by Sarah Squires
It is a time to look forward, but also a time to reflect on the year past. January was even named after Janus, the Roman god of gates, doors, and beginnings, the deity who had two faces, one looking forward, the other looking backward.
And while New Year's resolutions may be going out of style for some, January 1 might mark a date to get on top of the one thing that you need to accomplish, the thing that nags and pesters.
For the Winona City Council, New Year's has provided a chance to take a look ahead at what each member hopes for the coming year. Here's what they had to say:
Mayor Jerry Miller
Miller says that, for the coming year, he hopes that, "we work hard to continue to do things that are in the best interest of all our citizens."
"When asked what my New Year's resolution for the citizens of Winona would be, it made me think back on why we moved to Winona almost 32 years ago. We loved the demographics and the natural beauty of this area as well as the smalltown feel and rich history. The more our lives entwined with its people and many organizations we knew this would be our home. Our family has been blessed with many opportunities in this city and I know those same opportunities are still out there for those that seek them.
"Since being founded 155 years ago, Winona has undergone much change. Lumber is no longer our major industry and we're not a town of just a few hundred people. When the early immigrants came to Winona they had a dream and I believe Winonans still have that dream. Every generation wants to better themselves and have a better life for their family. Get to know your neighbors, look out for each other and I think we will be amazed at all the good that can be accomplished. Look for the good in all people.
"As we move into the New Year, my prayer is that we may work together to make Winona a vital city that will address the present and future needs of all its citizens. We as elected officials may have to cast that deciding vote but each of you must also take an acitve part in making your vision and hope for our city known. Never forget that we represent YOU!!!"
"Each and every new year the majority of people make a resolution to lose weight, or to trim their fat. The city of Winona has done an excellent job of "trimming the fat" and staying financially lean while continuously providing the services Winonans expect and deserve. However, too many people have little faith in city government. Much of this has to do with the manner in which our country is governed in Washington and how they are portrayed in the national media and Hollywood. But here in Winona it goes beyond that. With the recent surge in popularity of the innocuous and anonymous Internet blogs, and the upswing in negative editorial opinions of the powers that be at the Winona Daily, local malaise with city business is at an unhealthy level. Government must be held accountable to the highest of standards. But to criticize for sheer entertainment value is unproductive and irresponsible. The people who run the city (as well as the county and school district) are our friends, relatives and neighbors. We need to keep them in check, provide kudos when the job is done right and constructive criticism when the job is done poorly. But constant Monday morning quarterbacking, especially when hidden behind anonymity or an editor's (guest or otherwise) desk is wrong.
"I can take and accept the heat and the insults. But what I cannot take is an unbalanced reporting of the facts. Therefore, my New Year's Resolution for the City of Winona for 2007 is to work with the local media in an effort to increase ‘factual public awareness' in the business of running our city.
"Happy New Year!"
"Things that I will try to do in 2007:
" consider council decisions in a global context and do what is best for the community.
" remember that all people don't have loud voices, some are small and weak,
" spend tax dollars wisely and look for the best return,
" and I will smile when people refer to the dark side, and rejoice with when they see the light from behind the clouds."
Thurley says that, for the coming year, he hopes that, "everyone in the city continues their good health," and that he hopes for some new retail and industrial developments in the First Ward. He also wishes council member George Borzyskowski's Fourth Ward would see a bit of development, as well.
"My New Year's resolution would simply be that we can continue to be in a strong financial position, and that we can continue our strong fight against drugs in our town, and I just simply hope that everyone can get along the best we can," said Borzyskowski of the coming year. He said he also hopes that the city can continue to foster industry, helping the city's tax base, continue to see support from the state in the form of local government aid, and that the city can come up with some solutions for the rising traffic problem in Winona. He also wishes everyone a safe and prosperous New Year.
"1. The city to continue bettering outreach and ways to encourage intergovernmental, such as with the county, and community communication, involvement and collaboration.
"2. Continue in efforts to look into creative ways in which to attract and retain new businesses to the heart of our downtown.
"3. Implement a first step low-cost visual project from the revitalization piece of the downtown plan to demonstrate that revitalization is going to happen.
"4. Keep seeking endeavors that support our older housing infrastructure along with offering more affordable housing choices.
"5. Initiate more renewable and alternate energy uses.
"6. Improved parking downtown."