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Our View: 2012: A big year ahead

Posted: January 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.
Updated: January 1, 2012 1:30 a.m.
 


Here we are in the year 2012. It’s quite a notorious year, actually. First of all, it’s the year the world is supposed to end, at least according to the folks who believe that Dec. 21, 2012, is the exact date when the world will undergo a cataclysmic change

It’s also a major national election year in which the presidency and some congressional seats are up for grabs amid a troubled economy and extreme discontent concerning the way incumbents have performed their jobs.

Locally, there’s an Assembly seat in play and that race promises to be contentious. In the city of Santa Clarita, it’s also a year when two City Council seats are up for election.

To date, there are two incumbents and several other challengers expressing their interest in running for those posts. It’s great to see lots of engagement in local politics.

It’s our view that staying engaged will be the key to success for all of us during what we believe will be a pivotal year for our city and our country.

For far too many years during this recent economic downturn, there has been a haze of apathy that has settled over everything, it seems, and created a sour national mood. An unsettled economy and political discontent on the state and national level have made these past few years difficult for many, although locally, a better economy and more functional government than most have made life better here.

But we hope in this pivotal year, this haze will begin to lift and change will occur — change for the better.

Economic signs for the most part have been trending upward recently, and many economists believe that 2012 will bring a slow and “delicate” recovery. The final holiday retail numbers are not in, but it certainly seems that consumers were engaged in buying this season, and hopefully, that will continue into the new year. Perhaps we are just tired of not spending. It’s time to open up our wallets, if only just a little.

Even a delicate economic recovery will hopefully prompt more buying, which will further strengthen the economy.

As for government and politics, the electorate seems to be more engaged, and we hope that continues. Staying engaged doesn’t mean more Occupy movements, it just means staying adequately informed on the issues and, most importantly, voting for the people we think can do the best job no matter what office they are pursuing or political persuasion they may hold. Informed voters bring about informed leaders.

Many pundits are saying that many incumbents in all levels of government are going to get thrown out by voters this year.

This may or may not be true, but hopefully voters will not just go blindly down this road. Not all incumbents need to be voted out of office. Some have great ideas and represent their constituents well. It just seems the collective decision-making in Washington and Sacramento has become paralyzed. The local decision-making seems to be better.

It’s important that whatever problems the economy experiences this year and next, and whatever we think of our current crop of politicians, we keep our eye on the long-term future. Rash decisions aren’t necessarily the best decisions. That’s where staying engaged and informed come in.

Let’s hope that the year 2012 becomes known not as the end of the world, but as the year that we turned the page and headed toward economic recovery and a new national attitude.

The rest of the country can take lessons from the Santa Clarita Valley, which we believe has a positive attitude and a functional government and economy. That’s why we live here.

Happy new year to all.

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