An agenda for progress

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 2012, we want to remind you 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 New Albany Sportsplex expansion.
– 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.
– Establishing minimum standards for rental housing. Lack of regulation of rental housing contributes to neighborhood blight, crime and general community decline.
– Expanding promotion of tourism in preparation for completion of the Rails-to-Trails project. The bike/hiking trail project can be a significant contributor to our economy.
– Adding to our potential for more restaurants and hotels by legalizing the sale of wine and spirits in New Albany.
– Improving community beautification, including better enforcement of property upkeep and cleanup rules.
– Creating and implementing a plan to provide “clear” water in New Albany. The city’s long-standing problems with its water will be expensive to fix, but putting it off only makes it worse.
– 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’ll be commenting on these and other issues from time to time throughout the year. We’d like to get your opinion, too.
Have a prosperous and progressive 2012.