It’s time again to make New Year’s resolutions. Endeavor to live a healthier lifestyle, spend more time with family and friends, be more in control of finances, or perhaps start your own business. All are worthy and (hopefully) attainable goals, but here are a few others that should make your favorite resolutions list:
Pledge to clean up — and keep clean — some area within your community. Whether you focus on your residence and yard, your immediate block, a nearby park or an entire neighborhood, your individual efforts can make a difference. Last week The Times issued a call to volunteers and organizations to help Gary with its cleanup needs. This was a good reminder that all communities need local stewards and that each of us can, and should, take some ownership of our environment. Let’s foster community pride. Make 2013 the year you pitch in and pick up.
Become more civically engaged. Get involved in a way that contributes to the vibrancy and health of your hometown or the surrounding region. Be pro-active on issues that affect your quality of life, and your community as a whole. There are lots of ways to get involved: attend town meetings, volunteer for a commission or committee, serve as a mentor or join an organization or chamber of commerce. Be an advocate and take up a cause.
For Lansing stakeholders, there’s an easy way to engage. The village is launching a communitywide initiative to update its comprehensive plan. On Jan. 30, attend a public forum at the Lansing Library and contribute to a new vision for the community. Once complete, this new plan will serve as a road map guiding future growth and community transformation for the next decade or more.
Focus on the positive. While far too many Illinois and Indiana families have struggled during recent hard economic times, there are recent indicators of economic recovery. Local unemployment numbers have fallen and industry is expanding. Strategic investments are being made and more development proposals are on the drawing board.
Here in Lansing, village officials held the line on local spending and tax increases, voting unanimously not to increase the village’s tax levy for tax bills that will be paid this year. Moreover, their action prompted other taxing districts to follow their lead.
These decisions will have immediate impact, sending a pro-business message loud and clear. It will help Lansing continue to attract new commercial development and further diversify its economic base. This spring we’ll see even more signs of positive transformation.
Remember, no matter where you call home, get involved. In 2013, commit to share your talents and stay positive — together, our actions can bring about tangible change.
These simple resolutions should make it to the top of many New Year’s resolution lists — and not be a hardship to keep.