunity to serve. It, truly, means a great deal to us. Thanks again.

Leviticus 26: 3-13 (NIV)

3 “‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

6 “‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

9 “‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.