We take pride in providing the news in an objective fashion in our news columns. But here in this space we offer our opinion, and provide space in our Letters to the Editor column for yours.
As we enter 2013, we want to let you know where we stand on important community issues. We support:
– Setting community-wide goals and a plan for implementing them. Other communities have used this forum, usually with the help of an outside facilitator, as a tool for making progress.
– Completing the BNA Bank Park expansion project.
– Constructing an indoor-outdoor public swimming complex. A public pool is an expected part of local government services. All children should learn to swim, hopefully as part of an elementary school curriculum.
– Improving public education facilities and curriculum and providing early childhood education for all children. We strongly support our public schools and are opposed to private schools and home schooling, except in rare circumstances.
– Implementing county-wide planning and zoning before a hodge-podge of growth occurs near the Toyota plant at Blue Springs. Fixing the problems caused by unregulated growth will be very expensive over time.
– Enforcing our minimum standards for rental housing. Lack of regulation of rental housing contributes to neighborhood blight and general community decline.
– Expanding promotion of tourism to coincide with completion of the Rails-to-Trails project. The bike/hiking trail project can be a significant contributor to our economy.
– Improving community beautification, including better enforcement of property upkeep and cleanup rules.
– Continuing to upgrade the city utilities, especially the improvement and replacement of water lines needed to assure ìclearî water in New Albany.
– Allowing the sale of wine and spirits in New Albany to boost the hospitality economy and bring new restaurants to the area.
– Expanding the building and significantly upgrading the lending collection of the Union County Library. A modern, well-equipped library can be an enormous community asset.
– Establishing a county-wide animal shelter and implementing a low-cost spay-and-neuter program.
We wíll be commenting on these and other issues from time to time throughout the year. We would like to get your opinion, too.
Have a prosperous and progressive 2013.